Friday, January 26, 2007

A big ordeal...

Rather than call every single person on my “Contacts” list, I figured I would minimize the trouble (and the cell phone bill) by sharing my news on this blog… I was in the hospital for five days (since last Friday) because of an abscess [a pus-filled cavity resulting from inflammation and usually caused by a bacterial infection (from Encarta Dictionary)] that developed under my left armpit. This abscess started out two Saturdays ago as a swollen sweat gland that I accidentally “nicked” while in the shower, and resulted into an infected hair follicle. It did not start out too bad, and it was one of those things where I thought it might “just go away.” However, as the days went by, the area began to get bigger and the pain began to radiate to the point where I could not sleep comfortably at night. I had trouble moving my arm in any motion. There was also bad cellulitis, which is an inflammation of tissues beneath the skin [Encarta], around the infected area and bicep/triceps area. By Thursday, I was literally trying to find one position where I could sleep comfortably, as well as not making any movements that would bring on the pain. I also was having slight chest pains and headaches. At first, I thought that I was having a bad side effect from the birth control I was taking, but then again, why would I be having it now? Therefore, when I woke up Friday morning with excruciating pain that practically had me in tears, I made an appointment with one of my doctors. She clarified what I had stated earlier, and gave me antibiotics to clear up my infection. The pain was tolerable enough that I was able to have lunch at Denny’s with Rob and go to the pharmacy to get my medications. When Rob and I finally got home doing what we were doing, sitting on the couch became unbearable. I was back to trying to find a position for my arm so that it did not hurt too much. I was not comfortable sitting up… I was not comfortable lying down… A pillow under the arm made it worst… No pillow under the arm made it doubly worst. Therefore, Rob had me go upstairs to try to rest. As my doctor told me, give it some time… If I did not feel better by Monday, she recommended I see an internist. Well, by 10:30pm that Friday night, I was lying in bed with the chest pains AGAIN! They seem to worsen in any kind of position I was in, regardless of sitting, standing or lying down. Therefore, here we were… Friday night @ 11:00pm… My dad and Rob take me to the emergency room at Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina (btw… not one of the best hospitals, but that is a different blog). I’m having chest pains, I’ve got an abscess on my the size of a golf ball, and I’m in a lot of pain. Luckily, I saw a sign in the ER that said, “If you are experiencing chest pains or severe distress, please notify a staff member immediately.” I was in with a nurse in 10 minutes (wish I say that when my father went to the hospital back in November, but again, a different blog). When they were doing the screening, my blood pressure was 118/98, and blood sugar was 353. Not a good sign! I was given an EKG. I believe it did not come out so good since they immediately brought me back to a room, and was automatically hooked up to a heart monitor. The next couple of hours were rather interesting. Before I get into details, can I just say one thing? WOW is morphine interesting! OK, I will get into that in a minute. I had never been poked or prodded so much in my life! The nurse tried to get the pick line on me, but did not succeed in trying to find a vein. They tried twice, and oh, boy! I was not too happy about. A respiratory therapist came in to check my blood glass, and they had trouble finding a brachial pulse, so they went for the radial. Not comfortable to get a needle and blood draw around the area. Oh, and for my favorite part… DRAINING THE ABSCESS! They gave me Benadryl for the itching from the cellulitis… They gave me morphine for the “pain.” The instant they ran the morphine in my line I was out cold! Talk about a lightweight, huh? Anyway, that fun did not last too long because they got the local anesthesia on the abscess and drained that baby out! Oh, if you were there, you would have heard me scream like there was no tomorrow! The doctor and nurse that were working on that were great! The nurse even told me that it was OK for me to scream! Anyway, I was told that they took out about 50cc of pus. That is about 3 tablespoons of that stuff! They took it in for a wound culture, and found that I had a staph (Staphylococcus Aureus) infection. Therefore, I was automatically put on IV and antibiotics. The MD that admitted me said that there are no problems with my heart. My sugars are under control. I still have to change the dressing every day for my wound. I have a couple of follow-ups with the doctors next week. Anyway, other than a few sleepless nights, because of my fellow hospital roommates and hospital staff poking and prodding at me, I am glad to say that I am happy to be home, and sleeping in my own bed! It was tough week for me – physically & mentally – but I am moving forward to the best! So, if you were wondering what is being going on…? Now you know the story!

No comments: