As non-doctors we’re all conditioned by what we’ve learned from our parents, from trips to the doctor, and God forbid what we read on WedMD and Google to self-diagnose. By Friday morning at my appointment I was convinced that I has full of infection and going back into the hospital. I should note that Thursday night I could no longer get a good seal on my wound vac and couldn’t deal with the constant leaking and beeping the machine was making. So, I lay on my other hip on bed on a towel, pulled off all the draping and poured a bottle of saline into the black foam. I was slowly able to get the foam out as the saline penetrated and soaked and then released the foam from my skin and wound tissue. I sloppily taped myself up after filling the wound with rolled gauze. I know it was sloppy because in the middle of the night that bad boy leaked all over my sheets. Thank God I had black sheets and not the light colored ones on my bed or I would have thought a murder had taken place. It was kind of nice not to sleep attached to my tubing.
Anyway Friday morning a friend who came over to take out the trash (hahah, I know, I’m lazy. Also, it’s difficult being off balance taking out trash bags. Plus I had done some cleaning so I had HEAVY bags. Grrrr. I was in a hurry and there’s a timeframe in the morning before we’re allowed to take out the trash, I was just getting out of the shower (btw I’ve begun showering in the normal bathroom again instead of the master bathroom where it’s setup for handicap access…have to admit, it was amazing just to shower in my ‘normal’ bathroom). Anyway I was once again lying on the bed trying to bandage myself. Said friend came to see if there was bathroom trash and said he promised not to look at the wound. The last time he’d seen it was before the wound vac install when the incision was no more than 3 or 4 inches long. And then he exited the bathroom at the wrong moment. “I don’t know what to say to that. WHAT DID THEY DO TO YOU? I’m truly horrified.”
Good. See? I’m not whiny for nothing, bud.
Anyway he ended up putting on some gloves and doing the taping up which I appreciated on account of not wanting to leak gross crap all over my pants.
At the wound care center I was disturbed to hear the PA’s discuss that since my wound measurement is measuring larger and not smaller, that I have one more chance of a large measurement before the insurance company will take away the wound vac!!! Since the wound is in a precarious position, it depends on how my leg is positioned as to how the wound measures. It sucks. Everyone who toches or or who has seen me at the clinic (which is all but like one person) always peek their heads in to tell me how much better it looks.
The wound is less deep, still troubling deep but not as deep and its getting less wide as I grow new skin. I even asked Friday to see the new pics. They showed me pics from the first few weeks until the last 2 weeks. Even I can see and I‘m not just being overly optimistic.
I talked to the nurse, PA and doctor about the green color of the drainage (tip: if there are body fluids in you and they rest for a while without movement they go from their ‘natural’color, to yellow, to green. So on those mornings you blow your nose and its an unattractive green and you assume you’re dying from a sinus infection? No. Blow again in 30 minutes and most likely it will be clear. Good to know doc). He did some debridement, I had a few weird spots, but he pronounced me infection free. Also, they used 3 tubes of lidocaine and 1 bottle of lidocaine to numb me. I had so much inside me it started eventually pouring out of me.
Hey did my vitals and I had a low fever, not alarmingly high but enough for concern. My blood pressure was crazy low. In fact, a few times when I was in the hospital my blood pressure dropped really low, then the alarms started going off and everyone on staff was your best friend to try and get your BP up. Yea 90/42. Even I was worried about that! They asked a few times how I felt, was I dizzy, etc. It did see, I felt a little off while lying on the bed but it was difficult to say for sure since I was tired too.
I confessed to the doctor I hadn’t eaten or drunk anything and by this point it was well after 10. So then got the lecture about eating and drinking, feeling my body and how I’m not going to heal unless I’m taking care of myself. Rest, nutrition, fluids. NO WONDER YOU’RE TIRED!!!!
I had mentioned this on Facebook the other day that eating is so difficult right now because I feel grossed out eating lately. Not sure I grossed out is the right word but it seems to be the only one that makes sense. Icky. Grossed out. Bleh. Then I’ll have a moment where I HAVE to eat or I will punch something (not really) but ones that moment has passed, I’m good. Also, I’m too lazy to prepare meals, and too lazy to go out in search of food. So there you go. What have I turned into???
Friday evening was my nieces dance recital rehearsal which was at a high school and required too much walking, too much back and forth, too much of it all. She spent the night with me. We stopped and ate dinner and then by the time we got home it was almost 9. Enough time to get her in the bath, and then do some coloring with her before corralling her into an early bed. I was up at 5, showered then had to get her up and motivated and dressed and tarted up in dance makeup. Got to the school got her in the dressing rooms and eventually got seated. I’ve never been so happy for auditorium seats.
There was some back and forth during the LOOOONG recital but at the end, I asked my dad to get her because I felt like I could make no more steps. My body was so exhausted I felt delirious. Afterwards we went out to lunch to a place where it’s a lot of shops and restaurants but no closeby parking spaces really. Lol. Anyway it was nice to sit down, I ate a protein mostly lunch and then went to my parents house with them to do laundry (ugh…I rarely detest laundry…yesterday was an exception).
Now as it happened, during lunch my niece knocked Vlad (the wound vacs nickname) onto the very hard concrete floor at the restaurant. Immediately it stopped working. Fuuuucccckkk. I turned it off, turned it back on (hahah I’m an IT person, must work for everything). It took a but finally got up to the right amount of pressure. Or so I thought. It spent the rest of last night beeping because it had low pressure. It was driving me crazy. At my parents house I checked the tubing, re-connected everything. My wound was HOT. Like, super hot to touch. And it hurt more than it has in ages. It was disconcerting because increased pain+hot to me means potential infection. I hadn’t taken any meds for breakthrough pain because my blood pressure had been so incredibly low that I remember in the hospital that when mine dropped they would pull me off anything major for pain to get my BP back up. Since, you know, pain makes your blood pressure increase. Or something like that.
Last night I was meeting a friend for dinner and the restaurant choice was mine. I’d foolishly chosen Old Town Alexandria, which if you don’t live here you don’t know that parking is a beast there. I was able to find a good spot around the block from the restaurant and while the walk was exhausting, I figured ot that at that point in the night, I could have had valet parking and still been exhausted.
Had a nice time being out and it not being medical related. Much needed friend time. By the time I got home I didn’t even turn on the lights. I had my laundry basket on wheels…wheeled it right to the bedroom, used the bathroom, brushed my teeth, took my antibiotic and then went to bed.
That kind of day.
I’m calling the wound care clinic tomorrow about the super hot to the touch/redness I’ve got going on. At this point I just can’t afford to let things linger. I really thought about going to the ER but with no fever…there’s not much they’d likely do anyway. Every little thing my body does anymore makes me paranoid and I hate it more than I can tell you.
It’s weird how some days I seem ok with all this, then sometimes I feel like a damn mess. I’ll start crying for seemingly ‘no’ reason. I know it’s my body just dealing with the BS of pain, fatigue, and healing…but it’s embarrassing. I’m too old to cry for not reason. Suffice today today I feel like a damn mess. Hell, even yesterday. Oh the wound vac eventually stopped beeping before I got to the restaurant and it’s been ok today. ALTHOUGH I had to change the canister just as I got home last night…lasted only 16 hours. A new low for sure. Guess it was all the activity and movement. Further reason I should start resting more. Even if I don’t want to, I think I’m doing more harm than good. I just hate feeling like a baby or that I need someone to help me with things, even little things. Humiliating.