Not In Jersey: My Abdominal Surgery Part 3 My Abdominal Surgery Part 3 - Not In Jersey

Sunday, May 5, 2013

My Abdominal Surgery Part 3

Part 1 | Part 2

This should be the post where I tell you how well I’m doing and how my recovery has gone great.

But it’s not.

Because for reasons I’m not entirely sure of, I am experiencing one of the rare complications that can occur after the surgery I had. This complication is much more likely to occur in smokers. I’ve never smoked anything nor do I ever plan to.

Two weeks after surgery, I was feeling better and was finished with pain meds. I had an area on the incision which turned black and my doctor prescribed a cream meant to help with healing burns for me to apply to that area. The cream she prescribed was Silver Sulfadiazine. For some reason, neither myself, my doctor, nor the pharmacy flagged the cream as something I probably shouldn’t use, as I have a known allergy to Sulfa antibiotics. I guess since the cream is topical, it is considered something different from the oral Sulfa drugs. Three days after I started applying the cream, I realized that although I had already been itchy, now it seemed I had hives along my incision line. Hmm, hives, I thought. Sulfa. Oh my. I called my father who is a registered pharmacist and he thought the cream was different than the oral drugs, which explained it being prescribed in the first place. I texted my friend who was one of my surgeons and he said to do a patch test on my arm. I never did have hives appear on my arm, but my itchiness increased and by Tuesday I had hives over my whole body. This is possibly unrelated to what happened otherwise!

(If you are squeamish you may not want to read the next part!)

On the same day that I realized I was using a cream I was possibly allergic to, I also experienced increased oozing from my incision. When I texted my friend / surgeon I also told him about the oozing and he thought it was normal, knowing that I did have the part of my skin which had turned black. Two days later, I noticed what seemed to be an actual hole in my incision line where the oozing was coming from. I had an appointment that day, and I ended up needing my incision re-opened and cleaned out, having dead skin and fat removed, and having the wound packed with gauze. Not only that but I was told I would need the wound cleaned out and repacked every day going forward.

I now have a visiting nurse service coming to my home to repack my wound each day. And it’s not just an incision now, it’s a wound. The small hole I noted last Tuesday is nothing compared with the wide open hole I have now. My reconstructed belly button is also somehow gone and remains only as a hole in the skin.

I’m going to be dealing with daily nurse visits for at least a month, if not more. Can you imagine? Thankfully, it doesn’t hurt. I mean, it’s painful at times, but it would be way worse if I had any feeling in my abdomen at all. Thankfully as well, my doctor prescribed something to help my itching and it is 1000 times better now. I also asked about the possibility I would get a yeast infection due to being on multiple strong antibiotics and my doctor prescribed something for yeast…turns out I may have already had a yeast infection and just hadn’t realized it.

So instead of improvement, I have this major setback. I am not happy, to say the least. I probably won’t be able to go to Florida next month as I had been hoping. I may not be able to swim this whole summer. I have a gaping open wound on my stomach. So yeah.

Oh yeah, I’m down ten pounds since the surgery. And like Dave said, this isn’t the worst complication we could have encountered. I didn’t die.


Breenah said...

That absolutely sucks. Like he said though, you didn't die! I'm glad you're not in pain either, but I really hope it heals super quick.

Leslie @ Violet Imperfection said...

Oh Dara. I am sorry you are having such a rough time. I can't even imagine. I'm thinking of you my friend!!

Janine Huldie said...

Oh my Dara, I truly am sorry to hear this and hoping that the wound heals very soon. My heart truly goes out to you and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Libby said...

Oh, Dara, I'm sorry to hear of your setback, but at least what you're experiencing can be fixed. Just take time to relax as much as you can. I'm sure once you're up and going, it's going to be non-stop action from then on out. :-)

Holly Higgins said...

I'm so so sorry! I had to have my main gallbladder incision reopened and drained due to necrosis - not fun!

Hopefully, everything will get better in the not so near future!

Kimberley Tobin said...

Oh Dara!! I'm just catching up on my blog reading and caught up on your story. I'm so sorry that you're having such a terrible recovery! I'll be thinking of you lots and hoping that the worst is over and that you'll be good as new very soon!

SEL said...

Omg. I'm so sorry you're dealing with all of this. :(

Thankfully we're in a time and place where all of this can be remedied and fixed!!

(And I'm allergic to sulfa too. I had no idea creams could be included in that. Thanks for the heads up!)

Praying you have a speedy recovery from here on out!

Munchkins and the Military said...

Wow! I'm so sorry! That sounds awful!! But you're right, at least you didn't have worse complications. Hope you feel better soon!

Annie One Can Cook! said...

You poor thing!! I'm so sorry to hear you're having to go through all of this :(--sending lots of healing thoughts your way.

Kera @ Nugget On A Budget said...

Oh no :( ...I'm sorry that this had to happen to you! It's a pain to basically be on bed rest and have to deal with nurse visits every day. But it's good that it can be treated and start to heal relatively easily. I'd kinda be mad at the hospital for not recognizing your allergy though! Even if the cream was topical. I hope you continue to improve and get better fast. It's nice that you have your family back with you now too. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

Sara said...

Yikes! So sorry to hear about your setback. Sending you lots of positive thoughts for quick healing.

KC Coake said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. Such a bummer. Can't they just stitch the hole closed? Probably a dumb thing to think, but it would seem like a much easier solution to this non medical person.
Take care...I hope somehow it gets better faster than they are predicting.