The Things That Get You Through

There are little traditions we all have that make life a little more enjoyable. That’s part of the reason we celebrate birthdays and random holidays. Sometimes we make up holidays. You feel the need to celebrate? Have a few pals over? Let’s celebrate the hottest day of the decade with a cook out, some corn hole and cheap beer then make a mental note to repeat this next year. You rescued a puppy from the side of the road, spent a thousand bucks getting him all fixed up. Let’s celebrate his new birthday every year. Sure…eccentric a bit but it makes life a little more fun.

When I moved to DC my sister was pregnant with my niece; my nephew was 7. My niece was born in April and the kids, along with my dad and sister and myself went to a big pumpkin patch called Belvedere Plantation. There’s a million pumpkin patches. Some are just pumpkin patches. Others, like this, have all kinds of activities for the kids, hay rides to the pumpkin patch to choose your own pumpkin. Apple cider, Zip lines, pig races. My sister was only able to go those first two years. After that it was me, my dad and the kids.

I had a new co-worker with a son a year older than my niece and so we invited her family. And suddenly: a fantastic tradition. Some point in October we all pile in our vehicles and head down to the pumpkin patch. The last few years for me have been bad. They’ve added all kinds of neat things for the kids but largely I spend most of my time watching everyone walk off to do activities and me catching up to them.

The reality is it’s one day that the kids have a blast, get worn out. The adults have fun too…partly because it’s a joy watching the kids so excited.  We spend way too much money on lunch, drinks, and pumpkins. The kids have to get cider in a little pumpkin cup. And the adults all get kettle corn. The day ends with a fun hayride, we pick pumpkins (although the last few years I stopped choosing one…meh…I won’t carve it anyway).

By the time we leave, everyone – adults and kids alike are exhausted. But it’s a great day and it’s something I look forward to immensely.

Last year was a bad pain day. It was such an incredibly bad pain day I spent half the time I was there sitting at a picnic table watching for everyone from afar. 3 of my friends families came. All in all, 7 adults and 8 kids. It was nearly chaotic but man…a great day. Perfect fall weather. The kids got along, the petting zoo entertained, the zip lines, the slides, the bike races, the corn maze and so much more.

And I sat.

And I watched.

I confided in my dad that I would likely need assistance getting into the hay ride and getting out of it. My mother suggested I take her scooter…but…it’s a bumpy, often muddy terrain not really suitable for an electric scooter. I snapped pics. Located kids. Served as a central point of alert by text. ‘face painting tent’; ‘pig races in 20, heading now’; ‘hayride in 15, kids on bouncy pillow’; ‘just spotted my dad with your baby’.

A necessary job and one that needed to be done. Standing was agony. Walking was worse. I was so late getting to one of the events we had to kick a couple kids off the seats (no biggie, my niece sat in my lap). The worst part was that I had taken precautions to make sure I was well dosed up with the appropriate meds. Light muscle relaxer for my hip flexors, my pain patch was new and I had my backup pain meds. By the end of the day the pain was so unbelievable it rocked my body. My body shook with pain. I was weak, I was sad, I spent the drive back to my parents house holding back tears while the kids and my dad slept (I was wide awake…it was almost like my body said ‘pain meds? Hahahahahahah let’s switch this pain stuff out with some baby aspirin instead’ that’s really what it felt like.

After getting them all home and I got into my own vehicle and drove home…I could barely function. I cried as soon as I left the driveway, and managed to eventually stop by the time I badged into my apartment complex.

So I say all this because I was thinking suddenly the other day…oh my God…it’s the end of September…it’s time to schedule Pumpkin Patch day! Without knowing when I’ll have surgery…which will render me on bedrest or in the hospital still. Or – and this may almost be even worse…going and basically doing even less walking than last year.

I don’t want to miss it. It’s one of the few family things that we do that I’ve done since I moved here. I don’t want to miss it. I love being there with my family and my friends and their awesome kids. It breaks my heart to think I’ll be unable to attend.

I’d put the whole thing out of my head since Sunday but today one of my friends brought it up in conversation with another of my friends. We need to choose a date.  All of us have kids with assorted weekend activities…so coordination is key. On one hand I’ll just die a thousand deaths if I have to wait until the end of October for this surgery. On the other hand…I’ll be so depressed over something that really is relatively small in the grand scheme of things as my dad carries on the tradition without me.

My friends joked my dad would carry my spirit with him and I laughed. It just won’t be the same. Just like I probably won’t be able to take my niece for her annual Halloween pictures (one of my friends is a genius gifted costumer. She makes elaborate costumes for her son and my niece and we get their pictures together every year.)  But the walk through the mall to the photography studio…

Life moves on. I know it does. I just feel like I’ve been cheated out of so much this year. It’s hard to feel ok about things when those little things that make life a little more fun are taken away from you.

 

She was too cute.

She was too cute. Even cuter once I had a 3rd eye painted onto her forehead

Not so impressed with her face painting

Not so impressed with her face painting

Forced into wearing a pig nose

Forced into wearing a pig nose

We try to get into the Halloween spirit at the Pumpkin patch

We try to get into the Halloween spirit at the Pumpkin patch

2013 Pumpkin Patch

2011 getting ready to head out!

Selfie of a selfie

Selfie of a selfie

Was cool and windy

Was cool and windy

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More than enough already

Some days I worry about the amount of complaining I do. And some days I don’t give a damn. Some days I just want the carousel to stop so I can get off this elaborately painted horse called life. And then some days I want to just jump off the carousel, land where I land…get up, dust myself off and move along. Kind of like how kids do it. I might ask for an obligatory Barbie Band-Aid because who doesn’t love a cute Band-Aid?

This week began with moving offices. Actually that was last week but in the cluster that was the office arrangements between ours and another, my office was assigned to two interns. INTERNS. By Monday morning they had vacated into a new temporary spot. I spent Monday camped out in a colleagues office. My office is still not setup correctly and I suspect it will be a while before it is.

The upside: getting to see so many of my colleagues that I haven’t had the pleasure of interacting with over the last few years. Usually that’s followed by ‘wow you look…great’ which means: holy shit you’ve lost a lot of weight but it would be improper of me to ask if you have cancer’.

The downside: I found a garage closer to my office but also not on a hill like my previous garage. The walk from that garage killed me. The hills, the cobblestone sidewalk. Just awful on my hips. This garage…while it is flat surfaced seems like a long walk. I did so much walking between the main office suite and my office suite (which by the way my office is wayyyyyyy on the back…offices have their privileges I suppose) that my body physically could not hold up. My hip has been leaking by mid-day, soaking my pants and I’m pretty sure ruining at least one office chair. It’s ok though the chair sucks. I’m having it removed from my office. Lol.

Yesterday I was leaving the suite and my big boss was behind me “You look exhausted, like you’ve had enough”

Yep. Yes I have.

I want so badly to lead a normal life to not look at a walk to the bathroom as a death march. Because right now that’s exactly what it feels like. I walked so much this week I had cramps in my abdominal muscles and in my feet from tensing them up. It’s the worst.

People look at you so pathetic. They want to know, they want to ask. Some do. Yesterday an older man I’ve worked with off and on over the years saw me “What happened to YOU? You sure have slowed down!”

Uh. Thanks. “Botched hip replacement.”  It wasn’t so botched but its easier to say that than explain the open wounds, the INDs the multiple infections, the wound vac etc etc.  So. Botched surgery it is.

Last night I had trouble sleeping worrying about my appointment today. When I finally woke up I obsessed so much about what might happen that I was nauseous. My chest beat hard and fast out of my chest and all the calming breathing I could do didn’t help.

After checking my work mail, I grabbed my bag and left. I blared the music in my car to drown out the thoughts rolling around in my head. The only thoughts were bad. The only thoughts were how completely alone I feel lately. The only thoughts were how damaged I am.

At the hospital the Valet took my car (a whole 15 feet) and I hobbled inside. My body aches so badly from all the walking I’ve been doing lately. Ache isn’t even the right word. It’s this pain that radiates through every joint, every muscle. I admit…despite my own moratorium on xanax I took half of one just so I could stop the crying before I left the house.  You’d have thought that would relax my muscles and calm me down. Nope

As soon as I got out of the car I realized my wound had begun leaking. On hospital days I do’t do a full dressing because why waste medical supplies they’re going to remove in an hour or so and toss out. That shits expensive.

Fortunately they took me back quickly and when I undressed the wet spot on my pants was only the size of my palm. I guess that’s not so bad.

Had one of my favorite nurses who complimented me before remembering that a while back I told them the better I look the worst I feel. Hahah.

It didn’t take long for my surgeon to come in. I was barely cleaned and measured.

The good part is that my wound is visibly healing and my ship skin is healing nicely Still a mess but it’s looking better. He suggested that waiting longer makes it a better opportunity for healthy skin that is unlikely to get re-infected when he sews me up.

The bad. And this was the real bad. My insurance still hasn’t come back and approved him for surgery. I started tearing up. “How long is this going to take????” He said it should be soon. He told me it was odd because in other states he was approved by my insurance and it was a quick process.  Fucking Virginia.

He patted my shoulder as I was on the verge of tears and told me how well I’ve been doing and that when he ran track in HS his coach told his team to pretend the finish line wasn’t there. Don’t slow down when you see it, just keep going as fast as you can. My takeaway from his little story was that I need to stop whining and remember there IS in fact an end in sight and it’s not that far away.

Sigh.

I managed to wait until I left the hospital before I cried. I felt like crap from the meds. I drove home, logged in to work and despite not having much available sick leave, ended up taking the day off. I had so much to do. But it is what it is. I couldn’t telework knowing I would be crying and alternately falling asleep and I’m not going to cheat my employer when they’ve been generous to me.

So in a nutshell that’s it. No surgery. Not for a week. Not for 2 weeks maybe. And possibly not even 3 weeks. I want to crawl under a rock and never poke my head out again. The only thing keeping me from abject depression…oh who am I kidding, I am depressed. Shit. I just don’t know how much ore I can deal. I don’t know how much more my body can take. Or my mind. I have a ton of awesome friends. So many great friends but at the end of the day when I’m alone. Sleeping alone, grocery shopping alone, cleaning my house alone…all my friends have lives with kids, spouses or partners, families that keep them grounded.

In the end maybe I should be glad I’m not burdening anyone else with my life. Watching someone suffer when you can’t fix them is one of the worst feelings in the world.

Sigh

Bedtime. Made it all the way to 9:45 on a Friday night. Congrats.

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An open letter to the man (men) at Walgreens:

In a previous life, many years ago, I would have at the very least rolled my eyes at a seemingly able bodied person leaving their grocery cart by their car or in an empty spot without returning it to the cart corral or to the front of the store.

Today though…as I waddled/limped out of the exit of Walgreens with a cart full of bags of medical supplies and my right hand using a cane to balance my body you saw this as an opportunity for a good laugh. It was difficult enough to get the bags in the car…they hadn’t been bagged very well but I didn’t fault the clerk for that, wasn’t a really big deal since I had a large reusable shopping bag in the car I could use to take things upstairs to my apartment.

I heard you say loud enough for me to hear and your friend to hear ‘I guess some fatasses think they have an excuse not to take a cart back into the store’

Admittedly: the space between where my car was parked and back inside the store was not that far. But *far* is relative when every step you take is agony. When even standing. Just standing, holding up my body is taking every ounce of energy.

Your friend looked at me with a sort of pity. Maybe he had a mom or grandmother who was significantly immobilized. Maybe he saw firsthand at some point what suffering looks like. Because had YOU taken one moment to look at my face instead of my body you’d have seen what people at work saw today: suffering. It’s a bad day when even your boss’s boss says you look like you’re exhausted and have had too much today.

Yes, boss. Yes, I have.

Am I fat? Hell yes. But you have no idea that I’ve lost 50 pounds this year.  You have no idea how much time I’ve spent at the hospital. You have no idea what my right hip looks like. If I wasn’t so exhausted and in need of going home to change my bandage because my pants were soaked from leaking through I would have pulled out my phone and shown you some beautiful pictures of what my hip looked like yesterday morning when I snapped a picture.

And THEN I would have said “Hey jackass…tell me if you think you could walk around like this for 7 months. Live your life alone. Have to take care of yourself alone, cook your own meals, clean your own place, change your sheets, do the dishes, spend every moment obsessed about your nutrition and whether or not your next set of bloodwork will come back ok or you’ll be forced back into the hospital again.”

What would you have said then? Because I use a cane has zero to do with my fat ass. And everything to do with hip dysplasia, a seriously infected wound, and treatment and pain you can’t begin to imagine.

So before you open your mouth to judge someone next time and scowl because someone left a cart by her car instead of taking it all the way back in the store…why don’t you shut the F up? Oh and for what it’s worth…I spend a tremendous amount of money on wound care supplies and prescriptions. I’m kind to the employees, they know me by name and address me by name…I do the same to them. It’s a small infraction I already feel guilty enough about but being shamed in pubic in front of your friend doesn’t make the pain and agony of every moment of my existence any better.

 

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Surprised docs, Insurance woes, and Anxiety everywhere

The good, the bad, and the ugly

 

Going to make this quick. My eyes are already tired and I feel my bandage has leaked for the second time today and wet my pants. Wet my pants. There’s something every 40 year old woman want sot think about. At least this is my hip and not coming from someplace else.

Tuesday I went to the lab and had 9 tubes of blood drawn for my pre-surgical blood work. 9! 9 tubes! I can’t believe they took that much and let me leave; swear I needed a cookie and some OJ afterwards.  Went home and resumed working and then prayed long and hard that things would be ok for me come Friday.

Between there and Friday, I had a late day appointment to see my GP. Hadn’t seen him since last year and he wanted to adjust one of medications. When he came into the exam room he said “What’s happened to my Pammy?” I just laughed. I was having a very bad day. My body was overly exhausted…well…let me backup.  First, all of last week my body felt wrong. Hard to put another word on it. Just. Wrong. By the time I got to the doctors office, I felt awful and was in so much pain breathing was difficult. Of course, no parking spots directly in front of the entrance to his offices. Fudge. I parked at the end of the block…where, the 1 handicap spot was located…what a joke. I opened the door and a man parked next to me, an older gentleman. I stood and then slowly began moving. The man shut his car door then asked if he could assist me to my destination.

Sigh

“No thank you.”

By the time I got to the doctors office guess who was there? He was signing in. How embarrassing. I signed in, paid my co-pay then sat on the far side of the lobby near the water cooler. Was beginning to think park of my issues was dehydration. I got a cup of water, sat down and then began to fill out some paperwork. I guzzled down the cup of water then promptly dropped the cup and it rolled. I couldn’t see it. I was getting ready to get up when another older man came across the lobby, bent over next to me and retrieved the cup from under my chair.

And then I started crying. I felt bad, I was embarrassed. I felt so inadequate as a person. Can’t do some basic things. I cried silently for a few minutes until I managed to talk myself down off the mental ledge.

I had no idea doctors all corresponded like they do. He said he’d read through a stack of papers about 4 inches thick about me since my hip was replaced. We discussed a lot of things, and talked about the constant teeth grinding. Something has to give. I can (and do) wear a very sexy mouth guard but that just stops me from breaking my teeth, doesn’t do shit to stop the act of teeth grinding and gritting.

He put me on a new medication that should even me out (supposedly quickly although I’m still grinding the hell out of my teeth and can’t sleep at night). I’m trying not to take any additional sleep meds and let this stuff get into my body properly so I can sleep naturally. It’s a hell of a vicious cycle.

Thankfully he gave me a sample and asked me to see him before the end of the month. I told him there was a good chance I would be in the hospital or on bed rest so he said to just call so he could see if he needed to change the new med or change the dosage.  Oh and it turned out I was running a fever. I’d had one the day before and had one the next day too. Not sure what was going on but man…it drained me.

Fast Forward to Friday. I woke up feeling very optimistic. Running late, but optimistic nonetheless. Got pissy because the Valet was nowhere to be found. Like…if the valet takes a day off, fine…put up a damn sign. But in this case the valet that works at that entrance is just lazy. I mean, he doesn’t even park my car anymore, just leaves it in front of the hospital. Come on now.

Finally I found a space and despite the fact that my left hip keeps snapping and popping and every step I take makes me want to commit hari kiri I walked to the wound care center.

Nurse Ashley called me back. I could hear the PA Johanna training a new nurse on a few things in the room next door. I stripped down. Several of the nurses came in to say hi. We discussed hair color, vacations, and my progress. All the usual stuff.  I was happy my vitals were normal. No fever. BP was abnormally low but not off the charts low. No biggie.

Ashley undressed my wound, cleaned me. She remarked on the level of irritation on my hip…I thought things were looking better but really all I see is the upper part of my hip. It wasn’t until I snapped a pic that I could see what a nightmare of irritation was going on.

Johanna the PA came in to check things out. She asked if I was already scheduled for surgery and I replied yes the 18th even though I was waiting on insurance and lab approval.  She went and grabbed my labwork. There apparently was one test that had to be sent out but the rest were back. While a lot of the  key items that have been running low, they were still low but HIGHER which means, I’m getting better. So. Lab wise she cleared me for surgery. I was particularly concered (although perhaps I shouldn’t be) about my glucose. I wasn’t fasting but my glucose was 20 points lower than the lowest it should be. That morning, I’d had 2 venti drinks from Starbucks plus a breakfast sandwich. If anything it should be high. Curious. Hopefully it was a fluke.

Johanna asked if she could have the new nurse come take a look at my hip so she could follow my progress, I said yes. Of course then they both proceeded to feel around inside me and TOUCH MY FEMUR and completely gross me out. Bleackkkk. I was seriously about to vomit. Didn’t hurt but it felt weird in this way I can’t really explain.  They  finished up and Nurse Ashley was left to bandage me up. She bandaged me up so nicely I felt like I was wearing a diaper and a depends on my hip. Of course later in the day I discovered she hadn’t taped up a part near the bottom, missed it totally causing me to leak all over my pants twice and my couch. Ick.

As I was dressing, I asked about what I should do. Did I need to make an appointment, was someone from the scheduler office going to call me, what?  A few minutes later Johanna came back to tell me the bad news: Since my surgeon just transferred to VA my insurance has yet to clear him to perform surgery!!!  WTF?  She said he’s been cleared by all the other insurance companies but not mine. And it’s not like I have ‘Joes pretty good insurance’ I have good insurance. I started tearing up. So…she said he MIGHT be cleared by next week.  But it was a waiting game. I told her I couldn’t wait much longer.

And I have to be honest here, I’ve been draining crazy amounts of leakage. I’m at the point where I need to change my bandage twice a day. That’s unacceptable. I can’t handle this much longer. I feel like I’m on the brink of snapping.

Of course, I’m not going to but dealing with this makes every other small thing a huge thing. I’ve cried several times today over stupid things.

I’m just over this all. I’m not looking forward to surgery, a huge scar, massive pain, bedrest. But I’m looking forward to not leaking all over my clothes. I’m looking forward to getting on with my life. I’m so anxiety riddled all the time. Sigh.

So. I guess for now it’s a waiting game. I’ll see them Friday and hopefully they’ll have some good news. Although I do intend to make a few calls tomorrow morning with the insurance company and see if I can rightfully influence them to move along. Otherwise, I’m just stuck in limbo and it’s not fun or cute.

Sigh.

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Overexertion, Obsession, Home Health, and Abandonment

So much on my mind the last few days.

The biggest thing I’m worried about right now is my future lab work. The surgeon was quick to warn me that he wouldn’t do surgery if my labs weren’t good. I promised to eat and rest and take care of myself.  That was Friday.

I thought I’d been doing a good job. Saturday I went shopping with my mom and niece, then went grocery shopping with my dad and uncle and ended the evening taking my niece and nephew out for frozen yogurt. It was on the way to the Frozen Yogurt place that my body gave out. It is so frustrating…more than you can imagine. By the time we got back to my parents house my dad took one look at me and insisted I lay down before attempting to drive home.

I napped for an hour, then folded my laundry and headed back home. I spent my entire drive home freaking out because my new hip hurt. Perhaps not even hurt so much as that fact I could feel it. It’s not unusual for me to feel it for a day or so after the surgeon has messed around deep inside my hip. I had felt the residuals from my Friday appointment into early Saturday but after all the walking I’d done it was so intense. I e-mailed my best friend who had her hip replaced two years ago and she assured me if I had really messed it up the pain would be unbearable. It was painful but not killing me. I’ve had much worse.

Sunday and Monday I was exhausted. I’m certain it was from the movement of Saturday. It kills me that I get tired so easily. Not like I was ever going to run a marathon but damn…I should be able to do more than a few trips to the store in one day and be able to function. If I complain about being tired at the clinic they remind me all my bodies energy is going to heal my wound whether I want it to or not. Doing things outside my norm are going to tire me out.

I can’t wait until this is all a distant memory and I can do things without thinking about them so much in advance. I was cleaning off my hard drive (getting a new PC at work, yay!) and found a picture from 2008 when I did the Walk for Autism with my family and a group of friends. It was only a few miles – maybe 2.5. Thinking about walking that now is like a death march. There’s no way. I remember my dad took video during the walk and I saw how much I limped…I was mortified. Had I known back then that it was my hips and not my back I would have had them replaced then. I was younger and probably healthier.

One day. Not today, not tomorrow, not even next year. But one day I will walk those 2.5 miles. I’ll do another walk. I’ll have my strength and my life will stop feeling like I’m spinning my wheels.  It was such a perfect day. Early November. The air was crisp, sun shining, leaves falling off the trees, DC was beautiful.

Anyway yesterday afternoon I weighed myself (trying to stay off the scale every day since weight fluctuates daily – limiting myself to no more than every other day). I had to get off the scale and get back on. 7 pounds lost? How? How is it I’m eating like crazy and I lost 7 pounds since Saturday?  SOMEONE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME.  Ordinarily, I’d be ok losing 7 pounds but at this point I can’t lose anything because the surgeon will think I’m not eating and I’m not taking care of myself and if my lab work matches up with poor nutrition I’m in trouble. I broke my rule and weighed myself this morning…another pound and a half down. Trying to be calm and not be worried. I’m sure tomorrow I will be up a few pounds. I see the doctor in 2 days and I’ve got to get to at least have my nutrition at a good level so my lab tests come back closer to normal than they have been.

I probably would not have weighed myself yesterday except for running into my ex-bf. He looked at me weird, then gave me an awkward hug after which he pulled away from me and stammered out “You’ve…lost weight” but he said it without sounding excited or happy. I knew what he meant; I felt different. He hasn’t hugged me in some time (you know, being an ex and all) but I was meatier the last time that is for certain.

I hate that this year I’ve been completely obsessed by my weight and the issue of keeping it up. All in all, I’ve bounced around but at the end of the day between the day my hip was replaced and today, I’ve lost 41 pounds. That’s not *that* much but at the same time it is. I was comfortable the size I was. Now nothing fits and people who don’t see me regularly bring up the weight loss. I’m ok with people close to me mentioning it but today at the deli (which, I haven’t been there in months) some of the ladies who work there wouldn’t shut up about it. I was nice to them but it makes me sort of hate my body as it is now. I’ve always ‘suffered’ from an abundance of self-esteem no matter what my size was. Now stuff is smaller, my clothes don’t fit and my body doesn’t feel the same. It’s hard to explain I guess. No, it’s not. That’s exactly it. I don’t feel like the old me. And considering my weight was exactly the same for 10 years, I just don’t know how to deal.

The worst part is I feel like a horse’s ass for complaining about it. It moment I gain any of it back, I’ll freak out but most of my friends are on diets and trying to lose weight so…I should STFU.

In other news I had my first visit from the Home Health nurse. She was very nice and I told her she was wasting her time. Honestly, it’s a simple bandage change I can do that. She looked at my wound, everything was clean and nothing looked infected so that’s good. But then I’m on a metric F-ton of antibiotics every day so I should be infection free. She did look at the inflamed skin around the wound from me scratching like a dumbass. I keep waking myself up scratching. Began using Benadryl spray on it and that seems to be keeping the itchiness to a minimum. She suggested I use Vaseline. VASELINE. I looked at her like she had lobsters crawling out of her ears. “The oil in it will lift the tape. Also, it will stick to my clothing and cause stains.” Seriously, I wanted to ask her if she thought about it before she opened her mouth. BUT since she is nice and she was just trying to help so I kept my attitude to myself.

In the end, she changed my dressing and it became apparent the people at the wound center did not prepare me adequately. They started using this dressing to go inside my wound but only gave me a few days worth. The nurse literally came with nothing but gloves. The fuck? I mean, yes I had my own supplies but that’s not how they said it would be. So…now I am out of the special healing stuff. The nurse said they could try to order me some. Uh. Ok? Try? Do I need this shit or not? Now I’m just using some stuff I’d used before on rolls of gauze, shoving it in my wound and praying for the best. Really, that’s all I can do I suppose.

Anyway I kind of feel like the wound center is tired of me and abandoning me and sort of turned me loose. Maybe I have issues…but really that’s sort of how it feels…especially since I only have a few more visits until surgery (unless something changes).

I know at this point as long as I can keep away any infection and get the skin on my hip to heal up then I should be ok. I hope. Ugh.

Ok time to finish eating dinner…which I should add…I left Walgreens after stocking up on more supplies and I was heading home when I realized I needed something for dinner. I sat in the car pouting, I hit the steering wheel a few times, cussed then finally turned my car in the direction to get something from a drive thru. Pathetic. I didn’t do a good job at lunch so I have to eat all I can now. Just really hate the way I feel when I eat. Anyway. The chicken is getting cold and beckoning me…

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Farewell Vlad and the Future Suture

Today is the first day in AGES that I see a glimmer of hope. That I feel like my life is turning a hopeful corner.  And not a moment too soon.

It was this past Tuesday as I headed down to the hospital on the all too familiar drive I suddenly shivered at the thought of what was about to take place.  Pretty routine at this point. Tuesdays I go to room 5, take off my pants, and lie on my left side with my ass exposed. The nurse and I chat; we make small talk peppered in with discussion about my wound. She takes my vitals then prepares me for the change out. Carefully, she removes the draping, tubing. If it’s a good day the yard of foam jammed into my hip will come out effortlessly. If, like this past Tuesday it is not a good day, she will have to pour saline over the foam in the wound to saturate it and loosen it up. Either way, the foam is removed, I usually wince as the last of it is pulled out, the nurse apologizes for hurting me (It doesn’t usually hurt, but it does feel…bizarre).

Then the real torment begins. First, they clean my hip…which is quite pleasurable actually. I know…sounds sick but really, it feels good! Especially since my hip has been so rashed up and hot because of the rash…the cool soap feels delightful. Then…they measure me. They measure the wound and I hear a lot of talking about 6 o’clock, 9 o’clock, 3 o’clock. The wound is measured with a clock in mind. Since there are different things going on inside the wound they have to make notes of all of them. I kind of feel sorry for these people. In the process of measuring, re-measuring and even more re-measuring they frequently cause pain. I can keep my mouth shut usually unless they hit a particularly sensitive area. Again, they’re so kind and sweet. The nurses apologize and I tell them not to…they can’t help it, they clearly are not trying to hurt me.

Once they’re done tormenting me, half the time a second nurse will have popped her head in to assist and then we chat. It’ a very team oriented place – I like that. Then my nurse will decide what kind of lidocaine to use either gel or liquid. They apply it liberally inside my wound and then cover me back up with the blanket and leave me alone for a bit. It takes about 10 minutes or so for the lidocaine to kick in. While I lay there, sometimes I close my eyes if I’m really tired and sometimes I juggle my phone and blackberry alternating between checking work e-mails and playing around on Facebook and Twitter.

After what seems like an eternity the PA or doctor (sometimes both) and nurse come in. More small talk and donning of purple hospital gloves. Then the real fun begins. Hands are stuck inside me. My wound is spread open, there’s poking with fingers, prodding of all the internal tissue. Moving stuff maybe? How to explain the way it feels…hmm. It’s not generally so much painful as it is extremely uncomfortable.  Sometimes it’s extremely painful when they hit a particular spot but as I said, just mostly uncomfortable.

The real pain tends to come after they’re done and my muscles and parts are no longer being fondled…then the pain comes and it’s the weirdest, deepest pain you can imagine.  Then after they’ve done whatever they need to do…by way of using metal tools to poke out miniscule pieces of foam, or scrape out suspect tissue that doesn’t look healthy…I am released back to the nurse. At that point about 2 feet of the grey foam is cut and shoved inside of me. Here lately since I’ve been healing inside, it’s been harder to get all the foam in that they need so more pressure.

ANYHOO so Tuesday as I drove to my appointment and thought about the poking, prodding, shoving, pushing, taping, patting, etc I felt sick. I did not want to do it and as I made the turn into the hospital complex parking lot, I was full of dread. I pulled up in front of the hospital and handed my keys to the valet and took the longest time to walk to the wound care clinic. And to make matters worse when I got there it turned out there was an emergency staff meeting so I had the pleasure of sitting there an extra half hour while they attended to the meeting. The longer I saw there, the more annoyed I became.

I had a good week with the vac. I changed the canister Monday after work, and then not again until Wednesday afternoon! This is fantastic…it is the longest I’ve gone…a full 48 hours.  Then for whatever reason I had to change it Thursday at noon, so that was weird.

This morning I headed in, I was trying to keep a positive frame of mind knowing that I’d be meeting with the surgeon. After having the foam PAINFULLY removed…not sure why it hurt so badly but boy did it ever…the surgeon came in and examined me. Poked around, touched stuff. I swear I know I have a new hip but he did something. By the time I left there I had such deep pain in my new hip. Gah!

I begin Home Health on Monday, but then the surgeon said he would see if he could get authorization and he’d take me into the OR on Wednesday. Don’t think I’ve ever been so excited! Then he asked me a bunch of questions he’s already asked before…am I diabetic, do I smoke, etc. He asked about my labs and said he would only do it if my labs were good.  Yikes. Not sure if he looked at them when he left, but he left for some reason and was gone for about 10 minutes. In the interim I was getting antsy because I remembered I had to go to the office for a meeting in the afternoon (normally I telework after my appointments).

When he returned he poked around a little more, he, the nurse and I made jokes about the soundtrack being played over the loudspeakers (theme from Superman!). There was a brief discussion between the three of us about Star Wars, Stark Trek and Game of Thrones and then I suddenly decided my surgeon was not quite the stiff I thought he was. And I decided to stop being so uptight and untrusting.

He will be gone the second week of September and told me he felt more comfortable being here and not leaving my post-surgical care to others even though ‘I know your care would be fantastic’. I appreciate he was concerned. At the end of the day he decided on September 18. He was really concerned about the quality of my hip skin because my skin is so rashed up and broken. Seriously, some days my skin just starts to break open and bleed…it’s pretty awful. And super itchy!

The good doctor decided to take me off the wound vac! I couldn’t believe it. I nearly levitated off the bed I felt so light and giddy. Seriously. He decided the vac wouldn’t do that much more in the next 2 weeks or so and it was more important to improve my skin quality as much as possible between now and the 18th so there’s minimal chance of infection and he has more good tissue to work with. I asked him to please keep in mind that I need to be stitched, stapled and superglued. And begged him to make it look as un-frankenstein like as possible. He looked at me sort of with a question in his eyes. Yea, as bad as it looks, there is little chance this is going to be one of those scars that eventually fades into the skin and is barely discernible. Oh well.

He re-iterated that I needed to take care of myself. Eat. EAT. Protein, protein drinks. Eat.  Hydrate. Take care of me. That is now my sole goal for the 18 days. I am going to focus only on food and will not use exhaustion as an excuse not to eat.  Seriously, I need this. I need him to sew me up. I’m desperate for it.

Oh and now for the bad news…bed rest. He made me promise that once released from the hospital I would lay down with as little movement as possible. He kept saying it in different ways but the message was the same: you are not to be moving that hip and leg.

Shit.

What this means is I will need babysitting. I do not like that. I didn’t do well with being babysat after I was released either time from the hospital. I do not do well when I’m imposing on someone else’s time. Seriously…how the hell am I supposed to move as little as possible?

I know it’s going to hurt like a beast and I have a feeling the pain is going to last for a while.  You don’t think the thigh/hip area is particularly sensitive but damn it is. I keep remembering the pain from my last surgical endeavors. Ugh.  At least while I’m in the hospital I’ll have good drugs.

Oh and the other thing…I do not have the time to take off from work. I’ll need several days in the hospital and then somehow I need to convince my boss to let me telework for a solid week. I’m hoping after that I can go back to the office, that I’ll be healed up enough. As my bestie pointed out…at least having another pay period to wait til surgery I can accumulate more leave time. And now that I’m switched to home health, I’ll be able to use less leave time for my appointments.  30 minutes vice 2 hours.

Back to today…so…I was bandaged up with some kind of fancy dressing. The nurse and PA assured me they’d talk to Home Health so on Monday my bandages would be changed by a nurse with the proper dressings. In the interim, my nurse at the clinic packed a bag for me loaded up with the special dressing to go inside my wound along with the external pads covering, tape, and some other items.  I almost interrupted her supply gathering to tell her I have plenty of ABD pads but the smart part of my brain said SHUT UP!  Those things are expensive and I need several each dressing change. I’ll change my own dressing tomorrow and Sunday and then hopefully the Home Health people will be here at a reasonable time on Monday. We never did discuss scheduling…in fact that sort of annoyed the shit out of me when the Rep called from the Home Health agency.

And that’s my life now. All I am going to do for the next 18 days is eat, rest, and try to be calm, not stress out and take care of me.  Easier said than done. I’ve been grinding my teeth so much the last few days that my jaw aches and my head hurts.  It’s making me crazy. Need to figure out how to calm down and stop it…but nothing seems to work. I thought I broke a tooth yesterday from teeth grinding!

But…on the upside, I ate all my dinner…protein first. And it’s been so easy to walk around without Vlad. It’s quite delightful. Going to enjoy this weekend without being tethered to machinery. Maybe being without it will help my teeth grinding once my body relaxes some? Oh and wish me luck that I don’t drain all over the place…forgot that was the one big issue with not being on a wound vac…the potential to leak!

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6 month checkup

Today was the 6 month checkup for my new hip. Well not so new – 6 months old now! If my hip were a baby, it would be able to sit up on its own and rollover by now.

I dressed smartly…was pretty certain I’d have x-rays and not wanting to strip down on a cold x-ray table, I wore a dress with no zippers. Was called back pretty quickly for a series of x-rays and while they focused on my new hip she did take some of both hips.

She escorted me to the exam room, a few minutes after my intake by the nurse where I was asked about medication changes and such, there was a knock on the door followed by a face I’d never seen before poking in.

“You’re not my surgeon.” I said.

He smiled and said he wasn’t, introduced himself as one of the Fellows at the clinic (sidenote, I miss Dr. Perkinson the previous fellow I saw all the time). He asked how I was doing and I said everything was fine. He looked at my x-rays quickly and then asked me to give him the story…he saw my wound vac and didn’t know my history. Figures. Actually the X-ray tech mentioned my wound. She said “Aren’t you the one that got an infection?” Like…are they sitting around talking about me and am I the problem child patient? I’m about 20 years younger than their average patient but I’m the one that got sick. So wrong.

Anyway we talked about my plastic surgeon closing it up, and how I didn’t want him to because I didn’t know anything about him…he said he knew him and he was a ‘good guy’ whatever that means. I guess it means he doesn’t aim to run over squirrels in the street. He asked to see my hip and said it looked good but then all he could see was the wound vac really. I offered to show him a picture of my wound taken on Tuesday. He excitedly looked at it and said it did look good and ready to close. Oh and while examining my x-ray he confirmed most of the tunneling was closed up. Excellent!

He left and a few minutes later my surgeon came in. He shook my hand and asked how things were going. He looked at my x-ray, talked about my wound and asked me to walk and stand on my right leg. My right leg…champ that it is…I was able to stand relatively balanced for a lot longer than the previous time he saw me. So, yay! He cautioned some of the exercises I do because it could be affecting my wound healing (I already knew that though). He will come in during surgery when the plastic surgeon closes me up…he also asked if the surgeon was planning to remove any excess tissue. We hadn’t discussed it. I mean, sure it would be great to have smaller hips (somewhat) but I don’t want to be all lopsided…so…yea.

Showed him the picture of the wound and he said it was ready and I told him my thought that the wound vac was supposed to fix all that…turns out no. The wound vac closes up internally, but will never close up the skin. So….he teased me by saying *maybe the plastic surgeon will do this outpatient*. Told him I already knew I’d be in the hospital, he laughed. He explained I’d probably have drains and possibly an incisional wound vac to help it initially heal. I guess all this will be confirmed when I further discuss with the wound care surgeon. But he felt like it was ready so this is good. I seriously still don’t trust my wound vac doctor. Can you tell?

He asked about my antibiotics, I’m on my last refill and don’t have any appointments with the Infectious Disease doctor scheduled. I’ve got maybe a week of antibiotics left. He told me he wanted me on them for a full year!!!! He wrote orders for me to give to her saying he wanted me on them through February of next year “As long as your body tolerates them”. Good lord.  Then he said started clicking things on the computer and spoke of labwork…well guess who was smart enough to bring her newest bloodwork? This girl. That’s right. He reviewed my latest blood work, then chastised my protein intake and told me I have to eat.  I KNOW. He wanted more blood work anyway – I think this is just to check my infection levels and make sure I’m clear. He said the ID doctor would want them anyway. Also, some of my blood cell counts were off and so I *could* still have an infection – although I really thought I was free and clear. Some of this stuff gets so mixed up.

He shook my hand again (he has enormous hands, whats with surgeons and enormous hands?) and asked me to see him in a few months, December or January after I’ve been closed up and have healed.

Lastly, he asked about my left hip and the degree of pain I’ve been in with it. I said it didn’t really matter since I couldn’t have anything done about it. He said we’d work on it (yay!) but first I needed “closure. And then closure.” I laughed at that, exactly. Wound must close and so must this right hip file.

He stood, I hopped off the table and followed him out as he still spoke, and reaffirming things he’d already said. I stood there awkwardly waiting for the lab work papers and finally asked him for them, he must have thought I was a weirdo just staring at him. He handed me the paper, shook my hand again (wtf?) and I said bye to him and his nurse.

Overall it was a great appointment. I’m so happy Bionica is doing well. I’d had some weird pain in my hip last week on that side and I was slightly concerned I’d done something stupid and loosened the prosthesis. Nope, I’m all good.  Guess my next big deal will be getting this damn thing sewn up…stitched, stapled, superglued. Whatever they can use to seal something I want them to use. No more openings in my body. Please.

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Bitter and Broken

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).

Now the rash has moved since the synthetic protectant was placed near the wound

Now the rash has moved since the synthetic protectant was placed near the wound

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Main dish of hating my new doctor along with a side order of rashed up hip

The last few weeks have been off and on with my wound vac. I’ve been having issues with my skin so now the focus is on trying to get my skin to heal some while wearing the wound vac. The draping combined with any tape I’ve used…that part of my body has been bandaged since February and is over adhesive.

This morning I am wearing a dress and I pulled up the hem because something felt weird…well right at the edge of where the draping stops on my thigh, my skin split open and started bleeding. Bleeding a lot too, not just a little.  WTF? I can’t even imagine what would cause that. After cleaning myself up with loads of alcohol wipes (OUCH, btw) I put on a large gauze pad and taped it up. More adhesives! Glad I keep supplies at the office.

I guess I should backup some. First, there’s a new surgeon working at the clinic and so I’ve seen him the last 2 Fridays. Do.Not.Like. I don’t know why I don’t like him, but I don’t. I’m trying to give him a chance because obviously I don’t have a choice in whether I see him…well, I have some choice. I can move my appointments to the afternoon and see the other doctor but I’d rather not. Just something about him I don’t care for. Maybe I’m just getting pissy and angry in my old age?

Coincidentally the last 2 Fridays they’ve also tormented me something fierce. Oh wow, I’ve been able to keep pain in the wound and wound area relatively low (for me) and then BAM they get done with their digging and metal tools and WOW my pain spikes way up for a few days. This past weekend I had pain all the way down my thigh until Monday and that is messed up.

I ended up taking my wound vac off Sunday because Friday and Saturday I went through twice the number of canisters than usual. Was thinking I could make it stay on until Monday – when my order would be delivered. I had 1 canister in the office and almost drove downtown to get it but decided at the end of the day, just take it off. I was going out Sunday to the movies and dinner and figured I didn’t want to get caught out and have it on then it fills and I’m stuck leaking everywhere. So Sunday I took it off bandaged the hell out of myself and called it a day.

The drainage has gone back to normal since Tuesday which…was yesterday so in a day it’s been normal. Lol.

Johanna the main PA I see is on vacation so her backup is seeing patients. He did not inspire a lot of confidence in me…felt like he was unsure what to say or do. I wanted to say “hey dude you sat in on my surgery…why the questions?”  He ordered bloodwork and I wanted them to do the full screen they did last time but he was wan to do it…just wanted protein.  Uhm. My numbers were all over the board for some of my things including several things out of range…I think since I was baselined with them they should keep ordering them. After some arguing he expanded but still didn’t do as much. I’ll make an appointment with my GP for the rest. My thought is…even if it isn’t directly related to my hips healing, shouldn’t you be even idly curious as a care provider? Or recommend I see someone about them? I’ve learned far too well how stuff you don’t think is related could very well be directly related to something else.  Urgh

I see my hip surgeon next week for my 6 month follow-up. I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since I got this new hip! I also can’t believe I still have a gaping wound. My left hip keeps threatening to pop out so I’ve been pretty unhappy but I’m trying to maintain because I really don’t have a choice. But between my hip threatening to pop out and my Hip Flexor so out of it that it snaps constantly, I’m in So.Much.Pain. I’ve been doing a pretty good job of not complaining to everyone who will sit still long enough but that’s probably because my brain is focused on other things…like my anxiety and stress are through the roof so I guess there’s that. Anyway I see him for my checkup, he will be displeased I am still using a cane but without it I can barely walk. My left hip and knee for that matter are THAT.BAD.  Yea, so.  Between that and the weak muscles on the right still, blah.

On the plus side the wound – as they said it would has begun healing quicker. I mean, yea it’s still a gross huge thing BUT…I was told things would be slow for a while and then would suddenly really begin the process. They were right (they are the experts, after all). I’m glad because I can see some of the improvements and I could feel them when bandaging myself. Still trying to get as much protein in as I possibly can – and that won’t change anytime soon. I’ve had 30 grams today so I need to go eat some lunch and have another 30 or so. Or make it all up with a protein drink shot tonight. Ick.

Guess I can end this.

TL;DR: I’m healing faster and hate my new doctor and expect to get yelled at by my hip surgeon next week

 

The 'periwound' is covered in rashes and developing sores from the drape :(

The ‘periwound’ is covered in rashes and developing sores from the drape 😦

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Broken seals and vanity (and a slightly graphic pic)

Managed to keep my wound vac on for the whole weekend, it wasn’t until Tuesday morning that the draping started to loosen and the seal broke.  I kept smelling something weird and gross. I’m still on a metric F-ton of antibiotics so I should not have any infection anywhere. Ended up disconnecting and heading to my appointment.

I whined and complained as soon as I got there and saw the PA Johanna, telling her she did awful things to me causing the incredible amounts of pain I endured over the weekend.  She swore all she did was pick out pieces of foam. So I will blame the scraping and stuff on the doctor.  This time I came prepared with my ipod at the ready in case more scraping was going to take place. Smart cookie, right?  Then at least I won’t hear the sound throughout my body.

Pulling out the foam was incredibly painful but as soon as it was done I felt immensely better.  My wound measured smaller all around, width, length, depth, the tunneling, all that. Not just measure smaller, but significantly smaller. Well, I don’t know if you’d consider it significant but I do and that’s what counts.  I’ve really tried to focus on my protein intake, trying to make sure I’m getting enough food in general. It sucks I hate eating but I’m trying every day to do better than the day before. Some days I succeed, some not. I know that overall that protein and rest contribute overall to my healing.

There was a little bit of work needed but overall everything looked clean and healthy internally. Externally the PA is troubled (as were the nurses…and me too for that matter) by the rash I have going on the outside. It’s a reaction to the draping and fairly normal when wearing this stuff for a while. I already have tape sensitive skin and keeping it in contact all the time is just making my skin angry as hell.

The nurse found a treatment/skin prep for me to help ease some of the rash and burning and I’m not sure it helped as of yet, guess we’ll see in a day or so. As of now it is still rashed up and annoying as shit.

We broke in a new nurse and I was not on my best behavior.  It was clear to me I talk too much during my appointments because we discussed my dating life and potential male patients who might be suitable for me. I was hoping there might be some there but there were not.  They remember more about me than I remember saying to them…guess over 22 appointments there’ve been a lot of discussions amongst us.

It did get me thinking about how I see the same people there all the time. Some I recognize, some I don’t. One guy was getting on the elevator and smiled at me, then did a double take and smiled at me again and I was all taken aback. I think hospitals must be good places to pick up men.  It’s amusing to me that as self-conscious of this wound vac hanging on me as I am that I still think I can get hit on, flirt and all that other stuff. Odd. Sometimes my self-esteem floweth over. And sometimes not so much.

On the way home after my appointment I stopped as a last thought and got my hair cut. I’ve been losing it for weeks, 2 foot long blonde hairs cover everything in my place. Seeing clumps of hair come out in the shower and brushing out so much damn hair…it really was taking a toll on me. I had colored my hair Monday night thinking keeping it lighter would prevent the weird roots from looking like I was balding. Something about my roots being dark had begun really looking like I had thinning hair. Anyway my hair was mid-back and now I cut it up to my chin. It’s drastic but it makes my hair look fuller and I haven’t been losing much hair since.  Of course. But anyway it looks better, healthier. It’s kind of a cute cut but so short, I haven’t grown into it yet. Give me some time and maybe 6 months for it to grow out. Lol. Or not.  So far everyone thinks or says it looks cute and ‘sassy’ but I’ll need to convince myself. Yes, vain vain vain.

Anyway last night I was up late and through some weird thing the seal on my vac popped and some of the foam came out. Fuck. I mean, it was barely 12 hours old. It didn’t hurt but it pissed me off that It was the very same day it was put on. In the end I put 4 more pieces of drape on there and it seemed to hold. Today the vac has been temperamental and I can tell the foam isn’t quite in the right spot perhaps. There’s a high pitched whine coming from my hip. I’m quite entertaining to myself!

The picture below is kiiinda disgusting and graphic. In it Johanna is digging around. As you can see there’s part of my wound there and a very large metal instrument. Go ahead and imagine having to have that on your hip and have people poke around. Now feel queasy. Now feel a tiny bit sorry for me.  Now get on with your day/night. 🙂

The PA inspects my wound with a point metal thingy

The PA inspects my wound with a pointy metal thingy

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