Wednesday, March 01, 2017

What happened to Feb???

Indeed... what happened to Feb???  Well, Feb was a combination of pleasure and pain, both of which prevented me from posting here.

1st the pleasure:  our trip to Puerto Vallarta.  We had a fabulous time!  The weather was terrific and we had a lot of fun.  I'll post photos and details of the trip in another post.

Now pain:  an unexpected health issue.  Unbeknownst to me, prior to leaving on our trip I got cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection.  I thought I had a muscle strain and just took ibuprofen during the trip.  You know how it feels after you've pulled weeds or done some other kind of activity that uses muscles in a different way?  It was more of a "discomfort" rather than "pain".  

However, upon our return home it quickly became more painful so I made an appointment with my doctor.  He diagnosed the cellulitis and prescribed 2 antibiotics.  (I'd heard of cellulitis but really had no idea what it was.  I thought it had something to do with cellulite!)

The cellulitis unfortunately was on my left inner buttock, and due to the swelling and pain of putting any pressure on it, I was unable to sit or lay on my back.  So I laid on my right side while awake (mostly watching TV) and slept on my right and left sides.  

But instead of improving while on the antibiotics, the swelling and pain intensified.  My doctor's office was closed for the weekend so I called the answering service and left a message.  My doctor called back and I explained the situation.  He called in a pain medication to the pharmacy and said to come into the office 1st thing Mon morning.

However, in the wee hours of the morning on Mon I woke up in a puddle.  I was rather alarmed and woke Spouse up to help.  The cellulitis had abssessed and began draining.  Gross!!!  Spouse was a real trooper and cleaned me up, then stripped the bed, rolled up and threw away the mattress cover, then remade the bed.  He placed a couple of old bath towels on the bed where I was going to lie down again.

As directed, we showed up at the doctor's office.  Remember, since I could not sit I had to lay across the back seat on my side while Spouse drove me to and from the office.  We were escorted into the examining room and I removed my sweat pants and underwear so the doctor could have another look.  

"Ooohhh... this is not good.  The cellulitis has increased in size and has now abssessed.  There are a couple of openings.  This is beyond my abilities.  You need to be seen by a surgeon who can clean this out."

Needless to say, all this was quite alarming.  I've never been told by a doctor that my condition was beyond his abilities!  My doctor immediately called a local surgeon's office, explained the situation, and set an appointment for the next morning.  Spouse drove me to the surgeon's office and again I removed my sweat pants and underwear so the surgeon could examine me.  I guess I should have known it was bad when the surgeon called in another surgeon to consult.  There were a few minutes of talking between them in medical jargon, most of which I didn't understand.  Then I was told what was needed was too involved to be done in the office.  I would need to be admitted to the hospital and have surgery.

I was admitted, IV inserted in my arm, and prepped.  The surgery was a breeze since I was completely out.  I had to stay in the hospital 4 days while the "wound" (their terminology for the cellulitis area that was operated on) was packed (with gauze) and unpacked twice a day.  Despite being given morphine the packing/unpacking process was excruciating!  

I was released from the hospital with prescriptions for more antibiotics and hydrocodone for pain, and told to continue the packing/unpacking process at least until my follow-up surgical visit at the end of the month.  Obviously I could not do it myself due to the wound's location, so I was set up with a visiting nurse.  But then we found out the nurse would only come 3 times a week.  The wound had to be dressed at least 7 times a week!  Fortunately Spouse has lots of sick leave and vacation time.  He stayed home with me for 2 weeks after being released from the hospital to care for me.  

And I really needed the care too.  I was so weak and in so much pain!  In addition to the wound dressings, he shopped and cooked for me, helped me shower, use the bathroom, and dress me, and made sure I was taking the antibiotics and pain meds at the right times.  Since the nurse highly recommended a high protein diet to promote tissue healing, Spouse bought and prepared lots of high protein foods and helped ensure I'd consumed at least 90 grams of protein each day.

I finally began to get my strength and stamina back just in time for my surgical follow up visit on Mon.  The surgeon was pleased with the wound's progress, but said we needed to continue with the wound packing/unpacking for another 2 weeks.  Its March 1 and I'm hoping to return to work next Mon the 6th.  After being on vacation for 1 week, I've been home on medical leave for another 5 weeks, for a total of 6 weeks out of work.

Just this week I've finally begun to sit for a few minutes at a time on a memory foam pillow.  I tried one of those inflatable donuts but found it too difficult to balance.  I'm trying to build up to being able to sit a little more each day.  In the meantime I'm standing at the kitchen peninsula to use my laptop.

I'll keep you posted on my condition.


Breenlantern said...

Holy crap! I am so sorry you went through/are going through this. I can truly empathize. So glad spouse was able to be there for you. Our spouses who become caretakers are often the unsung heroes.

Wish you continued improvement towards a full recovery. I hope you are whole, healed and healthy and able to put this all behind you.


anne marie in philly said...

oh sweet mother of pearl!

bless your dear spouse and puppies; they will make you feel better soon!

I send you good vibrations for fast healing and wellness!

Anonymous said...

Oh Lord...

You are right, when a health care provider says you are beyond his abilities YOU ARE up shit creek WITH a paddle...

Glad they got to the bottom of this...

Be well...It I now 3/17 and I am just seeing this post...

PS-Is it nice to have someone to advocate for you...Hats off to hubby...

Travel said...

Yikes, welcome back.

Mistress Maddie said...

That's sounds awful!!!! I have never even heard of it, but from other posts I glad to read your doing better. Here's to a fast and good recovery.

Biki Honko said...

Wow! I wondered what happened to you when you had long lag time in posting. Glad to hear that you've come thru the ordeal. I know I'm acres behind in reading, but things just got away from me, sorry.