Click the picture for the story of Calypso, the Three Legged Green Sea Turtle, and why she's my symbol

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Back to Surgery. Again.

I'm getting really tired of saying this but I am back in the hospital for surgery again. For those who have been following my progress, it was noticed last Friday that I had a part of my back that was swelling upward. It was not exactly a bubble just yet but there was a good chance it was going to be. By Sunday it was clear that it really was another bubble. It was expanding and it was very squishy.



Sunday we went to the new Johns Hopkins ER. As expected we spent almost the entire day waiting around. They kept the patients occupied by providing cable on a big screen TV and a less than comfy bed. They did finally move me to a room of my own at 4am the following morning. This was the new addition to Hopkins that they have been working on for months. It is really pretty cool. They have a new ER, MRI machine, operating rooms, and tons of different floors for every occasion. I'm on the 12th floor and get a really cool view of Baltimore. The building itself is remarkably pretty.

They just starting moving their staff over here about 2 weeks ago.

The surgery was virtually identical to the last one I had in March. They went in and flushed out the whole area, sucking out any pockets of puss that the bacteria would have caused. Plastic surgery closed me up, pulling flaps of muscle from either side, filling in the space. This will hopefully prevent bacteria from growing as they will have no room to grow. They are putting me on different antibiotics to hopefully get rid of the bacteria that may have escaped the surgery.

My surgeons and myself are worried that the bacteria managed to find their way into the hardware in my back. There is some evidence to support this: the fact that these infections on my back crop seemingly for no reason and they've returned 3 times now. It is curable but it very difficult to remove once they've found their way onto the hardware. In the meantime all we can do is to keep clearing out any bubbles that form and try various antibiotics.

For now I'm waiting to heal and see what happens. I have four JP drains in this round. After the last surgery I had three drains in and said I was turning into a horse. Now I've got four drains and a central vacuum drain pump. I don't feel like a horse this time but instead feel like I'm turning into Doc Ock from Spider Man.

All the surgeries fortunately haven't turned me evil... yet.

On a more cheerful note, I'm entering a turtle into John's Hopkins 81st Annual Turtle Derby. It is a turtle race held by Johns Hopkins every year to  benefit Child Life at Hopkins Children’s and the Perkins Day Care Center, a nearby Johns Hopkins affiliate. When my mother passed by the booth for the Turtle Derby she immediately thought of me. It is a ten dollar donation to enter in a turtle which you are allowed to name. I named mine Calypso.

First one that makes it to the edge of the circle wins. Click the picture at the top of the page (or here) to read about Calypso the three legged Sea Turtle. 

For now I'm on bed rest while my back heals. I'll make sure to keep everyone in the loop as things develop. All I can really do at this point is wait; waiting of course is the most annoying, tedious, and essential part of the process. Wish me luck and root for Calypso in the Turtle Derby.

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