Thursday, January 26, 2012

Like a Punch to the Gut

Last week at my post-op follow up I had a small place where essentially all four major incisions meet that looked ever so slightly irritated. I didn't think anything was serious and chalked it up to irritation from all the daily taping of the incision lines. Needless to say I should have bought stock in Target Pharmacy for the amount of tape I go through in a week.

I still have a fair amount of swelling and numbness that is expected even months after, but this seemed worth pointing out. My doctor put me on an antibiotic as a preventative and asked me to call if anything changed.

Over the weekend things worsened and by Monday am it was apparent that I needed to get in to be seen. Alas another reason I have loved working with this practice is the speed in which calls were returned and I was brought in early on Monday.

Bill had several very late night calls with my surgeon during the first weeks out, all returned very quickly, even when he was not the physician on call.

Ask me why a million times over I am glad I opted for this practice and in particular my outstanding surgeon. When I interviewed several area practices this was the type of care I envisioned. I have been told by a couple of colleagues who have had experience with post breast cancer reconstruction as well as my dermatologist that my surgeon has an superior reputation as well as a great bedside manner.

At this point I feel this is like no doctor/patient relationship I've ever experienced short of a therapy relationship. In part due to the type and amount of surgery but also due to the time he has taken with me (and Bill) to make sure in every step questions were answered. Heaven forbid if I or local friends ever need plastic surgery related to illness, I would recomend this practice.

Without diving into the ick factor, around 5 inches of my 31 total inches was infected. I left with another antibiotic to take in addition to the existing prescriptions and instructions to return the next day with a record of dressing changes.


The one major concern I had going into this surgery was the fear of post-op infection. After all the care with my parents, both of which became septic at some point before they died I know how very, very serious infection can be and how in a matter of days something not so serious can become life threathing.

I called my brother on Monday night and talked to him extensively. I took away that while not anywhere in the ballpark of my mom at her worst, the fact I was being brought back so frequently that the situation was serious. Add to this that on Monday my doctor was stumped as to why now and not immediately after surgery I was having any issues. In office he did a minor procedure to help relieve some of the swelling which due to the numbness was not too painful.

Fast forward to yesterday when I returned again for a incision check and to have the site repacked. The good news is for the first time this week I got a positive report, the additional meds seem to be working and even bought myself a pass not to make a daily trip in until Monday.

I've had several people ask if doing this surgery was worth the pain and recovery time.


A million times yes that this was worth it. Knowing I'm with an outstanding surgeon is part of the reason I'm moving ahead to finish this work sooner than later.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Complications suck. I'm thinking of you and hope it passes quickly and you're back on the road to a full recovery.