This post is in addition to the previous post. For as long as it was, I did forget a few things! Considering how many drugs I was on, I’m surprised I remembered any of it (and a good week and a half out of the hospital, much of it is happily fading away). So, previous warnings apply; if you don’t want to read anything gross about bodily fluids or whatnot, don’t read 🙂
One of the details about my hospital stay that I had forgotten to include (amazingly, given how long my post was) was that when it was still early enough in my stay that I was doing the HBO treatments, I got my period. Because that was one more damn thing I needed to deal with in the hospital. And again, I was too shaky to wipe my own ass, hooked up to tons of tubes and things, and certainly unable to wear any useful sort of underpants. Mostly I just clenched a pad between my thighs and the nurses made sure to put down extra pads on the bed (called chucks, for whatever reason?) so that it wouldn’t be too much of a mess.
Additionally, this caused problems with how much the nurses had to clean me up after using the commode, as this was after I’d gotten rid of the poop bag I think, but before I got my catheter out. Seriously, I was being punished. Mom was just grateful that it was taking place in the hospital and not at home where she would have to take care of cleaning me herself. (Thanks, mom ;o) Note: she hasn’t had to wipe me as I managed to get strong enough to do so myself before I left the hospital.)
And let me not forget the problem this caused with HBO treatments. I mentioned how picky they are about what sorts of things are inside the tube. I couldn’t wear my regular gown, or an elastic hair band, or anything not provided by the HBO clinic people. This included any sort of pad or tampon. I had to get old school and tuck a piece of cotton fabric between my legs while I was in the tube.
I can’t believe I forgot this awful little detail. Perhaps I should have left it forgotten rather than write it down for posterity. However, I want proper amounts of sympathy for all the shit I went through. 🙂
Anyway, now that I’ve been at my mother’s house for a week and a half, I’m feeling much, much better. Last night I even went out with friends (though I had to be chauffeured) and had dinner and went to the craft store to look around. I still feel moderately lazy, and am certainly taking it easy as much as possible, but I no longer feel shaky or ill. I’m still dealing with the wound vac and the bandage changes, but I’ll take that any day over being in the hospital.
I go back to the hospital three times a week so they can change the bandages and check on the wound vac. Occasionally they measure or take pictures to note how it is doing. The bandage changes are the only time I take pain medication because it just makes it easier when they pick off all the tape and repack the wound with the sponge and such. None of it is anywhere near as painful as the original infection was, so I’m very happy about that.
So far I’ve only had a couple of problems. Over the weekend there was some sort of improper seal on one of the canisters which lead to a rather disgusting smell. It drove my mother crazy; I didn’t like it, but I had no idea what to do about it. I have a limited amount of canisters at the moment because the ones on order have not arrived yet. And then Monday night, the tubing came disengaged from the bandages and I had to wake my mother to tape me back up. The tape job had lasted only a little over twelve hours; I blame the direction that the nurse aimed the tubing. It crossed my buttocks instead of angling up, it caught funny when I was on the toilet and pulled free.
When mom taped me back up, however, the placement of the tubing was off somehow, and while there was no leak, the vacuum suction was not quite right. It made the machine wheeze and groan and grumble loudly and constantly. It would be at a tolerable volume on occasion, but normally the thing is almost silent with a few burps and farts here and there. It became loud enough that I could barely sleep and it got louder when I tried to use the bathroom (which upset me so much, I had to turn it off so I could pee). It was still collecting fluid, so it didn’t seem urgent enough to go back into the hospital about it (and I was going again on Wednesday anyway, so there wasn’t much point going in on Tuesday) so I tried to live with it. I didn’t sleep much or well, but we made it through (though I could have used an anti-anxiety pill because it definitely got on my nerves by the end).
Once I was rebandaged, the machine was turned on and the silence was blessed. Honestly, I keep checking it to make sure it’s still on. I was glad it got fixed because I had plans to go out Wednesday night and certainly didn’t want either the smell or the incessant noise when I was with friends. The nurse had replaced the canister and helped me out with some good industrial spray for the carrying case, so I was much improved on the smell front as well.
Friday morning I have an appointment with the surgeon to check me over. So far all the nurses have seemed very happy at my bandage changes, so I assume the surgeon will be happy as well. Hopefully here, too, we’ll get a better idea of how long I’ll have the wound vac and how long it will be before I can return to work. A lot of things hinge on those.
Right now, however, I’m going to close the window and crawl into bed as I am tired. Not as tired as last night when I crashed a little after ten, but tired enough. Tomorrow is a big day.