Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Butt update

I have my mom's laptop for a little bit, so I can do some updating.

WARNING:  The next few paragraphs contain medical information. If words like "drainage" and "fistula" squick you out, you might want to skip them. The short version:  incision isn't healing and moving make healing take longer. Thus, bed rest and as little moving as possible.

Now for the long version. I'm on bed rest because my butt incision isn't healing like it should be. Approximately 24 hours after my orthopedist pronounced my incision healed, it started draining. I went to the doctor, who told me two small spots on the incision had reopened, glued everything shut, and sent me on my merry way (for the record, medical super glue STINGS when they put it on an open wound. I have a new appreciation for what R went through when he split his eyebrow open last summer). The glue fell off, the drainage continued and kept getting worse. I went back in right before I left for NC (I plan to write about my trip eventually...but I kinda need a computer for that...). The doc glued me together again and sent me home. The glue fell off on my way to Durham (like two days after it was put on; that stuff usually lasts at least a couple of weeks), and the drainage kept getting worse and worse. I was soaking a gauze pad every few hours. It was disgusting.

By Saturday night, I had leaked through all my gauze and my clothes, so I headed to urgent care hoping the doctor there could glue me back together and get me back to Ohio so I could see my doctor. She pretty much handed me some gauze and tape and told me to see my doctor when I got home. It was totally worth my time and the non-insurance-covered urgent care trip (oh, the insurance rant from this trip is worth a whole post on its own).

I made myself an appointment with the orthopedist first thing Tuesday morning. After examining my gross, oozing incision and making sure nothing was infected (luckily, looks like it's not), he sent me for an immediate CT scan to make sure I hadn't developed an anal fistula (if you're really curious about fistulas, go here. I don't recommend it). He didn't think I had, but he needed to be sure. The scan required both oral and IV contrast. What this means in people terms is that I had to drink a bunch of nasty water stuff, wait for an hour, then get an IV put in for exactly 60 seconds of dye injection. I was not prepared to invest that much time in this scan. The doc told me he had talked to radiology and they'd get me right in, so I assumed it would be a quick appointment. You know what the say about assuming...

I about lost it during the CT. I'd been on the verge of tears all morning, and I'd had it by the time I had to get the IV. I managed to keep the tears to leaking instead of sobbing, and convinced the tech that I was crying because my butt hurt.

After my scan was done, I was back to the orthopedist's, where I laid ass-up on the table for a loooooong time. The doc finally came in with another surgeon, and they told me there was a small pocket of air under the incision that was keeping the underlying tissue from completely healing. He also said there was no fistula, though two radiologists said my scan was inconclusive because of the air pocket. They wanted to do some sort of rectal contrast scan to be super sure, but my orthopedist - God love him - told them no. If there were a fistula in my bum, we would know. The discharge would be, um, more poo-like.

My doctor is going on vacation this week, so he brought the other surgeon (who was in the OR during my surgery) in to make sure someone who knows what's going on is available if I need it. Surgeon 2 did a culture of my incision to make sure nothing inappropriate is growing in there. Then he opened the hole a bit more so he could pack it and let the nasty discharge come out faster. Let me tell you, that hurt like a bitch. Both doctors are pretty convinced that I did too much too soon after surgery, which is part of the reason my incision isn't healing properly. Thus the bed rest. Less moving = less pulling and rubbing in the butt crack region = faster healing. Yay.

So I'm hanging out at home, dealing with some major drainage. Gross, gross, gross. I'm hoping this fixes the problems because wound drainage is nasty, and I'm done taping my butt up every couple of hours.


Doing My Best said...

Oh, that all sounds AWFUL! I hope you're able to enjoy your bedrest and that it works quickly!!

Michelle said...

Ok, when I got your email this afternoon I had no idea it was this grody!