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

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Return of the Bubble

It has been a while since I wrote anything. I've been struggling to catch with all the work for school I missed during my stay in Baltimore and now I'm cramming for finals. This is my way of taking a break in between studying. Plus I need to update everyone where I am physically.

My last post, I still had one drain left in my back to get rid of all the residual fluid that builds up after surgery. The drains are now all out but the trouble is not over. Within a week of the drains being pulled a bubble of excess fluid began forming underneath the skin.

The bubble of fluid isn't nearly this pretty. 

We were left with no choice but to cut the bubble open, clean it out, and stuff it full of treated packing material. The packing material will keep the wound clean and soak up all the excess fluid. I am not thrilled by the whole process; the wound needs to be cleaned and dressed several times a day. This has left my skin a mess from all the tape continually coming on and off. The entire process of packing the wound is supposed to delay the closing of the wound while soaking up any pus/fluid that's still leaking.The wound heals from the bottom up much like a zipper closing.

I've been sewn up and stapled up but this is my first time being zipped up.

To be honest I'd rather deal with this wound care then have my tail back again. At least this way I can roll over. I still have the PICC line in my arm, delivering IV antibiotics but I only have to change that every couple of days. Medically things are moving in their usual slow pace while the rest of my life zooms along. But what else is new. I've gotten to like my 'Turtle Pace' and those who don't like going that slow can zoom on ahead. This turtle still has a few tricks up his sleeve.

Turtle Hyper Speed

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I want SLEEP!

For those who've been following my progress I got 2 of the 3 drains in my back taken out. The one left in is draining slightly more than the doctors like so I'll get it taken out later this week. So my horse tail is smaller but still there.

We all WANT to be this cool but not all of us can...

The horse tail is annoying because I keep it in the same bag as my antibiotic. This is bad because anytime I want to turn over at night I have to get up and move the bag along with all my pillows. And I turn over a lot at night. This all equals me getting very little sleep because I can't stop moving.

It's like that but with a messier bed.

My cats are glad to have me back at home. They've moved from being wheelchair cats to cripple-friendly cats. They love to rub themselves all over my canes and feet when I'm walking. They don't seem to realize that tripping up Dad when he's limping along is a bad idea. Ah well. They've been cute, cuddling with me as I finish up all the studying I missed while in the hospital. They don't seem to mind as long as I'm here to give them a belly rub every once and a while. A good reminder to keep things simple.

You may commence with belly rubs now!

As the weather has warmed up I've gotten out and biked a fair bit. This has given a chance to see the turtles coming out to enjoy the fresh spring. Sun, food, a place to sleep... simple needs. On that note I'm going to take a nap and try not to turn too much.

Sleepy turtle is sleepy.

Monday, April 2, 2012

I'm slowly turning into a horse

For those who have been following my most recent surgery, I am still in the hospital but there is a chance that I could be released tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Even though I'll be leaving the hospital I'm taking parts of it with me. The most visible portion is my new tail. And yes you heard me right. I have a tail! It's actually made of the three bulb drains I mentioned in my last post, located right at the base of back. They have the problem of getting tangled up in each other giving them the appearance of a braided horse tail. I'm expecting to start growing hoofs any day now. I can get them all removed when they stop draining, whenever that'll be.

My tail coming out of the back of my hospital gown.

Another thing I'm bring with me is my PICC line. A PICC, or Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter, is a long slender flexible tube that is inserted through a vein in the arm. This is guided to directly outside the heart. This allows the PICC line to be hooked up to an IV, delivering the product to the biggest pump in the body. In my case I'm using it to deliver antibiotics, which need the extra pumping power of the heart to make sure it reaches hard to reach blood vessels all over the body. In addition it allows me to have a permanent IV for the 6 weeks I'll have to be taking IV antibiotics. If I had to get restuck for an IV every few hours I would start to look like Swiss cheese. 

The PICC line coming out of my arm.

Finally, I have the staples in my back. I'm no stranger to staples so these do not bother me too much. They're mildly annoying and will need to get pulled out in about a week. They're the least invasive pieces of machinery I have in my body at the moment.

All in all my back isn't looking too bad.

I have to remind myself that this is all to prevent any further infections down the line. And the last thing I want is to land myself back here because I didn't take take care of my new machinery. Now all I need to do is stop tripping over this tail; at least I should be able to use it to swat the springtime bugs away...

Click the horse to see him in action. It will amaze some of you...