Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Today was my first appointment at the wound care clinic at our local hospital.

The way things have been going since I got home from the hospital is that the home nurse pulls the gauze out then uses a cotton tipped applicator and sticks it inside the tunnel that branches out from the main wound. They push it in, as far it is goes, pull it back out, and measure from the tip to the spot where the wooden part of the applicator isn’t bloody.  That is what I expected to happen today but instead the doctor asked for a piece of equipment which happened to be a very large metal rod that was shaped like a cone getting larger at the end. She then proceeded to push that into the tunnel causing me to stop breathing and tense up from pain.  It hurt but from it we learned that the tunnel, which had started out at about 7cms, was now slightly over 8cms obviously meaning it had grown instead of shrunk. It also means infection.

It’s not surprising that there’s a slight infection. It’s a giant open wound and the world is not a sterile environment.  It’s not something to worry about at this point as this is normal and the various things they have planned will kill off and remove the bacteria that’s gotten into the wound. I don’t even need to be on antibiotics.

The doctor’s next suggestion was to do wound dressing changes, packing and repacking the wound, twice a day. She immediately had my attention and at first I tried to be good and calm explaining that I realize it’s a PTSD issue on my part but the last time we did twice a day changes like that I had an arterial hemorrhage and nearly died right on my own couch. She started telling me that my wound looks great so something like that wouldn’t happen and I interrupted saying that the last time around in 2009 my wound supposedly looked great and was perfect and no one thought there’d be any problems and then there was a HUGE problem. I reiterated that I'm aware that it's a PTSD issue for me but a very real issue just the same. As it is my alarm clock HAS to go off as music. It can’t go off as a beep because the beep immediately sends me back to the night I nearly died from the hemorrhage and panic sets in. At that point I could no longer keep the tears from falling. The doctor left to get something and the nurse in the room who I’d only just met immediately came over to me and wrapped me up into a big hug and let me cry. She just kept telling me that it was OK that with all I’ve been through I’m allowed a meltdown from time to time and to never let anyone tell me different.

By the end, the doctor and I were on better terms though I still don't really like her at this particular point, and some minor changes to my current medical routine are being set into place and now we’re waiting to see if I’ll be spending time in the hyperbaric chamber again as I did in 2009 or not. The biggest question is for my neurologist because a person with optic neuritis runs the risk of going irreversibly blind in at least one eye doing hyperbaric therapy. I spent a short period of time this summer blind in my right eye due to optic neuritis thanks to my MS. The doctor said that and immediately I said, "I'm not going blind. Ain't gonna happen." I must have said it half a dozen times. We’ll see what my neurologist who is tops in his field has to say about it in my particular case. 

.:::SIGH:::. Why does nothing ever go smoothly when it comes to my health? .:::SIGH:::.