Infection

Yep, I really am that lucky.

I was so excited to have my wound closed and looking forward to a weekend volunteering at a competition.

Friday was a pretty good day–except that for some reason the stitches on my left side didn’t ‘dry up’ like the right.  I called my surgeon’s office to ask if this was something to be concerned about and was told to keep an eye on it and that my surgeon was out of town until Saturday.  I explained I was going out of town myself and it was decided I would see my surgeon on Monday if the issue persisted.

Volunteering at the competition on Friday night was interesting and fun, but also hard at the same time.  It really brought home the reality that I still can’t dance and I am still pretty restricted in what I can do.  It was a lot harder watching others do what I love, especially the heats I would have been competing in myself.  But I grinned and beared it, and only told Boss I was feeling upset, which was no surprise to him.

I did dance one cha cha in the ‘Jack and Jill’ competition.  For those who are not familiar, a ‘Jack and Jill’ competition is a competition that mixes and matches partners.  Basically, everyone signs up as a single, and then you meet your partner for the competition on the floor and end up competing with someone you have quite possibly never danced with before. It’s all in good fun and I was glad to get at least one (although admittedly rather tame) cha cha in. It was really the highlight of my weekend :).

Unfortunately, things went downhill from there.  Long story short, I woke up with an obvious fever and all the stitches on my left side were red, hot and swollen, and leaking fluid.  The redness also had traveled down my chest some and through more than half my left ‘noob’.  I had been at this long enough to recognize a big problem when I saw it.

I called my surgeon’s office and was told that yes, I should go directly to the ER to be seen and probably get some IV antibiotics.  And so, that was the end of my weekend away.  By the time I left the ER, it was late and I was pretty exhausted, so I had to cancel volunteering and missed the second night of competition.  I spend the evening in my hotel room watching hockey in bed.

When I got back home today I had to go back to the hospital (in my home town) to be reassessed.  A little bit of luck was on my side as my surgeon was on call and in the ER when I arrived, so he saw me right away.  He took some swabs and basically confirmed what I had guessed–there was an infection on the left side, and worse, one of the stitches had let go and the wound is not open–although only in one spot and only about 1 cm.  There is nothing he can do right now except wait.

I was worried that the traveling and things I did on the weekend caused the wound to re-open and the infection.  He told me it was highly unlikely anything I did or didn’t do would have made a difference.  It was always a toss up for him whether to close the wound or not because he knew it was possible it might not hold.  There just isn’t quite enough skin to close the wound and there was too much tension and stretch for the stitches to hold.  There is also a further issue of lack of blood flow to the area because it is all transplanted tissue, which also makes healing difficult.  He told me that as I had fluid drain from the wound constantly since the surgery on Thursday, the hole probably opened during that night.  Part of me wishes he had told me during the surgery that there was a lot of tension and that the stitches were a bit fragile.  Although infection is infection–it was probably brewing in the wound before it was closed, despite all the precautions we had taken to prevent it.

So now I am back to taking antibiotics, and wound care to wait and see if this heals up.  I still have all my stitches and some of them are holding, there is just the one spot that is a little open, but it is also not as deep as the old wound.  With a bit of luck, hopefully all the fluid will drain out and it will start to close on it’s own by mid-week with the antibiotics.

I can’t even begin to express how disappointed I am.  This was supposed to be the beginning of the end of my wounds.  I guess it still is, but the infection certainly set me back, and it caused me to cancel on my commitment to the competition.  One more thing my health interfered with.

The surgeon did tell me I can still go back to dance, but I am really hesitant right now.  The lingering fever and fatigue from the infection aside, I definitely don’t want to risk the wound opening up any more. It just seems safer to wait for now, and see what the surgeon thinks when I see him at the end of next week. For now, I am waiting and seeing how things go.  I will see the wound care nurse again tomorrow and I know she will be able to give me a good and frank assessment.

Not the weekend I was hoping for, but at least there was one small sliver of light with a quick cha cha with a random stranger.  It felt better than I thought it would to do a little dancing and that was a surprise in itself.  It makes me a little hopeful for when I can really get back to dance.

 

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