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11/8/2012
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The Aftermath
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The Aftermath 13: Not Yet the Final Chapter

The Aftermath 13:
Not Yet the Final Chapter

After arranging transportation, I went to see my surgeon the next morning. He said it was likely infected, but to wait a few days to see what developed since I was already on antibiotics. He would be gone the next week, but assured me his colleague was perfectly capable of treating the infection during his absence.

I spent  four days at home before returning to see this capable doctor. He saw the redness, fever and altered lab values consistent with a major infection. I was scheduled for surgery to drain the apparent abscess the next morning.

They no longer keep patients in the hospital the night before surgery, I was supposed to go home and return the next day. A friend of a friend had driven me down for this appointment.  He needed to return home that evening and I had no way to return for surgery the next day. Somehow, the doctor worked it out that I could spend the night in the hospital.

I was already awake when they once again wheeled me down to the pre-operative area, went through the pre-op assessment, and wheeled me to the operating room. At this point, it was so routine that I would just close my eyes and breathe deeply as they started the anesthesia. Having a different doctor worried me a bit, but my surgeon had assured me he was capable of performing this surgery. I was ready to get this over with. It had to be the last time, what else could happen?

When I came to, I was in recovery, another quite familiar place. They gave me a couple of doses of pain medicine and sent me to my hospital room, where I was again hungry. After eating, I floated in and out of consciousness for a couple of days. I remember during that time, they had moved me to private room, explaining I was in isolation due to having MRSA infection.**

The morning my surgeon returned, he took one look at what the other doctor had done and told me that was not what he wanted and he would  redo the surgery the next day.

This last surgery left me with a four inch deep, two inch wide hole, not an incision, but a hole in my leg. It was so large they would pack it with a whole roll of gauze soaked in saline twice a day. The next few days, they taught me how to do that, administer the six weeks of IV antibiotics I would need and also administer a syringe full of blood thinners in my stomach each day.

As always, I wanted to go home. Three days after the last surgery, a friend did pick me up and take me home to my very spoiled beagle.

To be continued…

** MRSA often called methicillin resistant staphylococcus, hospital acquired infection, the superbug or antibiotic resistant staph. Once you have had it, you are always assumed to still have it as there is no truly effective cure. Almost eight years later, I still am put on special precautions when receiving medical care as it is assumed that somewhere in my body, the bacteria might currently be dormant, but could become active again at any time.

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