That’s right, I said it, today I went on a three hour tour.
So, here I am doing my best to recover and not give in to my anxiety. I’m moving around, I’m TRYING to stay hydrated, and I’m trying to eat (I have no freaking appetite). My sleep is still disrupted, unfortunately, but at least I’m mostly able to get up and down from sitting without as much discomfort. My PVCs are really annoying me (especially today), but that’s not new territory for me, as we all know.
Then I start to realize that there’s a smell. TMI, I know, I’m sorry. But it’s coming from one of my incisions…the biggest of the FIVE incisions and the one in the worst place (in the “fold’ of my skin when I sit). I attempt to clean the area more carefully with baby wipes, without messing too much with the strip of tape over the incision. I hope for the best, but the next morning, the smell is still there. So I call the doctor’s office at 9:15 this morning (they supposedly open at 8:30) but the telephones are still turned off and I can’t even leave a voice mail. So I use my fancy schmancy portal system and leave a message for my doctor. Two hours later the nurse calls. And despite everyone saying things like “oh, they’ve heard it all!” the nurse seems completely perplexed. She’s never heard of this issue! A smell without pus, blood, heat, oozing, fever…just a….smell? She’s SO perplexed that she has to go find the doctor to see what he wants to do. She calls me back fifteen minutes later to say the doctor says to take the steri-strip (some sort of adhesive bandage?) off and make sure there’s no redness or pus. If not, he’s fine with me leaving the steri-strip off and just keeping the area clean…and keeping an eye on it. She suggests I go shower to make sure everything is clean before removing the strip of adhesive. Then she tells me “it’s going to hurt, taking that adhesive strip off of the incision…” and she has NO suggestions as to mitigate the pain. “Go slow” is all she can tell me.
I can’t really SEE this area because of the angle and the swelling from the surgery, so I have to have Hub do it. He SUCKS at this kind of stuff, generally speaking. But he does his best after washing thoroughly…and oddly the tape comes off without any issue. Any adhesive property is gone. He tells me the incision looks fine, but I ask for a mirror. I think it looks horrible and I can still smell the damn smell. And it’s making me queasy with fear. So although Hub had a meeting to go to in a few hours, I call the doctor’s office back and ask to see him. The kindly nurse fits me in, but our drive requires an hour with traffic. And there’s always traffic. Plus, storms’ a’comin’. Fun times.
Hub bows out of his meeting (his boss is really understanding) and we get on the road. The doctor’s office is busy again, and I am sure we’re going to have to wait over an hour. But twenty-five minutes later, the nurse takes me back. She asks what’s happening and I tell her. She starts to take notes, asks if I’m still taking the hydrocodone (vicodin!) and I say no, I only took it once in the hospital and it made me feel crappy. One eyebrow goes up. So she asks if I’m taking the ibuprofen and I told her I stopped that Monday. She seems taken aback. Then she tells me to hang tight and the doctor will be in.
Probably ten minutes later the doctor comes in and asks how I am. He takes a look at the incision and says it looks fine (Hub says I TOLD YOU) from his chair nearby. I tell him to shut up. The doctor thinks this is funny. Then I ask the doctor to talk to me a little more about blood clots. I tell him I have so much muscle pain (especially using my whole body to move around instead of my core…stuff hurts so much) that I’m afraid I won’t be able to decipher what is muscular and what is blood clot. He looks at me in a way that says he’s TRYING to understand, but doesn’t really get it. I tell him about my pre-existing condition and how it affects my muscles, and how anytime I stress them even mildly, they will hurt intensely. He tries to explain what to look for, but honestly it’s pretty much the same shpiel I got from the nurse originally. After that he sends us on our way with a prescription for anti-fungal cream because of the location of the incision and how it doesn’t get a lot of air time. He wants to avoid a yeast infection. Me, too.
We head back outside and it’s raining. We get back on the highway and head home. All in all it takes three hours almost on the dot. I’m exhausted and in some mild pain. My incision is clearly irritated and I’m doing my best to not just go lie down because I need to stay mobile (and if I go sleep now, I won’t sleep tonight).
Not the detour I had wanted, but I knew if I didn’t go I’d be worried. I’ve never had an incision like this before, or in this kind of weird spot before. I was too afraid not to go. Amusingly enough, when the nurse took my blood pressure before the doctor came in, it was really good. WTF. I was so uncomfortable sitting on the table because of my back and legs, but my BP was normal. I’m so fucked up.