The lighting in my living room was dim; I’d had a few drinks and I glanced down at the oddly shape large bruise on my chest. The bruise replaced the giant cyst that once inhabited the area. It had been drained with a large gauge needle I think my surgeon chose just based on the fact that he was annoyed with me and wanted to inflict more pain.
After it had been drained, it took 3 or so days for the hospital lab to grow the proper culture and determine what it was. Was it just a cyst? Was it something more?
Quick background: the cyst showed up about 6 months before my hip replacement. It was a pea size thing that didn’t hurt and for the most part didn’t worry me. Was my most recent ex boyfriend who noticed it and insisted I get it checked – and I didn’t. How could a small cyst on my chest be in any way connected to anything else?
After my hip was replaced and I left the hospital, the next morning I woke up with incredible amounts of chest pain. I saw that the cyst appeared to have imploded. It was hot, tender, and hurt. But what hurt even more was my hip incision so I ignored it. Fast forward 10 days when I was admitted into the hospital with the big infected incision and I forgot about the cyst.
I ended up being on so many antibiotics that I assumed whatever had been there, would go away, obliterated by 6 hours a day off and on with IV antibiotics. Turned out that was not the case and in fact, it got worse. My ex came to visit me in the hospital and as he left and hugged me by I inhaled sharply and yelped in pain. He insisted on seeing the cyst and after some chastising me for not having had it already looked at, he threatened that if I did not have my surgeon check it out that day, that he would sit in my hospital room until a doctor showed up to insist he/she examine it. Because I know him, I KNEW he would do just that so that day I showed it to the physician who came in for the daily check in, who then showed it to one of my two Infectious Disease doctors who then had my surgeon drain it with the ginormous needle. BTW the skin on your chest is so incredibly tender. Even my bandage change pain med didn’t touch the pain of that.
He drained out a bunch of revolting looking stuff…and there you go.
Hindsight, had I shown them that to begin with, my stay at the hospital possibly would have been shorter because the mystery of what was going on with me but that would necessitated me listening to the ex.
Anyway after it was drained it filled backup and slowly, though remaining warm to the touch and even painful over the last 2 months. Slow but sure it now looks like a bruise, like I got into a barfight and someone got a good punch in my chest.
I touch it in passing, during the shower when I’m soapy and not much paying attention.
But on this particular night with the lights dim and nothing else on my mind other than the standard obsessing over the betrayal of my body; I felt it.
It wasn’t the same pea size lump. It was slightly larger than the size of a pinhead but large enough to snap my vodka buzz into sober.
It had only been 3 days without Pixie the PICC line and 3 days on oral suppressive antibiotics (which, btw make my stomach ache something fierce). In a flash all I could see is more large needles, possibly having the smooth skin of my chest cut open leaving a big ugly scar. To this point most of my scars are obscured by clothing. The idea that one would be in a spot for the world to see..make me queasy.
Since I discovered this late in the evening on a Thursday, then forgot about it on Friday and the there was the holiday weekend where every single time I touched my chest, I felt it – of course part of that was me pushing on it, obsessing. After what I’ve been through this year I feel like I have to be vigilant with my body.
In an ironic twist, the scheduler at my Infection Disease doctors office called yesterday to make a follow-up appointment. The appointment would not be for nearly a month but when I told her about the cyst she said she’d call back shortly. About 2 minutes later she called back and instructed me to stay on the oral antibiotics and now I’ll see the doctor next week instead.
I’m trying not to be so angry at everything and everyone all the time, but I am and it’s getting harder and harder to try to be nice. It’s getting harder to get out of bed, or get off the couch. It’s getting harder to focus on anything other than what kind of evil is lurking in my body.
Well that’s enough emo for today. So much on my mind. I just want to crawl under a rock as it is as following my appointment at wound care yesterday. Ok…back to work. Lunch time is over.