secondary infection

Had such a miserable night last night that I called my GP this morning and got in for this afternoon. 

Confirmed that I have a bladder/urinary tract infection – welcome to being a diabetic, throw the sugars out of whack just a little and this can happen.

Culture of urine in process to determine if kidneys involved.

New antibiotic. Should feel the results in 24 hours.

Trying to work physio on left arm every chance I get. May need some help that way. We’ll see.

___________
namaste

my surgeon

From my surgeon’s perspective: everything looks fine.

BUT I’ve been reprimanded for not doing enough physio.

At least the drain removal wasn’t a big deal.

And so we watch me for another couple weeks before the okay is given to return to work. Good thing too. I have a spiking fever STILL. Must address that if it continues to Friday.

__________
namaste

hospital visit #2

I had no choice but to go back to Emergency Saturday night. The stitch holding the drain in had torn from my skin and about 1″ of the drain was out.

The Emergency Room doctor took out the drain against his own better judgement. I begged him. It’s been driving me crazy.

And now my fever is spiking. I suspect that antibiotics need changing to something stronger.

I see my surgeon tomorrow – yes, she’s back from holidays. I can only hope she doesn’t give me shit for having the drain taken out and want to put another drain in, but we have to do what’s best, right??

Stay tuned.

_________
namaste

three weeks later

Okay, I obviously have a defect in my brain. It’s not such a bad thing overall, because it’s obviously protecting me. In my own little world, I never imaged that this surgery could lay a person out so much.

Oh, don’t be incredulous at my expense. You all know me. I live in a wonderful, rose-tinted world where reality has a Gayle interpretation on it.

I can barely get dressed and all I’m wearing are easy-on, easy-off clothing. I can barely wash my own underarms due to limitation in motion/movement of both arms. And I’m still incredibly sore, dealing with swollen flaps under the arms and still with a drain.

Not exactly how I pictured the three-week mark. I had expected the drains to be gone. The ability to shower (oh, to shower!). And, more motion/movement in the arms than I have.

Sigh.

I think it’s boredom creeping in. I mean really, have you watched daytime television lately?? Good lord, it’ll rot the brain. Is there no intelligent life out there???

Sanity slipping more than usual.

_________
namaste

hospital visit

So, the day after my drains were removed, the remaining drain’s contents took a turn for the worse – incredible increase in volume, and by day’s end on Thursday had taken on a cloudy appearance with an off-colour (as opposed to the clear yellow from before).

That’s also when my pain level started to increase – not good, since I was out of Tylenol 3’s – so a frantic call to my GP to PLEASE break her own rule of “must see patient first”. She was in total agreement – but the pharmacy screwed up and I didn’t have the meds for Thursday night.

Friday I just felt that everything was getting tighter and tighter, and hurt so much more. I kept asking Vince to confirm things weren’t leaking or redness starting, or even just to feel the temperature of the skin. He kept telling me everything looked fine.

And then the contents of the drain reached new levels of putrid.

I did what I was supposed to do. I called my surgeon’s office first (that was in the morning). By the time the assistant got back to me at 2 p.m., guess what? All doctors gone for day (long weekend anyone?). She had discussed my message with him. The focus of her discussion? The increase in volume, which I had noted in my message was expected, but my concern was for the consistency of the drainage. But she didn’t discuss that with him. So I was no further ahead. Also, the assistant noted that my substitute surgeon was going to be on call at Royal Jubilee Hospital for the weekend.

So I did what I was supposed to do if the surgeon wasn’t available, I called my GP. Hmm. Gone for day at 2:30 p.m. Seeing a pattern here?

Friday night was so awful, even with pain medication, that I woke up knowing that Dr. R was at Jubilee, on-call, so off to the hospital’s Emergency Vince and I went at 7 a.m. 

I did get to see Dr. R after waiting 4 hours, but at least I was given a stretcher to lie down on in Triage for the duration, otherwise would never have lasted that long! Dr. R said everything looked 100% normal for my recovery (agreeing with Vince’s observations), but agreed that the drainage was not what should be happening. A nurse emptied my bauble to have the contents cultured and the doc gave me a prescription for antibiotics and sent me on my way. [Have I mentioned I’ve been calling my drains “baubles”?  At the moment, they’ve been the only “jewellry” I’ve had on. Hence the name. Such a warped humour I have.] 

By the time I hit bed last night, I’d had two doses of antibiotics.  Combined with pain med, tamoxifen and gravol, is it any wonder that I slept so friggin well last night?! Actually, I know the antibiotics have worked, because the pain level has returned to a 2 or 3 (0-10, 10 being the worst) – at the height of my crisis, I was saying 8.5, 9 as my pain level. I woke up comfortable, nothing pinching or tight. And while the drainage is still cloudy, the colour and overall appearance has started to improve.

Vince, the ever-loving and thinking husband that he is, commented that I’ll be fine until the next drain comes out.  Sigh. I fear he’s right. My body just doesn’t like 2 to 4 inches of plastic tubing rudely yanked out of it.

__________
namaste

pathology

It’s a mixed news kind of situation.

The pathology report did not come out as “cleanly” as was hoped – there is metastatic cancer in three lymph nodes.  The report says that there is no external nodal involvement (so this means it’s contained within the nodes themselves). The breast itself had a small region of “in situ” cancer, which is actually very good.

Also there is nothing showing in remaining lymph node, the lymphatic system and skin.

For now, it is a “watch and wait” situation – it could be years before anything more is known as to what impact this may have.

__________
namaste

spoke too soon

Had a bad reaction to drains being removed. More pain than when I came home from surgery. Spent most of day on back and in bed.

Back to bed.

_________
namaste

drains!!

I knew going into the appointment today that I wasn’t going to have all the drains removed. I have one that is just not slowing down.

So, two out of three are removed. Already more comfortable.

Now if only the swelling would cooperate!

__________
namaste

the return of hair

My hair has basically grown back enough that I need a hair cut, or at least a trim around the ears and neck.

The colour is basically as before…with a few more grey hairs very visible. It’s also thicker in consistency than previously and there is wave where none has been before. 

The problem?

The growth rate and different “kinds” - or should I say lack of growth in one area. The hair on my crown is growing both straight and slower than the hair at the sides, which is growing with a wave and certainly much faster than the crown.

The crown also has a mind of it’s own. It sticks up when I brush it my usual way, so now I brush with a part to have it lie flat.

The “flat” doesn’t exactly compliment the wavy and so it looks just weird. I suppose I shouldn’t have expected perfection…this is “me”, after all!

__________
namaste

stir crazy

The walls are definitely closing in. I’m going absolutely bonkers.

I look like a frankenstein (well, only part of me) and I’m limited in mobility and endurance, but you can’t keep me locked up any more! Particularly since the weather is so NICE.

I had a small victory yesterday – I managed to dress myself. It took a little longer, but I did it. And then I was ready for a nap!!

Swelling is down, but still present. Soreness and discomfort might be words that are around for a little while yet. The drain tubes are driving me mad. I have my fingers crossed that the surgeon will remove them on Wednesday. Since this is a substitute surgeon (mine went on holidays the day after my surgery), I don’t know that I’ll get any results yet. Always waiting am I.

I will also have some physiotherapy ahead of me. I can barely lift my left arm and my right arm is improving in mobility.

Still laughing.

TTFN

_________
namaste