How about an update?

This has been a really diffcult recovery, which is why I haven’t really posted since the surgery. Today, I’m feeling well enough to sit at my desk long enough to post, though, so it’s time for an update.

The surgery was on December 17 and it went really well. It only took about 2 hours, which is fantastic. (First surgery, 6 years ago, was 7 hours and the second, 4 years ago, was 4 or 5 hours, so 2 is awesome.) The really terrific news is that the cysts really were cysts, not a return of the tumors! Dr. Holcomb talked to Scott while I was in recovery and said the biopsies came back clean, he saved the ovary, and we’re clear to do more IVF if we choose. I couldn’t have asked for a better result.

I had a hard time with the IV pain meds the next day and couldn’t keep any of the liquid diet down, but that eased up as soon as they took me off the IV and I started the percocet. Everything seemed to be going great until Thursday night, when I developed a fever. It wasn’t too high, so they gave me some Tylenol and took a urine sample to check for a UTI. That fever went away very quickly. That was a miserable night, though, because I was still on the IV pain meds and feeling so nauseous on top of being hot from the fever.

Unfortunately, that day they took the bandage off and a few hours later I looked at the incision and noticed that it was red and the skin around it was hot, which meant the incision was infected. They started me on IV antibiotics to control the infection, but the red area around the incision kept getting bigger. So on Saturday, my doctor started opening the incision to look for pus, which he unfortunately found. He had to open half the incision to clean out the infection and irrigate the wound. That sucked. Hard. That was followed with several more rounds of IV antibiotics, but I had another fever overnight that night. So on Sunday, my doctor ended up opening up the entire incision and found more infection. At this point, my nice, neat surgical incision had become a 10cm long, 5cm wide, 5cm deep wound. This wound has to heal from the inside, so they put in a wet-to-dry dressing to keep it open and prevent it from closing over and healing with an abscess.

Finally, on Monday, they set me up with a visiting nurse service for home and released me from the hospital. All told, I spent 6 days in the hospital, when I was expecting to spend 3. My doctor also ordered a wound vac, which came a few days later and has been on for 10 or 11 days, though we’ve had some problems with the nurses not setting it up right. (A topic for another post.)

As a result of the huge wound, this recovery has been the worst of the 3 surgeries. Ironic, because the surgery itself was the simplest. I’m still taking percocet for the pain, which is considerable. At this point after the previous surgeries, I was off pain meds. So healing is slow and my mobility is limited and I spend a lot of time reclined, but I’m getting a little better every day. The wound is down to 9.5cm long, 4cm wide, and 2.8cm deep, as of this morning, so it’s healing well. It looks absolutely HORRIBLE to me, but I’m assured by the nurses that it looks excellent. Beefy red is good, they tell me.

Scott’s staying home one more week to take care of me, which is really good, because I still need him. He goes back to work next Monday.

So that’s where I am. How’s your world?


8 Responses

  1. So glad you updated and that you are on the mend!!! I kept thinking I had to be missing the middle of the story (via facebook/twitter) because all was good and then NOT good and I kept thinking, “I had to have missed a vital post!! How did it get so crazy?” But now I see it just WAS crazy and it didn’t make any sense to me because it didn’t make any sense. (sigh) But aside from the nasty scar, I’m glad that all went well and that your ovary is still there and ready to go!!

  2. Oh dear! First of all, glad that there were only cysts to be found, but ack on the wound healing. I feel for ya. I went to one cleansing for my mom’s wound and ack! I’ve been thinking of ya and waiting patiently (kinda) for this update from you. Miss your presence in my online life. Sending you lots of gentle hugs. peace.

  3. Being able to post again is a huge sign of progress. Takes alot of stomach muscles to pull that off (or good drugs). I’m really glad to hear from you.

    Hang in there.

  4. wow, it’s hard to read about all that in one post! even though i’ve been following your updates on twitter 🙂 i’m glad to hear there’s more healing progress despite the stupidity of those nurses. i bet you feel a lot better in a week! fingers crossed!

  5. Hurray that those cysts were just cysts! now on to finishing up this crazy-long recovery and your future. here’s hoping 2009 brings you the things you long for! get well soon!

  6. Hi – I’ve been lurking on your site for a while and wanted to take this opportunity to say hi. Found you through I’m a fellow survivor and IVF’er. So so glad that the cysts turned out to be cysts and nothing more. That must have been such an incredible relief to hear – and fantastic too that he was able to spare the ovary and you can try your hand at IVF when you’re all healed.

    The healing…though. Ugh. What you’re going through stinks. So sorry that it’s turning out to be so complicated. Sounds like you’re on the right path now but wish it didn’t have to be so rough.

    take care. hope it’s ok if i check back from time to time. I have you linked on my blog.


  7. Hi Kim, I’ve met you a few times at RRE shows – as a matter of fact – I think I shocked you one night when I mentioned that I read your blog! That was about 2 years ago or so and I still check in with your site every now and then. I wanted to say I am happy for you both that your surgery went well and your biopsy was negative. I am an RN and a Visiting Nurse (actually I am a manager these days) but none the less I have a fair amount of experience with vacs and abdominal wounds, healing, homecare etc. If I can be of any help to you in your recovery, I would be happy to lend any support or info you may need. Here’s to a speedy recovery and less pain, remember the key to healing is protein, protein, protein, and by the way, beefy red is exactly what you want to see! Take care – Diane