It was mid-May when I had my last surgery and my wound vac installed. At my last appointment my wound care team decided it was time for me to see the surgeon. Originally they had me set to see him Wednesday but they got me in today.
As usual, got to the hospital, limped down to the wound care center and took a seat. Called back, and as Kerianne my nurse and Johanna my PA were saying hi and putting my stats into the compuer meanwhile I realized I don’t bother waiting for privacy. I stripped off my pants leisurely folded them, got into position on the bed and partially covered my lower half with a blanket. Like, I literally could not care less. I was wearing cute panties, and felt like I should take off my blouse just so I could show them I matched my bra and panties. I mean, these are the only people seeing me naked or in various stages of naked so I feel like I should make it count, Most of their patients are 30 -40 years older than me sooooo I am sure they don’t see what I’m offering up. Nor do I think they care. But hey if I can entertain them at the end of the day they can say ‘did you see those leopard print panties on the patient in room 5? What was she thinking???’ then I can assume my job is complete.
And before I continue I should say that these people…I’ve never seen so much team work, they all constantly help each other with every little thing. They are the most compassionate group of people, you can see they genuinely care about the comfort and healing in their patients.
Anyhooo my vac foam wouldn’t come out so it ended up taking 2 nurses, lidocaine, a bit of time and a three step process to get it all out. My skin burned and felt singed. It was awful. When Katie my favorite poked her head in she said ‘Oh my god, that looks awful, it looks so incredibly painful. How are you feeling?” See? Concerned. And she had been busy doing something else but came to check on me.
Kerianne loaded me up with lidocaine and left me to lie there and play on my phone, the occasional employee poking their head in to say hi and check on me. Finally, the surgeon and another PA whom I don’t see much but who assisted with my surgery came in. There was poking, prodding, discussing.
At the end of it all, the surgeon, Dr. Denison told me I’m not healing as I should. I should be further along. I protested that everyone claims I’m doing well. He said I was somewhat but I should be much further along. Leaving it to continue so slowly means another surgery in my future. So I got another lecture on nutrition He explained that even using supplements, a person only gets a fraction of the protein. When I told him I was instructed 100-120 grams of protein he said that was the minimum. I should be getting closer to 160. Jesus. I don’t have a clue to how to make that happen. I mean, I do…but damn.
Kerianne replaced all the foam, the draping and then demanded she show me in a mirror because she placed a piece of foam in a special spot and she didn’t want me worried. I didn’t want to see. I was horrified by the skin around the outside of my wound. Its so worn out. Red, bright red, angry, sore, and hell it even looks painful and that’s not even my thought, any person who saw it would think it looked terrible. Sigh
By the time I left, I was drained. A very nice hospital employee came up to me and asked where I was going. Told her just to the green parking lot. She kept asking if I was in pain. “In just left wound care, yes, I’m in pain.” But I was also limping heavily because my left hip is killing me so bad and needed to be popped back in. She said she had chronic back pain and any help was a life saver. What a doll she was. I assured her I could make it to the front of the building, the exercise was good for me and thanked her profusely for her kindness and understanding.
The valet brought my car around (btw how can you be a terrible valet? Well this guy is). The moment I was buckled in, I started crying. Overwhelmed by the realization that I might (might, yes, I’m worried over nothing for now) have another surgery, worried over food, over my nutrition, over my not healing satisfactorily, over being anemic, over losing my hair like crazy, over having to avoid the sun, over every.single.thing.
Called mom and cried on her shoulder got home where my best friend, her husband and youngest daughter were here Cried some more then said goodbye so they could continue on their trip up north. Logged in to work and started dealing with some things there.
I think on top of everything else, seeing everyone going on vacation, even weekend trips to the beach, people with their sweethearts, their kids, all of that…makes me sad. I can’t go in the water, no swimming. I love swimming, I love being in the water. None of that. And as I approach 40 I feel more and more overwhelmed.
So…going forward I guess I’ll just carry around a bag of meat, triple my protein intake and get a lot of rest and hydration before my next surgeon appointment. If not, I fear what lies ahead. Eventually I’ll stop feeling sorry for myself, but it won’t be tonight. And probably not tomorrow.