Saturday, February 23, 2008

Déjà vu all over again

Long story, short: Kathy took off a morning of work and drove me over to Saginaw for my follow-up 9:00am appointment with Dr. Adams this past Thursday. I was thinking he would look at the incision, see how it's improved, tell me to go ahead and finish the 2 weeks of antibiotics and then be done with it.

My Mom used to call me her little Golden Girl when I was a kid, and even sometimes as an adult... she'd tell me her little Golden Girl was good, and when she was good, she was very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid. It's kinda like that, when I'm wrong, I'm really wrong.

Instead of the fine plan I had in mind, Dr. Adams sent me 2 miles down the road to the Saginaw Covenant Cooper hospital for an emergency CT scan. The scan showed that the pocket of fluid behind my incision had increased in size by about 50%. Two weeks ago, when I went into the hospital in Midland, it was 6 inches x 4 inches x 2 inches; so it was then about 9 x 6 x 3 inches. Dr. Adams admitted me into this hospital, and I had surgery that evening around 8:30pm, where he re-opened the incision, drained the pocket of fluid, cleaned it out in there and stitched me up. Everything was done very quickly, with not a lot of time to dwell on what was happening. Dr. Adams was headed out to a conference out of state the next day, so he zoomed me through it all. He is an amazing man, and I am so fortunate to have him handle this problem for me. I'm now under the care of an infections specialist doctor, one whom Dr. Adams approves of highly, and one he thinks will take charge of my infection problem and get it resolved (unlike my experience with Dr. Abolo in Midland, who kept deferring to Dr. Adams instead of getting it done).

It's strange, though, to be in a hospital so far from home.

That was one helluva rough day. And each time I think of how rough it was, I also think, "Thank God for my sister, Kathy." I had a bit of a melt-down when I was finally admitted into my hospital room. This was about 2:30pm and I was ill from not eating all day & in a great deal of pain. The room was, unfortunately, not a private room because this hospital is super full right now.

The first thing I had to do was use the bathroom... apparently, my roomy needed to provide urine samples often, and it looked like one (or several) had recently occurred. There was urine in the toilet & the seat was up, I used a piece of toilet paper to put the seat down, & there was urine all over it. There was a potty chair thing in there also, and urine splatters on it, the tray/dish thing they use in that chair to collect urine was setting on the counter near the sink, with urine all over it, not having been rinsed out, and urine drops all around on the counter top. I had to pee so bad, that I had to use the gross toilet, so I wiped the seat off as best I could and did the perch thing. A position that made my neck scream with pain. I rinsed off my hands because I couldn't get to the soap or towel dispensers because of the urine tray thing. It was so gross.

I was not happy, and it was my very last straw... I became the crying, bitchy strange woman. Much occurred at this time, that's not really worth detailing. All the wonderful details I gave you about the bathroom were plenty of details, don't you think? Anyway, Kathy explained to the nurses how rough of a day I'd had... and so on. Then she calmed me down, and we got through it. Her talent for diplomacy was a thing of beauty. She made sure the nurses didn't hate me, and I did apologize to them later.

Through all that day, while I was focusing on my pain & discomfort and my hunger, Kathy was also sitting on all of the uncomfortable chairs and not getting anything to eat, either. And she was constantly giving me comfort and encouragement, making sure I was ok. All day long.

One thing did go very right here at Covenant... I got moved into a private room just as I left for surgery, so Kev moved all my stuff there after they wheeled me away. I remember nothing of the surgery, of course, just waking up in recovery and getting a ride up to my room. I was loopy as all get out. The RN in charge of me was a man named John, and he had short dark hair. I remember rubbing his head. Twice. Holy cow, I was one happy loopy chick. I seem to remember making some sexy suggestions to Kev. In front of John, no less. Totally appropriate, I'm sure.

And yes, the above is the short version.

I have an updated photo of the incision, taken yesterday when they changed my dressing earlier in the day. I can't seem to utilize FTP here, though, to upload the photo and link to it... so I'll use Blogger's photo service and I'll post it way, way below after the end of this post. This one is kind of gross, so don't scroll down unless you really want to see it.

As usual, my family has made all the difference throughout this recent experience. I've heard from all of them and seen a few already. Joycie and Mike came to visit me yesterday and stayed almost 3 hours. I love seeing the 2 of them together, they're so happy together...

Mike is getting around really well after his major surgery from two weeks ago. He showed me his 5 healing holes in his belly. Mike is one very strong young man. Strong, kind, considerate, thoughtful, funny, smart and loving young man. I'm so proud of Joycie; she's made a wonderful choice in falling for Mike. They're happy together, but they are also so easy with each other, so relaxed. Real and natural. I love being with them and seeing how they are with each other. I've never seen Joycie this way with a boy before; the girl is long gone for him, and he is for her, too. He's gone and done it for me, too... I love that boy!

Joycie snapped a few photos of Mike, and of me and of this lovely hospital room. Here's one of her photos...

Joycie and Mike left about 2pm. It was about close to 4pm when I was surprised by a visit from my in-laws, Dad T. & Sharron. It was so great to see them.

Unfortunately, while they were here, the nurse came to change the dressing on my incision site. And earlier that day, Dr. Schinko, who is covering for Dr. Adams while he is out of town, came by and noticed that the drain on my right side was getting nothing in it, while the drain on my left side was going great guns. So he told the RN, Lisa, she could remove the right drain, and I was happy about that. One less point of pain. So after she took off the old dressing, she worked at clipping the stitches holding the right drain in place and then removed it. As soon as she took it out, I could hear this little noise in the small, plastic bottle of my left drain. It was filling up with air. The drains work on suction, and somehow removing the right drain compromised the suction of the left drain. Lisa rushed to talk with Dr. Schinko; she said she had never seen that happen before. The doctor said there was nothing to be done about it now, and she should also removed the left drain. So when she came back in the room and told me that, I lost it immediately. My first thought was that pocket was now going to fill up again with fluid, and that left drain was getting a LOT of fluid, so it scared me. I don't even want to think of re-opening that incision again. I bawled like a big baby, in front of Lisa and my in-laws. Lovely. Thankfully, even without Kathy's actual physical presence, I regained control... I could hear her in my mind telling me to stop crying, that's enough now, somehow very firm & bossy, yet very, very soothing & loving at the same time.

It was good I got myself under control, because Kevin and Sammy arrived shortly thereafter.

So here I am again, sitting on a hospital bed, using their wireless high speed Internet connection and hoping for the best. At least this room has gorgeous big windows and there's lovely sunshine and sky out there. The view is even quite nice; it's just another part of the hospital complex which is a building of light yellow brick, with a skywalk thing between this building and it, a parking lot and then beyond that, a residential district which is comprised mostly of older homes. The one facing my windows that is the closest, looks to be very old, but in pretty good shape. Interesting things to look at.

I just had a long conversation on the phone with my brother, Jim, and then my sister-in-law, Sue. I know I'll hear from more of my family today, and Kev and Sammy will be here this afternoon for sure.

All in all, I'm a very lucky woman.

Remember: I have an updated photo of the incision, taken yesterday when they changed my dressing earlier in the day. I can't seem to utilize FTP here, though, to upload the photo and link to it... so I'll use Blogger's photo service and I'll post it way, way below after the end of this post. This one is kind of gross, so don't scroll down unless you really want to see it.

No comments:

Post a Comment