Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Hippocratic Oath is not for me

Blogging's been a little off for me lately, for any number of reasons - and don't discount the power of laziness.  I love my sleep.  However, I've also been a little distracted by some pain and worries, and since I'm not typically a great sharer of personal issues, coupled with a tendency to overanalyze and worry excessively, I think I'll vent and share for a bit.

Traditionally, I don't do too well in dealing with medical maladies...of my own, or really even of others.  I'm not excessively squeamish, and I can handle your run-of-the-mill, bit-o'-blood-here-or-there injury, but when it comes to close-up dealing with my own injuries that have any degree of ick  I vividly remember some post-op recovery time from the extraction of my wisdom teeth, those days filled with ice packs, a liquid diet, and hydrocodone-induced naptime.  However, I remember absolutely nothing about getting from the bathroom back to the couch after Mom helped me pull out the bloody cotton wads packed into every inch of the back of my mouth.  Because I fainted.  Not good.  Thanks again, Mom, for being a truly excellent nurse.

I'm not exactly a daredevil.  Never had a broken bone in my body (knock on wood!).  While I've encountered my fair share of bumps, bruises, and scrapes over the years, along with the occasional and less common "yes, I grew up out in the country with horses" incidents involving electric fences and barbed wire, there wasn't much to be concerned about.

I've had a small-ish cyst hanging out on my chest since sometime in my college years, and it's never really bothered me.  Likely some scarring if I opted to have it removed, so I opted to just leave it alone.  The most I ever had to think about it was if I got a "hey, what's that?" - easily answered with an "oh, it's nothing."  Except that last week nothing became something as it turned angry on me and fairly rapidly quadrupled in size, shifted from Erin-pale to violent red, and generally caused a rather remarkable amount of pain.  We're talking constant, just-hurts-when-I-move-at-all kind of stinging, awful pain.  To the doctor (NOT my favorite place in the world) we go.

Drain cyst (two shots of lidocaine, but truly amazing levels of pain as I nearly squeezed off a medical student's hand), pack gaping hole in my chest with twenty-eight feet (yes, yes, slight exaggeration) of gauze, apply more gauze, cover with waterproof wound dressing.  Sample sent off to confirm I'm not infected with anything ridiculous.  Make appointment to return on Monday for check-up.  Politely refuse vicodin for when lidocaine wears off as one needs to be coherent at work after medical morning out, but do hit the pharmacy for week's worth of massive antibiotics.  Proceed to suffer varying levels of pain, concern, and mild panic throughout the day, day...but will spare you gory details.  Regret polite refusal of vicodin.

Not done.  Minor surgery needed to actually remove cyst walls.  Fabulous.

At the moment, concerned about:  current level of pain (less than pre-drain pain, but still a little remarkable), removal of packed gauze that it supposed to occur tomorrow by me (don't think I can pull that off, have unfortunately not befriended any doctors or nurses in the area who might actually enjoy that sort of thing - Minute Clinic, here I come, unless I manage to magically become medically amazing in the next day or so), impending surgery to actually remove cyst walls, presence of gauze and coverings on my chest for the foreseeable future, and scarring to come.  Phew.

While this cyst adventure is not nearly as concerning as Sarah's adventures with Wanda, it's still bothering me.  And I hope I didn't repulse anyone with discussing at all or descriptions - fairly broad strokes there.  But it feels better to just get the thoughts out of my compulsive-worry-prone head and onto...well, not paper, but a random page on the interwebs.

No one needs to see a picture of this, I know.  And I promise you won't.  But allow me to share the Wound Care Center at Bryan Place:

Yet another reason to love 3M, maker of one of the most amazing products ever (helloooo, have you seen the name of the blog?) - they also make this really cool wound dressing film (yes, I realize I'm referring to wound dressing film as "really cool" - I'm concerned about me, too) that conveniently holds gauze in place, is completely waterproof, and actually doesn't hurt when you peel it off.  Thank you, 3M.

Any ideas for cool scar stories?  Mom thinks I could go dramatic with this one...


I can't remember if I've ever failed to pick at least one of the men's NCAA Final Four teams.  Both of my title game teams are out and my bracket's generally shot to hell, but I'd like to at least redeem myself with ONE Final Four team.  So I'm sorry, Big XIIers, but for the sake of minor bracket salvation and family solidarity, I'll be cheering for my sissy's school tomorrow - go Duke!


Jen and Mike said...

Aww, Erin, you can share anytime. I hope you are feeling better.

On a side note, I agree with you and GO Duke!!!! I have them winning it in my bracket.

Sarah said...

Shame shame for not cheering for my Bears!

But seriously, OH MY GOSH! Poor thing! You can always call and vent about medical maladies to me, you know I can feel your pain!

Love you friend!