Thursday, February 07, 2008

Keepin' the meds handy

Mike, Joycie's boyfriend, had surgery today in Ann Arbor. He has long battled acid reflux; it's chronic and severe... since he was a child. A couple of years ago, he had a surgery that inserted a ring into (or around?) his esophagus, which helped, but the ring, which was to have lasted years, gave out after 2 years. I'm not real sure of all the specifics, and I'm still learning about the acid reflux disease, or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). The surgery Mike had this morning was major. I'm not 100% positive what Mike's surgery involved, but I did find this site that seemed similar to what Izzy, Mike's mom, explained to me. His surgery lasted about 5 or 6 hours, and he'll be in the hospital in Ann Arbor a few days. I talked to Joycie just a bit ago, and she was with him in his room; Mike was asleep. She said that he can't have solid foods now for 6 weeks. It's going to be a long recuperation. Poor guy. It makes me wish I could go through it for him. I'm sure his momma feels the same way. I can't wait to see him; to see him in person for myself so I know he's ok. Joycie is staying down there; she told me she's planning to sleep in the recliner in his room with him. I hope they let her. I could tell by her voice that she is very intent on not leaving him. That's my girl.

I have to go see the surgical RN again tomorrow morning for my incision. Yesterday I noticed that it was seeping much more than usual, and it wasn't itching so much as before... it felt rather very sore than very itchy... it had been itching so much like crazy, and I couldn't seem to keep my grubby fingers off it. That's likely resulted in an infection, I'm pretty sure. So I called the office today, and they called in an antibiotic prescription. She also had me send her a photo of my incision to her cell phone (something about e-mail would be blocked because of a picture attachment); and after she got the photo, she called me back and set up the appointment with me for tomorrow. I'm expecting maybe butterfly stitches or perhaps real, thread stitches. The incision seems to me to be starting to separate a little bit, but I'm not sure if that's normal or not. Here is a photo of the incision as of yesterday, and yes, this one is really gross, so don't click on this link unless you're prepared...

Here is the collar I wear, which I compared to something out of Star Wars... isn't it lovely?...

There are moments when I absolutely LOVE it... like right now while I'm sitting in The Chair and my neck and shoulders have been sore all day, and my head feels too heavy (and I have a headache)... this collar makes me feel so much better. It gets really warm, though, and my scalp, face and neck, and sometimes even my shoulders and back (and front, if y'know what I mean) get too hot also. And then I sweat. I mean, I really SWEAT. It's quite unpleasant. But not as unpleasant as wearing it is pleasant, if you get my drift... i.e., the sweat is worth it. Kev says my collar is starting to stink. I told him I just smell more Europeanish then.

My collar makes my face all smooshed and scrunched. The purpose of it is to keep my head still, keep my chin in place. No looking up, down, left or right. And it seems no matter how many times I remind myself of that, I will forget and totally turn my head to talk to Sammy or look at Reilly, etc. Ugh.

And anyway, there are much worse things one can wear on one's neck. Like...

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