Over the last 7 weeks or so I’ve seen pretty much all the employees except one or two at the wound care center. For the sake of privacy I’ll change names here. Friday began like most other appointments except I had things to remember to discuss: Hair loss being chiefly among them.
Many of my friends are blessed with thick huge amounts of hair I am not one of those lucky ladies. Not like I’m bald or anything but I could do with some extra hair. Being that I’m blonde, and I usually have black sheets on my bed, I’ve been awakening the last week looking like I’ve had some crazy wild relations because there are strands of hair ALL over the bed. The pillows, the sheets, the comforter. Washing my hair, clumps of hair fall out and down the drain then brushing is not much better…bleakkk.
At my Friday appointment most of my favorite people were there. There’s one nurse or PA (I’m awful for not remembering which) her name is Katie. Katie has a semi potty mouth and I love her. She’s always been very creative with my wound care and has done a great job taking care of me and is full of advice.
This particular Friday I saw Leila, she’s a young nurse who leaves for Duke University this fall to starts school to become a PA. This Friday she ratted me out to the doctor!!!!!!!
The hospital just switched to a new electronic records system and so everything is in a state of confusion to some degree. She was going over my medications, and regrettably I was honest about what I had stopped taking. To include my pain meds. My Blood pressure was higher Friday and I told her I didn’t give a damn what it was I was going back on my pain meds. Of course, the irony is that after I got home I forgot where I hid the bottle. Hardy har har. Jokes on me. I stopped taking it 2 weeks ago when my BP dropped really low because at the hospital that’s what they did so they could get my BP to go up (I guess from pain?) Well, finally it was high. Higher than normal, letting me know its pain high. Since I live in an apartment building I have this fear that some maintenance guy will go nosing around and take my meds. So anything ‘good’ I hide. Usually I hide in some place I can locate. Not this time. I’m about to vomit from pain today so when I’m done with this, I’m going to tear apart my closet.
Sorry for the diversion there. Anyway Leila took out my wound vac and did all the usual things at an appointment; cleaned the wound, examined to make sure there were no pieces of foam embedded in me (there were, but that’s not a big deal). She washed it out, told me everything looked good, measured me externally and internally and then loaded me up with a tube of lidocaine.
She continued entering health information, snapped a picture of the wound and I lay back and relaxed. Tried to think about random things like, how do those overhead light works? I’m glad I’m not the woman in the room next door. I wonder if Leila has pictures of the water balloon trebuchet she and her new boyfriend built on the Fourth of July to assault each other with on Facebook?
After about half an hour later Leila returned with Dr. Kelliher and he was his usual friendly self. Leila ratted me out that I admitted taking my wound vac out for about 3 hours the previous day in 40 minute increments. He said it should stay on 24/7 and it shouldn’t be that uncomfortable. Well, Listen doc…you carry around 10 or 15 extra pounds around your waist and hips and let me know how that makes you feel.
We discussed the fact that I’m going through 2 canisters a day vice my previous 1 every day. He said it wasn’t a huge concern just that I’m losing tons of protein. I swear to God in heaven I wish they’d send me down to the blood bank and give me a transfusion or two. I need the energy so badly.
We discussed my nutrition and I told him I was trying my hardest to eat (ironically, I have been so damn starving the last three days it’s like I have a tapeworm. Suspect hormones. Then next week I’ll starve myself again. But whatever. For now, I feast like a cave woman. Or cave man. Or starving wolf.
While he chatted with me and Leila worked on cutting up the foam to fill my wound, my other favorite PA poked her head in, snapped on some gloves, smiled her pretty smile then proceeded to jam her fucking hand inside my wound. Dr. Kelliher and the PA Johanna sat there digging around, cutting stuff off and then as I lay on my left hip thinking about how incredibly unsexy it is to say ‘please don’t shove your hand inside of me.’ I realize something weird is going on. I lean my head back “I’m sorry, but are you touching my bone?”
Johanna jumped in ‘Yes. Yes I am. Well sort of.”
I leaned over the other side of the bed and immediately gagged. Something about having someone touch your BONE FROM THE INSIDE that is just wrong wrong wrong wrong. Johanna explained that there was tissue covering it, but essentially yes, she was touching the bone.
Can you say GAH???
Now that you’ve let that set in I’ll continue.
In addition to that fun, I had Dr. Kelliher look at my chest which is still bruised from the giant cyst/tumor/baby alien that previously was in my chest but had been drained off in March and found to be full of infection. The good doc said the bruise should hav long disappeared even with my body directing energy to fixing my hip.
At the end of the day they decided since I have some tunneling down deep (hence why they could TOUCH MY BONE). Since I haven’t seen the surgeon since the day he put the wound vac in they want me to see him now. So, originally Wednesday I was supposed to see him but they called and changed and said it would be Monday. I have a feeling this shit is going to hurt. While he’s looking at my hip the Doctor told me he wanted me to have the surgeon look at my chest so we can get whatever is growing removed (“It will leave a scar, but better than a permanent bruise”…Huh? Really) It’s true, I don’t like looking like someone punched me in the chest.
Oh and my other favorite moment was me talking about the sheer amount of hair loss I’m going through, like clumps of hair, everywhere, all the time. Dr Kelliher pulled back the blanket, looked at my legs and said “Are you growing leg hair?”
Uhh…I didn’t know that it was an option! Turns out inhibited hair growth on the body is a sign of other issues. But that at the end of the day 7 weeks after anesthesia your body goes through an adjustment period and its normal to have an appetite change, and not uncommon to lose hair. He’ll do all my tests again in a few weeks to make sure I’m not lower still on my counts than I should be but for now he wants me to keep an eye on the hair loss. Supposedly it should even out. Hopefully before I go bald.
So, I guess Monday I’ll see what torture happens. Those appointments drain me so much. It’s difficult to explain or even understand for me. How can I be so tired just by them digging around my hip? It’s all I can do to even stay awake most days. I’ll be sitting here reading or watching tv and then blam! I’m asleep and I wake up 3 hours later.
I felt bad yesterday for my niece. I wanted to play all day but I napped twice. Although it was hard to nap with her constantly flinging her body on me to hug me, check my pulse, leave me food offerings (I woke up with a banana on my chest? Weird.).
Annnnnd my best friend is coming over tonight with her husband and youngest daughter. I plan to cook a meal…so that means…NAPTIME for me! Seriously I can barely keep my eyes open now. Bet this blog is loaded down with typos