This post chronologically goes right after my first PAO surgery. This took place three weeks post-op, so around the end of June 2015. This entails the four I&D surgeries I had to treat the bone infection I got, as well as a fun bout of c diff!
Three weeks after surgery, I remember sitting in the bathtub on my shower chair, sponge bathing as I was able to do about twice per week. (Yikes). I was looking at my incision, which was fully closed, thinking, “wow, I have so much bruising all of a sudden.”
A day or so later, I started to feel very ill; I had the cold sweats, the shivers, the vomiting, and all the other fun flu-like symptoms. I’ve never had the flu, but this was the closest I’d ever felt to it. I couldn’t leave my bed, I couldn’t eat or drink anything without throwing it up. Finally, after waiting a few days to see whether this was really the flu or something hip related, Roman (my boyfriend) and I went to the emergency room of Children’s Hospital in the middle of the night. Of course, my parents didn’t go, because they did not care much about my recovery.
In the ER, they started to place IVs, and an ER nurse tried about five times to shove an IV through scar tissue on my hand. This was after I had told her that my doctor told me to tell everyone NO IVs THERE. Finally, the pain became so unbearable that I started sobbing. Mind you, I was wearing a full face of makeup, winged eyeliner, the works. Of course when you’re in recovery and there’s nothing else to do, might as well work on your blending skills, right?
One of Dr. Bosch’s fellows came in and was twisting my leg around, asking how it felt, which it hurt really badly because I was only three weeks post op. Finally, he dismissed me, saying that it was probably cellulitis, and said I would need to be on antibiotics. I thought that that meant I could get a prescription and go home. Wrong.
After several hours of sitting in the ER, I was finally admitted. I had emailed Dr. Bosch, asking if I could see him. Faithfully, he came in that morning and expressed that surgery was necessary. I had my first I&D (incision and drainage) procedure on a Friday, and then another the following Monday. Let me tell you, having that fresh incision ripped open two more times felt GREAT. After one of these procedures (I can’t recall which), I awoke with a picc line in my right arm, and I had to be on antibiotics for about two months. I also remember waking up and a nurse handing me a red slushy in a styrofoam cup. “Drink it all!” my mom said. “Why??” I replied. I overheard the nurse saying something about ketamine (the meds I was on at that moment) and I said “you guys drugged my slushy?!” …Yeah, I really hate pain meds.
I was sent home, and I came back to Dr. Bosch as an outpatient to get my stitches out. At this point, the stitches were still not drying up or showing signs of healing. Again, he said we needed to go in and drain. I was admitted yet again, this time in mid-July, and I had a wound vac placed during surgery. This was basically a mechanical sponge that would suck out excess blood, fluid, and pus, and send it into a machine that the nurses had to empty constantly. I also found out during this visit that I had c diff. C. Diff was the worst part of the entire ordeal– seriously. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemies.
My last surgery was a few days later, where they had to drain again. Dr. Bosch said that if I woke up with no drainage catheter that meant I got to go home. I woke up and the first thing I checked was to see if there was a drainage catheter. As well as this journey has gone so far, you can imagine that, of course, there was a catheter. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more disappointed. I was so tired of the hospital and some of the careless nurses I was left in the care of. As soon as I got to my room and the doctors left me alone, I broke down crying, just wanting to go home.
My last procedure was a bedside one. I had a wound vac, as I said earlier, and the surgeon didn’t want to put me under anesthesia for a third time that week. He and some nurses and other staff came in my room for the procedure. He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, by the way. The nurses put morphine in my picc line and waited about twenty minutes for it to kick in. Spoiler: it never kicked in. They asked me if I was feeling “sleepy” and I said no. Dr. Bosch said “well we’re gonna get started anyway, you’re tough!” It didn’t hurt when they were changing the wound vac but I could feel it tugging on my bone, which was really weird. After the procedure was all done, the morphine finally kicked in and I was high as a kite. All I remember is finally being able to eat for the first time in weeks! I had a huge breakfast and a nap.
A few days later, I was finally able to go home. The incision took about 6 weeks AFTER all of this to close up, so the scar is very intense, with lots of adhesions to the bone and muscles surrounding. I love the scar but hate the pain I still have!