More Splitting

I’m sparing you the photos, because it’s gross…

Now that the front splitting area is under control and healing well, the one on my right hip has come much farther open.  It is at the end of the incision, and has been draining quite a bit.  Last night I was using q-tips to gently clean out some darker colored stuff inside it, and I decided since it was very obviously open under the one remaining steristrip that went over it, I should probly take it off so I could clean it better.  Once I did that, I saw just how ugly and deep it was under there, and how much it stunk, I had a bit of a panic attack.  I had Jake take me to the ER in the town where I had the surgery done.  The ER doctor was in the room for maybe 30 seconds and told me to go to my surgeon’s clinic today.  It took me a while to get an appointment made today, and my surgeon was not in the office today, but I did see his nurse.  She looked at it, measured it, and told me that since this is such a big surgery and such a large incision, its is very common for them to come open a little bit here and there.  She assured me I was okay and not annoying or naggy for being so concerned about all these wound changes.  She assured me it was just because I have never been through this before so its all unknown to me, and let me know that she sees things like this every day in their clinic.  She said keep the wound clean and dry, no ointment or anything.  Continue taking antibiotics, and leave it open if desired to let air get to it, as it will help it heal.  But keeping it covered is okay too, since it drains and I don’t want that all over my clothes.  Either way.

I feel a little embarrassed about how upset and scared I was over it, but she’s right, I haven’t ever been through this before.  Every surgery I’ve ever had has healed up without an issue.  And this one is much bigger and major.  But now that I know its not dying tissue, and its normal and healthy for what it is, I can relax and just re-focus on healing.

Splitting *graphic image*

Just when I thought things were healing well, I notice some extra drainage right in the front middle of my incision line on Friday of last week.  At first I freaked out, thinking it was a lot deeper than it actually is.  I called the surgeon’s clinic and they told me it has to heal from the inside out, that there’s nothing I can do.  So I’ve been babying it over the weekend.  However, I finally pulled off the saturated and no-longer-stuck steri-strips this morning, and its not nearly as bad as I originally thought.  I think the mystery of being behind bandage, paired with my fear of a wound coming open, played hell with my imagination.  Included in this post is an actual photo of how open it is.  It’s probly about 1/3 of an inch deep, but keeps closed with tight bandaids, enough to keep it from gapping and open enough that it won’t get infected hopefully.

I’ve found that the little open spots here and there, like my belly button and other very small spots like this one have a hard time closing up.  And I think that’s because they are covered 24/7 with compression garments and/or absorbent gauze in an attempt to keep them dry.  I think its hard for them to heal as well when they don’t get much air and are ALWAYS covered.  But I’m not allowed to go without the garments, so I guess for now I’ll just stay on antibiotics to keep infection from taking over, and keep cleaning and drying the wounds as much as I can.

Furthermore, I am not really satisfied with how I’m looking cosmetically, so I’m considering a consultation with a different surgeon to get their opinion and see if there’s anything we can do to fix what I don’t like.

Trending In My Life – April 2017

I haven’t done a “Trending In My Life” for quite some time I realized.  I got out of the habit of blogging or vlogging there for a few months.  So I thought I’d give a little update.  I don’t think I’ll try to do these monthly anymore, but I will try to do them periodically as things change.

Game: Going right back to THE SIMS with this one.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to play for any amount of time.  But since I recently sold my iPad Pro and purchased a decent laptop computer, I am able to get back to playing again.

TV Show: CW’s No Tomorrow, streaming on Netflix.  And Awake, also streaming on Netflix.  No Tomorrow is a very upbeat romantic comedy that makes you look at what you would do if the world was coming to an end in the very near future.  It helps you explore the possibilities of stepping outside your comfort zone and taking chances in your life to make your life more fulfilling.  A very fun adventure, and I’m sure hoping for a 2nd season!  Awake is about a man who got into a major car accident and is living 2 realities.  In one reality he lost his wife in the crash, and in the other he lost his son.  I’ve only gotten through the pilot plus a little more, but very intriguing so far, for sure.

YouTube: I’m no longer watching YouTube regularly, so the YouTuber section will now be discontinued.  For that matter I’m really no longer vlogging anymore either.  I enjoy writing a lot more than speaking into my camera.  I’ll still post the occasional video of things that we’ve been doing, concerts, etc.  But vlogging is on hold for now.

Music: I’m always looking for new music.  Recently some of the bands I’ve been listening to are Pop Evil, Highly Suspect, Red Sun Rising, and Twenty-One Pilots.  I’ve even seen 3 of those 4 in concert this year so far!

Interest: As always, I’m learning as much as I can about the Panniculectomy surgery I had and about the Breast Reduction I have coming up.  I tend to research medical things that are going on with me as much as possible so I can be prepared.  I do this by reading not only medical articles, but by trying to find patient testimonials as well.  I found a site RealSelf.com that has been helpful with finding other patients to network with.  And of course I’ve been trying to put as much info out there as possible too, for anyone looking for information from the patient point of view.

Swelling & Bloating

Today I had another post-op appointment.  It was just supposed to be with a nurse to get the rest of my staples out, but since I have been having some issues, she had to call my surgeon in as well.

Last Friday I called and explained to them that my bellybutton was still not looking good.  Since they took 1/2 the staples out last week, it has sort of pulled away and doesn’t seem to be healing together.  I can see the stitches under the skin and it drains quite a lot, not to mention it hurts all the way around it and its a deep pain.  So they said they would leave a prescription for more pain meds for me in the emergency department since it would be after hours before I could pick it up.  But on the way there I decided I would go ahead and see a doctor since there was just the beginning of an odor.

Once I got there, the ER doctor took a look and diagnosed me with mild cellulitis in and around my bellybutton.  He prescribed a different antibiotic than I had just finished off, I picked up my prescription for pain meds, and went home.  The pain meds helped over the weekend, but my bloating got pretty bad.  In fact, I think my tummy looks about 3-4 months pregnant.  I had been telling Jake I was pregnant with a water baby.  LOL

My bloated round belly

Back to today… the nurse took my staples out everywhere except around my bellybutton.  She put steri-strips across the entire incision where there weren’t already steri-strips from last week.  Then the surgeon came in and decided he wanted to try to drain fluid from under my skin, since that was what he believed the bloating to be from.  He had a large, I’m guessing 14-gauge needle, and poked me right in the belly to drain fluid.  It really freaked me out, and it hurt.  Thank goodness my mom was there with me to try to distract me because I thought I was going to pass out.  He didn’t get any fluid out, so he tried a second poke.  He then told me that it wasn’t fluid making me bloated, it was a large blood clot between my skin and my abdominal wall that could not be removed with the needle due to its thick consistency.  It is not dangerous, and is fairly normal.  But it was not able to be drained.  He said keep wearing compression garments (which I have been 24/7 except showers), and go ahead and stay active.  It will take 6-10 weeks for the clot to dissolve and go away, and until then I just have to deal with the bloating. He said to speed the process slightly and decrease discomfort, I should take hot showers (not baths), and/or use a heating pad on my belly.

Also, he said my bellybutton looks okay, and he promises it will look better someday.  But for now I am to finish up the antibiotics and keep the remaining staples in it for another 2 weeks.

The best news of the day: most of the staples are out and I can be active again.  And by active I mean walking.  Still no lifting or strenuous activity.

Highly Suspect

A couple months ago it was announced that Highly Suspect was coming to Wooly’s in Des Moines on April 4th.  I wanted to go, but didn’t have the money for tickets until about a week after they sold out. Then I got my surgery date and didn’t think I’d be able to go anyway, less than 2 weeks after surgery.  So I sort of let it go.

But then there was a ticket giveaway contest…So Jake and I were just waiting for our chance to win tickets through our local radio station, Lazer 103.3.  Jake seems to have some sort of magical phone service and he tends to win tickets a LOT through them.  Haha!  Then, on April 1st he heard the cue to call and was the 13th caller, the winner!  He came inside from the garage to tell me he’d won and I didn’t believe him because it was April Fool’s Day and I trust no one on that day.  Crazy, but I’ve been fooled too much over the years.  However, it was no joke!  And not only did he win us tickets to the show, but included was also a Meet & Greet with the band before the show.  
When we showed up to Wooly’s, we were separated into a group that was there specifically for the Meet & Greet.  We were take inside about 20 minutes before anyone else.  Jake and I were first in line to meet the band.  We shook their hands, the drummer hugged me instead.  We got our picture taken with them, and then they signed our tickets. 
The show was pretty great! They have a great on-stage vibe, and the last about hour of the show was like a long jam session.  Just playing their bluesy tunes non-stop.  I was surprised that they did not play My Name Is Human, but they did play my favorite couple of songs, Lydia and Send Me An Angel, so I was pleased.
Jake got himself a hoodie and I got myself a t-shirt.  🙂  Though it was so soon after surgery, I handled the evening pretty well.  We found kind people that let us share their reserved booth with them, so that helped quite a lot.  I was very thankful Jake won the tickets, and very thrilled to be able to go!