Yesterday, when I went to get my wound vac dressing changed, at first Sue (my wonderful wound expert and a specialist in live online counseling) said I should be able to get rid of it on that visit. I told her I had some concerns, that I had mentioned to the nurse on Saturday, but she had said they were normal. I wanted Sue to tell me that because I trust her more.
Some background: My incision went from my belly button to my sternum. The original infection was toward the bottom, about an inch up from my belly button. When it happened, they didn’t re-open my entire wound, just the bottom half.
Well, now the skin over the top half was red, and there was a distinctive knot underneath it. It has been there for quite a long time – originally, there was a bulge there even before the infection happened. There was also a distinctive odor.
At first, Sue agreed that it was probably normal, but the knot concerned her. She said it might be a hernia. Fortunately, I’d taken my Xanax. After all, a hernia started this whole drama. As time went on, though, I began to wish I’d taken 2.
I laid down, and Sue began pulling off my tape. She was thinking the redness was just a reaction to the tape, till she got it all off. I don’t know at what point she realized the truth, as she’s great at making you think whatever she’s doing is no big deal.
But the knot was a pocket of new infection. She took a long Q-tip and used it to open a tunnel under my skin between the old wound and this new pocket. Then she hooked up a vacuum thing to me that sounded like a cordless drill to suck out the stuff. She said it was pure, very thick pus.
My youngest son had come in with me on Saturday, was very proud of himself for watching everything, and even helping a little by holding some tape in place as the new dressing was put on. He was out of school yesterday (his school closed for Veterans Day on Monday instead of today, I guess because 3 day weekends are better than coming in a day, then being off a day) so he’d wanted to come again. He’s wanted to be a missionary since he was maybe 3 or 4 (he’s almost 8 now) and had decided after Saturday that maybe he’d get some medical training and be a medical missionary of some kind.
But he couldn’t handle the vacuum thing. He bolted. Bless his heart. I would have bolted, too, if I could. In fact, I was in total, full-blown freak-out. Laurie (I hope I’m spelling it right, it may be Lori) happened by and came and held my hand. She’s the other person that works in that department that’s so cool. Suddenly, I feel really bad because I’m not sure what either of their titles are – RN? PA? Dunno. And I’m not even sure I have Laurie’s name right. That’s awful.
Well, Sue got me vacuumed out and stuck a new sponge through the tunnel she’d created so that my wound vac will be draining both the old and new infection sites at the same time. Before she got the thing hooked back up she got me laughing by playing with the part that was sticking out of the hole in my stomach. She is too cool.
She said that I am very lucky I had not been approved for home health care for these changes, as noone else would likely have caught it before this infection, too, erupted like the other one. In fact, as we examined my incision line, it looked to me like that would have happened in mere hours at the most.
But I said luck had nothing to do with it – it was God looking out for me. Because everything else has been approved nearly instantaneously by my insurance company.
As I stood shakily and prepared to leave, Sue said that I should not have any more problems in that area. That if I did, if the knot came back, I should go to my doctor because there would be a reason for it coming back. I called the doc’s office after I got home to update them, and they added that I should call right away if I got a fever over 101.
So today, I wake up depressed. In 4 days it will be exactly one month since this whole ordeal started. I’m so tired of just laying around with no purpose. Nothing to do.
Worst of all, the knot is coming back. I’ve got a call in to the doc’s office to see what I should do. Even my husband, who is off today for Veteran’s day, can feel it and said I should call.
I just don’t know how much more of all of this I can handle. God promises He won’t put more on us than we can bear. Well, Lord, I’m just about to that point. I’m seriously ready for this situation to turn around. I’ve not talked a lot about my faith on this blog, it hasn’t been the point of it. But I just have to say that right now all I have to cling to is trust that God knows and that somehow or another He will see me through.
If you pray, I’d appreciate it if you mentioned me. Oh, and click on all the google ads while you’re at it as I’ve not been able to work since this whole thing happened.
OK, the second sentence was a joke. Gotta do something to lighten this post up.