Sunday, September 30, 2012

SNAFU in the night

I try not to whine too much about all this medical stuff cuz no one wants to hear it and its not like I did not choose to do this in the first place.  But there are some days when it just gets on my last nerve.

I have had a pretty great day, I have been writing a brief at home most of the day, started the processof draining the pool to close it, took care of Miss Pixie the donkey with a death wish, ran a few errands, had mom help me with the dressing on my boob and cleaning things up, and JUST when I am ready to go to bed, what happens? The damn wound vacuum claims it has a blockage somewhere in the lines.  I am looking right at it--it has no such thing.

I go through the motions of all the things you can do to correct a blockage, or a pretend blockage.  Do they work? Hell no. The wound vac can only be off for two hours before the sponges inside do more damage to already jacked up damaged areas, so it has to come off.  You know why this is happening?  Because I don't have very much of the good tape (that stuff is harder to come by than you would think-its tape for God's sake!) that is required to do this the old fashioned way, which is to pack the ab wounds with wet to dry dressings. That is gauze soaked in saline, then packed full into the wounds, then covered with some padding and your whole self taped up in there.  You leave them on until the wet gauze is dry---and dont ask me how in the hell you are supposed to know it is dry if it is all covered with other padding.  I just wing it and act like it is normal to be walking around in the free world with what looks like maxi pads taped to my belly.  Its hardly the stupidest looking get-up I have gone around in, especially lately.

 I don't mind the dressings at all but it will not be so easy to do it myself--Heath usually does it. I have been lucky that he has always been here when the vac went rogue. Sometimes, it is a hell of a fight to get the sponges out--I am worried about doing it myself and not missing a piece since I have to lay down to do this, can no longer see past my boobs to my own belly and only have so many hands-how am I going to hold the mirror? Who knows what kind of mess I will make of me, but he will be home in 6 hours so how bad can it be, right?

For a non-medical professional or person who has not spent a good portion of his life in the hospital like I have, its amazing how easily Heath has jumped into doing all this stuff--not only is he not grossed out (my own mom told me I was gross looking tonight--when did she turn into a pansy ass, I ask you? probably was gross looking but since when does she notice that?), he is just a natural at it. Even the truly nasty parts like all that dead fat and tissue did not phase him--he would admit it was not nice to look at but I think that was as much him trying not to be scared as him actually grossed out.  Other than that--he just rolls with the punches.  In fact, I think he kind of enjoys taking care of me even if it does involve blood and guts.

 Probably the only person who can do as well with stuff like this is my sister, who has been taking out my stitches and whatever else she could get to since she was about 7 years old and someone would let her have the scissors.  Even mom is not as good as Mandy--even though she has done lots more... mom is way more conservative, and Mandy hops right in and manhandles whatever part needs dealt with.  Mandy just digs it, and maybe enjoys it a bit if she can put the hurt on me to get back at me for all those years I beat the hell out of her growing up.   I guess it is a good thing we all are kind of fascinated with medical stuff, since we are kind of overwhelmed with it--makes it easy to forget the whole rest of the world gets queasy to even hear talk of what's going on with me.  Like for example, how I am just throwing this all out here for you people to read.  Oops sorry----but I do want credit for not really giving you the gross stuff---God knows I have some to share if you are interested!

  So anyway, here I am trying to put off dealing with removing this vacuum from my guts by myself.  Too late to call anyone at this hour so I have no choice. Its just awkward to try to pack the wounds in my abs, while still lying flat enough that the tape does not then keep me from having to walk hunched over. I could end up all wadded up in a fetal position in there until someone discovers me tomorrow.

In other news, for the first time in TEN WEEKS, I got my nails did. And a pedicure even. This means two things--I felt good enough to sit there for two hours instead of making myself do something non-frivolous for that amount of time but most significantly, it means I have faith that they will not haul my ass back in the operating room in the next 2 weeks, thereby requiring me to take the polish off my toes and take off at least some of my fake nails so they can tell if I turn blue in the OR. It has been 19 days since my last surgery, so I am feeling pretty confident that I am putting together a pretty good streak of non-Barnes Hospital residency. It is amazing to me how much difference it can make to get back to a little bit of normalcy--or maybe I have just gotten horribly vain.  yah, that is probably it.

Ok, here I go--cannot put it off any longer---off to look right inside my guts. You know you are jealous


Anonymous said...

Oh Paige. I can't even imagine what all you have to deal with. I hope it all went well last night. I read on fb this morning what you were doing and have been thinking about you since. I am a little bit of a stalker too since we do not even know each other. I just ran across your blog by accident. Stephanie C. If it makes you feel any better I have just spent this morning vacuuming up box elder bugs that are everywhere where I live. Ugh!!!

Shelley said...

Isn't it amazing what us non medically trained people are required to do now?

the cubicle's backporch said...

So- just to get this straight. Since you lay on your stomach and can't see past your boobs... did they get THAT MUCH BIGGER? I picture you with DD's now. You go girl. ;-)

Are you being considered a medical marvel after all this surgery? I didn't know if this is a pretty rare surgery or if it was pretty common!

Anonymous said...

Paige,I'm glad you are feeling better, I can tell because you are getting feisty! I also discovered your blog by accident and really am enjoying it. Hope you're back in the saddle soon!
Fla Cowgirl

Paige said...

well ladies--let me tell you, this has been a trip. I got that mess of the errant vacuum under control, and had to do the same damn thing every day they put it back on last week. So not cool

And yes Jen--THAT big. DD is being conservative right now, at least the right one is! they wont stay this big forever---just temporary. I did not want want much bigger, as they were Cs anyway--the plan was to finish up at small Ds. I just wanted them to match and look normal. And this is not a terribly common surgery, because it is so complicated, and takes so long, but it is not unheard of I guess. When I told my regular docs what the surgeons were doing, they all got very excited because they knew what it was, and heard it was incredible, but had never actually seen one in real life. And they still havent!

I'm not sure that I am considered a medical marvel for all this--but since I always was considered one before, I did not think all these limitations etc actually applied to me. So I was really shocked when it all went so wrong, and that I have not just sprung back into action--it has been a real struggle for me sometimes. I try to act like it is no big deal, but its kinda obvious when I am pasty and cant get a breath from pain---which doesnt mean that I dont get my feelings hurt if someone points out I dont look well. I make no sense even to myself.

I do know that several docs mentioned they had never seen so many people in one operating room--at the first surgery. That was because it was never-ending and the residents had to cycle in and out to help where they could, as very few had the stamina to make it through the whole thing. I am amazed that my two main surgeons were able to do it--and my main one admitted to me that it kicked his ass just to get through it. I kinda know how he feels!

Fla Cowgirl--you are right, I am feeling way better. You should hear me ranting and raving around here sometimes--I am glad you found my blog. I am going to try to get myself together and post more. I know I say that all the time, but I swear, I mean it!

Photo of the Whenever I feel like changing it

Photo of the Whenever I feel like changing it


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