I'm not quite two weeks out from my second surgery for the abscess. The surgery itself went well. The surgeon did what she planned on by opening up the abscess, draining it and then leaving it open to be packed with gauze so it can heal from the inside out. Yes, it was as painful and horrible as it sounds.
I'm pleased to announce that I am done with the packing part of the healing process. That was definitely an experience. I had home care nurses coming every day to change the packing, clean the wound, re-pack it and dress it. Humiliating is a good word to use to describe that. Not only did I have to bare my ass to total strangers, but they had to take pictures of the wound to be able to document the progress of my healing. Now I'll never be president if those get leaked. I also seriously doubt that they will make me "Kardashian" famous either. Bummer. Anyway, I get that they are nurses, and thank the gods that I was able to get all female nurses (that was nearly a disaster) that's their job and they think nothing of it. I was a nurse and I've taken care of people and it was no big deal. But it was really embarrassing being on the other end of things.
(I'm bare assing? The other end of things? You really didn't think I'd avoid the puns did you?)
Jenni's Guts - presenting you shitty situations via funny puns since 2012!
The packing and re-packing of the wound didn't hurt like I thought it would, which was a nice surprise. It was very unpleasant, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't awful. It was a stinging pain mostly but it quickly subsided. It really only hurt when you touched it, or any time I moved wrong, or tried to sit down, or tried to lay down, or attempted to get comfortable in any way, or... Trying to negotiate a dressing over top of the packing proved to be a challenge as well. Because of the location of the wound, it was nearly impossible to keep a dressing securely sealed around the wound. This was where a lot of my anxiety stemmed from.
The most difficult part of the whole process was going to the bathroom - you know, that thing I'm really good at because I do it a dozen or more times a day. Yeah, that's not super easy when you have an open wound a millimeter from your rectum. Because of the location, the wound couldn't exactly be totally sealed all the way around with the dressing. You can't tape over top of a rectum. (True story, don't believe the hype, people! #StayWoke) So, when I would use the bathroom, I would immediately need to get into the shower to wash off and make sure I was clean because wiping normally was out of the question. Even though the water cleaned what needed to be cleaned, it didn't take long before it found it's way through that one tiny place that wasn't completely secured and the whole inside of the dressing would get soaked. This usually resulted in me freaking out thinking that I was introducing bacteria and waste into the actual wound and then needing to wait hours for the home care nurse to arrive and change the dressing. Even though I have the knowledge of how to change a wet to dry dressing, I was completely incapable of doing it on myself because of the location. It was impossible for me to properly take care of the area myself and that was more frustrating than anything. I knew how to do it, I just couldn't. I couldn't even see the area - not that I wanted to.
Naturally, by the time the nurse arrived I was usually hysterical - like, "slap her in the face, she's out of control hysterical," hysterical. I freaked one nurse out so bad that she literally changed my dressing, patted me on the shoulder and said, "you're okay", and left so fast there are probably still tire marks in the driveway! It wasn't pretty and certainly not my finest hour. The whole situation just sucked! No matter how much I tried to calm down and listen to the nurses telling me that the wound was fine, and it was healing well, I just couldn't settle down. I was convinced that I would inevitably get the wound infected and end up back in surgery resulting in an even bigger area I wouldn't be able to take care of and I'd never be able to poop again! I was really scared. And I really hated being in a position where I couldn't take care of myself.
But, apparently I managed alright because I'm still alive. As of the writing of this post the wound has not become infected and I have even healed enough to no longer need packing or a sealed dressing over the wound. I can just keep a clean gauze pad over top of it, neatly tucked between my cheeks. I can also now properly take care of the area by cleaning myself and changing the gauze every time I go to the bathroom. Oh, happy day!! How did I ever take going to the bathroom for granted?! Such a simple thing that we always do without thinking about it became the hardest thing in the world for me! Why does my life have to always revolve around the damn bathroom!!? I mean, honestly!
Remember back when I had the hernia surgery and ended up in the cycle of not being able to take the pain medication because I didn't eat, but I couldn't eat because I was nauseous, and I was nauseous because I was in pain, but I was in pain because I couldn't take the pain medication? Well, I found myself in a similar cycle after this surgery. I needed to eat, even more than normal to promote healthy tissue growth to heal, but I didn't want to eat because I didn't want to go to the bathroom. I didn't want to go to the bathroom because I had the wound, but the wound couldn't heal unless I ate. But the more I worried about it the more I ended up going to the bathroom, regardless of whether or not I ate. After the day I took 6 Imodium, a few narcotic pain pills they warned would constipate me, barely ate and still somehow managed to poop well over 10 times, I figured I might as well actually eat some decent food and protein so I could heal faster.
It's been rough. This recovery has been a hard one, and it's not over yet. I'm literally walking around with a pretty decent sized open wound on my ass. I can't really sit straight so I have to lean on one hip or the other. I can't lay on my back either so I have to sleep on one side or the other. I'm seriously half assing my way through life right now. I keep telling myself it will heal and I will get back to putting my whole ass into things again soon. Twerking is in my future!! HA! - No, no it's not! Regardless, I follow up with the surgeon in another few days so here's hoping for good news then.
I would like to take a moment to shamelessly promote the one thing that has gotten me through this trying time - The Great British Baking Show. I watched the show years ago and loved it but since the surgery I started rewatching the whole series again. I now have three new life goals once I can whole ass again. 1. Become British. 2. Start baking again. 3. Get a handshake from Paul Hollywood! I'll settle for two out of three.