Warning: this blog includes descriptions of yucky wounds, kind of depressing thoughts..so if you are having a great day..do not read:
Wow have I only been home 6 days?? That seems crazy to me..so much has happened. The trip home was uneventful although I noticed an increase of pain in my leg where I had fallen on the Milford Track. You know the one caused by neglect by a NZ company I cannot sue? The wound is on my right shin, only about 2 inches long but had been deep, near the bone. I had not really had any pain on the rest of the hike. After arriving home, Ibuprofen was not really helping the pain all that much anymore. Being an ex-nurse who saw ALOT of open chest wounds after heart surgery I was not particularly alarmed..This is just healing..I thought..I was pretty jet lagged..in general feeling yucky anyway..
Then on Tuesday, my leg REALLY started to sting..and I began to in general feel worse. No fever, just yucky. I hate going to the doctor these days. I actually have an aversion I think after all those years as a nurse..I am cynical about medical care in general and scared of hospitals. This is not particularly rational..Hospitals and doctors saved my mother in law 4 years ago. Medicine and a tough will to live has kept her generally healthy and alive. Then again, my sister died at the age of 52 in a hospital in 2001 of an infection that went into spinal meningitis. So I suppose my fear of hospitals, infections in general is warranted. H & I decided to call one of his friends, a GP who happens to practice up here in our hood. He said to come on down and he would take a look. I was pretty sure he would say It is fine-you are over-reacting. I know you are worried but it is just part of the healing process. He actually took one look at me and my leg and said, wow you are infected! You see I have this fear that I am either: a) going to die and b) over-reacting and a hypochondriac. Totally rational, huh? Holy crap! I thought..this is real!
There was some relief that I was not imagining my plight and felt fear as well. So he wrote me an antibiotic prescription and sent me on my way. OK, I think, this is it..now this thing will heal! I had trouble sleeping Tuesday night; the pain was keeping me up, now it was the whole bottom of my leg as well as the wound. Damn! I thought-this sucks. Wed afternoon I started throwing up. Convinced I had eaten something bad, I just stuck to liquids the rest of the day and hoped the damn Cipro would kick in soon. Then our friend, the angel doctor actually called me to see if I was OK. That was so sweet! I told him what was up; he gave me his private office number to call if I was not better soon. So yesterday, I felt like dog doo-doo. No fever, just general malaise as they say in the nursing business. I had no appetite and the pain was worse in leg and now there was nasty drainage involved. Oh shit! I thought as I went over to his office for the 2nd time in a week. The office staff freaked out that I was there since this doc is not taking new patients. Amazing how quickly things happened once I insisted they go back and talk to Dr. Friend himself. I was in a patient room in no time. This time, he looked at me and my leg and said Now I am worried..But said it in a way that was not too alarming..I shared with him my history with infection and sister gone and he validated my fears. OK, so maybe this is overkill, he said but we are going to take half your blood in little tubes and culture the wound. AND you get a fat ass shot of antibiotics in your butt. I spent the next hour in his office getting all of this done. Today I go back to get the results of the tests and probably another SHOT in my butt..There was some talk of possible complications, infection in blood, bone, etc. Not good info for a hypochondriac such as myself but I listened,trying not to freak out.
I must admit yesterday I felt pretty crappy. Still no fever but generally blah..Stayed on my couch and watched TV and tried not to worry. H started looking up blood infections on the Internet. NOT A GOOD IDEA! We laughed when he said I had a 60% chance of making it if the infection went into my blood. We retired folks have WAY too much time on our hands!
I can’t get into cyberchondria on this one. Too scary..So am taking one day at a time. This AM I feel a little better, leg still hurts like a SOB (drugs are helping), still not much appetite. Can’t I at least lose the 5lbs I gained on vacation from this? Isn’t that only fair?
So for a neurotic like me, this is not a good situation. Not terrible, just not good. I am trying to distract myself with TV, Facebook, magazines, and my new Motorola Q phone (really nice-I love it)..Feel like I am somewhat losing my sense of humor on this already. This is NOT how I saw my re-entry into real life at home going after such a fantastic, beautiful fantasy 9 week vacation but hey, shit happens! You take what life dishes out and go on to the next thing.
I feel much support from friends and family…
In the end, that is all that matters really. I am looking forward to the future in which I can organize my house, start training again..