Frankenstein Goes Back to Work

My last appointment with the surgeon and doctor didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. There’s a place on my incision that appears to not want to heal correctly…or more to the point not heal at all. He’s trying a new method to try and get the drainage to stop and then in 2 weeks if that hasn’t worked then he’s transferring me to the Wound Care clinic at Mt Vernon Inova. Since I can’t attest to the hotness of the doctors at that clinic I will say I’ll be disappointed. Plus I feel after all this time with my surgeon and doctor we’re got a certain rapport.

My surgeon did say he felt like if he sent me there the first thing they’d do is want to open me BACK up again. Jesus. I avoided crying by shoving my face into a pillow since while he spoke both he and the doctor were taking out internal sutures that DID NOT FEEL GOOD to remove.

Healthwise I’m doing fine, I feel good. Or goodish. Just tired.  The giant abscess on my chest is healing (which the surgeon says is from the antibiotics) and I swore I was taking all my supplements. His concern was my protein/calorie intake and I was completely honest with him even knowing I would receive a lecture.

Concentrating on all this protein I realized I’ve been on some weird version of an atkins type diet. ‘High protein, High calorie’. Doesn’t have to last forever, just until I get through this.  I was certain I’d be gaining weight but I lost 20 pounds from last Thursday to this last Thursday so I’m ok.  I need to not  give a shit but it’s weird. I want to lose weight but I know this isn’t healthy per se. But I damn sure don’t want any of the weight I lose to come back and bring friends.

Another thing we discussed is me going back to work. His first question was ‘Do you want to go back to work?’ UH YES!!! I’m going slowly nuts. I can telework but I need to be around people.  He said it was up to me based on my ability to drive comfortably since my ‘affected’ leg is the one in which I would need to use for driving; my pain levels under control; and my exhaustion. I explained to him that I felt I could temper the exhaustion thing. My boss is very understanding but I don’t want to take advantage of his kindness.

Friday I sent my boss and e-mail proposing I go to work Monday morning and since that is when our staff meetings are held, I’d at least get back in the loop I’d be able to take all the stuff I put on one of my team members in my absence so she could be freed up to do her job. So I said maybe 3 days of work, 2 telework. He said I needed to play it by ear and listen to my body. Have I mentioned I love my boss?

My new bandaging regime is slightly grosser but is only once daily. With the last one I could at least half assed do it myself, with this one, there is no way. I, of course lied to my doctor about having someone on hand to do it. But whatever. Things will work out. They always do. Supposedly.

Friday my new nurse changed my bandage with my dad but by the time I got to my parents house yesterday (more on that in a moment) My pants were soaked where I had leaked through. Not good. I had to wait for dad to get home to change me. Felt like a wet diaper only on my hip. Fucking revolting. But he did a great job taking care of it. As I sit here typing this, I felt a whoosh of air through the open part then a gush of fluid has soaked my pants. But at least it didn’t get on my couch and didn’t dirty my sheets last night.  I’m thinking tomorrow is going to be a long day. I plan to bring extra bandaging things to work tomorrow so I can at least shore up some of the bandaging should I begin to leak.  Awkward.

Back to my parents house: I haven’t driven in 2 months. Getting into my car is hard enough from the passenger side (thank God I have an SUV or I’d never be able to get in. An SUV with leather seats…helps me slide in!).  Watching that was amusing enough. Me getting into the driver’s side was worthy of candid camera. Yea, not sexy, not graceful but I kept my hip precautions in check and was careful of the incision. The area is so huge…I don’t think my friends understand how large it is. Imagine this: Right at the front edge of your hip all the way around to roughly the first 1 inch or so of your buttock. That’s about the length we’re dealing with. Now, if you’re a size 4 that’s still a lot but I as you are aware am not a size 4 so that’s even MORE to deal with.

Which leads me to the something else I’m obsessing over. And yes, before you read this you will realize it is ridiculous.  I’m aware it is ridiculous.

My first surgery when my hip was initially replaced he cut me in what appeared to be a near horizontal spot under my hip that the scar eventually be almost invisible. It was quite beautiful as new scars can be.

When I was taken back to the hospital they had to cut out dead skin and tissue that had died from infection and then pull everything back together after washing out the hip and wound area. The second time was worse, causing them to cut out (the surgeon showed me with his giant mammoth hands) about what he cut out….skin, tissue, fat, whatever wise. They used fancy internal sutures called bolsters because fat doesn’t really support growth back together and then approximately 6 million external stitches (I could be exaggerating by maybe a million) sutures. But there were a bunch.  Seriously, my surgeon is very well respected and top notch and the engineering feat he did to make this work (as much as it has so far) is astounding (according to all the doctors, surgeons and otherwise who saw it).

I have yet to actually see what this creation looks like. I can see an odd shape part on my upper outer though (which is largely swollen tissue and will decrease over time). I’ve told every medical professional and friend who has seen it (in the course of changing not to say ‘oh my god’ or ‘wow’ or ‘holy shit’ or anything to that matter when viewing.  I only ask that my surgeon and doctor tell me how it looks…better, worse, is it healing up, etc. THAT’S IT.

In fact at my appointment Thursday my surgeon asked had I noticed any changes and when I said I hadn’t looked at it yet he laughed.  So glad he thinks I’m funny. I told him frankly: I’m literally traumatized by this.

My best friend has assured me it’s not that bad. But I know with the tissue he cut out I am at least mildly deformed. Sure, it’s new. It’s not even healed. But I feel deformed. I feel ugly with this gaping monstrosity attached to me.

One of the men I formerly dated and I were having a discussion about it and he called it asking ‘are you afraid no one will find you attractive because of THIS?’ He went on to say any man worth dating won’t give a damn about any scars and that he’d be dating me for every part of me, even the ones I perceived as ugly.  While that made me feel good I know his words were coming from a place where a teary eyed woman he once loved was hurting.

I literally can’t stop imagining the Frankenstein crap going on there.  Maybe I don’t have enough stress in my mind so I’m worried about something so cosmetic and ridiculous to distract me.

I’ve got plenty of scars. I have them all over, most under my clothes of course.  Shit, I rarely offer up explanations. Only 2 boyfriends have ever asked what any of them were from. Guess that shows the quality of men I date. Or that they knew I’d snap their damn heads off for asking.

No matter what size I’ve ever been, no matter if I had a pimple, or a sunburn or was busting out of my pants I’ve always felt, well, sexy.  I think my friends who read this who know me IRL know I’m about as full of myself as a person can be without being *too* obnoxious. Only somewhat obIoxious. But really, I know its vain. And right now my disfigured right thigh/hip AND having to use a walker, I feel pretty love on the attractive chain. I could probably do with some therapy about now.

Instead I think I’ll take a nap and try to dream of things that make me happy.

(this is Bionica, My new right hip. She is healthy and beautiful according to the doctor and x-ray techs)

Bionica, my new right hip

Bionica, my new right hip


About limpalongwithme

Quasi geek, social butterfly, information sponge, lover of spas and I spend my days dealing with major chronic back and hip pain. Recently diagnosed with dysplastic hips as a grown woman and I need a place to talk about it as I try to move forward.
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