Turns out that area of redness over my expander that started oozing pus was cellulitis, and it had advanced to the stage that Dr. Kang recommended I check myself into the hospital immediately in order to start a course of IV antibiotics that would last days. Lovely – just how I don’t want to spend my time, sitting in a hospital room, hooked up to an IV pole.
My IV pole, complete with antibiotics and two different kinds of saline solution
While Dr. Kang was surprised I didn’t go to the emergency room, instead of scheduling an appointment (I thought I was doing good and seeing a doctor. Who wants to go to the emergency room when you don’t feel like you’re about to die?), going to his office first meant I went right to admissions at the Women’s Hospital. Even so, checking into a hospital after 5pm on a Friday night is not the most efficient of processes. I got checked in and told to go to the fifth floor, where someone would meet me. I made it to the fifth floor, but there was no one around. I even went onto the floor a couple of times. The nursing station I could see was dark, and there was no one around. Back out to the waiting room and my book I went.
Eventually, someone did come out and bring me to a room. I updated my file on the computer, and then proceeded to get poked many times. I needed an IV first. Apparently, while I have a lovely vein at the crook of my arm for drawing blood, any other vein in my arm is tiny. The first vein the IV nurse tried didn’t work, so let’s try above the elbow instead. With all the tape, it makes it uncomfortable to bend or straighten my arm all the way.
My arm after four needle sticks. The allergy tag is for steri-strips.
I also had to provide blood for labs and blood cultures. The blood cultures are to try to narrow down what specifically is causing my infection, in case the doctors want to change the antibiotics I’m getting. They started with the big guns, Vancomycin, so I’m not sure what they’d change to, but knowing what’s causing the infection would be a good thing. The blood cultures need two blood draws, an hour apart, to provide a backup on the analysis (although which one do they believe if the results come back different?). Four needle sticks in two hours has to be a record, even for me.
Blood culture bottles
I’m still waiting to see a doctor to find out how long I’m going to be stuck in this hospital room. It’s a nice room, but I’m still stuck in it. Let’s hope the infection responds rapidly and it’s a small number of days, and not close to that week Dr. Kang mentioned was possible.