I wasn’t prepared to hear the doctor at Wound Care talk about surgery, but that’s exactly what happened last Friday. I lay on the bed being examined by him…although really his examinations of me are far less intrusive than what the PA does…in fact I’d say she does a far better job than he. He poked around a little and said he was ready to close me up. What?
Isn’t that what the wound vac is for? All this time, aggravation, pain, annoyances…the whole point of the wound vac was to close me up. Well since I’m a bad girl and my body isn’t progressing as fast as they want he wants to go ahead and close me up. Uhm. Huh?
Since I’m infection free and it doesn’t look like the wound will ever close up all the way at this point, he wants to sew me back up. The doctor asked me some questions about my lifestyle habits – do I smoke, have diabetes, smoke marijuana. I got all paranoid about the marijuana because while I’ve never partaken we had just been reviewing my lab work and I wondered if there was something misleading in my lab work that pointed to drug use. Lol. I suggested he drug test me…at which point he said “I’m only asking….” I told him I do have prescription pain medication and he said “We’ll need to get a pain consult for while you’re in the hospital.” I looked at him quizzically. “Why would I need that? Aren’t you going to sew me up and send me home?”
“No. You’ll be in the hospital at least a week. At least.”
I got all flustered and panicked. “Hospital??”
Had not been expecting that. Suddenly the thought of what he planned to do hit me. I’d be cut a little bit around the existing wound, then sewn and stitched up. Drains would be placed in me and I’d have to go through the agony of my March trip to the hospital again. So much pain. So much crying. So much vomiting. Did I mention so much pain? I stumbled over my words and stuttered about how I couldn’t stay in the hospital again. Hospitals are disgusting places as it is.
Really I think my hesitation is knowing the amount of pain I’ll be in. It’s bad enough as is, but to add that? And it took weeks for that pain to die down. Weeks. I was in the hospital 3 weeks and it wasn’t until a week after I left that I could stand on my leg without wanting to punch someone.
Also I’m worried because of the tunneling along the length of my leg internally. What’s going to happen when the tissue settles in? I’m going to be even more deformed than I am now! It’s not like I have some swimsuit model body, but I’m pretty comfortable with me and do not relish the idea of some hideous misshapen thigh/hip. Since the surgeon is a plastic/reconstructive surgeon I can only imagine he would want to minimize the amount of disfiguration on my body.
He’s on vacation this week so he said we would discuss it further when he returned next week. Either way I’ll stay on the wound vac another month at the very least before he started cutting and stitching.
My lab work came back worse than the last time. I was pretty upset since I thought I’d been doing better. My protein levels are super low; hell everything was low except the stuff that was too high. I spent a bunch of time researching all the lab stuff online and trying to figure out how I was impacted by them.
I did figure out the protein thing…I’m drinking protein drinks but not enough of them often enough. I try to eat mainly protein first and figured out I’m seriously miscalculating my intake. Say I eat something that has 12 grams of protein in a serving…that’s great but I will only eat ¼ or ½ of it…so I think in my head I’ve had 12 grams of protein when in reality it’s closer to 6 or 3 grams. I’m not doing myself any favors. Also I’d lost 7 pounds – for which I apologized and swore to eat and gain them back. Ha. I crack myself up. At least I’m an entertaining patient.
In good news, this past Tuesday, my nurse noticed during the measuring of my wound that it wasn’t coming out right. She measured me several times and the PA confirmed – the wound closed externally 2 inches over the previous 4 days! Crazy! Johanna the PA asked what changed, what was I doing differently? I can’t pinpoint anything (other than possibly consuming more liquor the last week haha) but I decided not to share that with her.
I’d spent the first part of my appointment crying because we discussed surgery, my labs again, and having the wound vac changed out more frequently – they want me to go to 3 times a week. They also want me to call my insurance company and see if Home Health will come change it. This might be a good thing, might not. I really can’t afford to telework any more days. My boss has already been more than generous and I feel like I need to be in the office more. Anyway I was all teary and upset and Johanna told me the non-healing wasn’t my fault – “unless you’re doing something we don’t know about.” I assured her I was being kind as I could be to my hip, trying to do everything right. It’s just frustrating when your body won’t cooperate.
So that’s that. Oh and in the picture posted you see how right around the wound is all sort of normal? They are using some new type of synthetic skin bandage there to protect it…however all above that area? All irritated, rashed up and awful. I told the nurse they need to use the synthetic skin all the way up my hip to protect it (she did not agree).