Tag Archive | Dr. Colpan

Finally Home

I finally made it home today. I was really banking on coming home last night, but it just didn’t happen. Dr. Colpan wanted to see what the cultures would grow so she could give me a specific antibiotic when I left, and it hadn’t been enough time since the surgery yet. So, I had to stay another night. While I understood intellectually why I needed to stay, I was heartbroken that I had to stay another night. I spent the night alternating between watching mindless TV, doing needlepoint on the family “I’m too sick to do anything else” embroidery, and crying. It was not a good night, which wasn’t helped by the fact that I couldn’t fall asleep.

The family's -itis embroidery.

The family’s -itis embroidery.

I woke up this morning in pretty much the same mood as last night. I’m sure the mood wasn’t helped by the pain in my arm from the Vancomycin. I asked the nurse to take the IV out as soon as my 5am dose was done. Even if I needed another dose, I’d need a new IV site because the one they were using hurt too much. I can’t even straighten out my arm because of the pain around the elbow. That’s a big bummer, since I’m trying to lay off my right arm so I don’t aggravate the drain. Luckily, I was done with the Vancomycin. I got to spend all morning not being attached to a machine.

My cultures finally came back positive – Staphyloccocus aureas, a common skin bacteria, and not the MRSA variety (although Vancomycin is used for MRSA). I got sent home with a prescription for a week of IV antibiotics that the Visiting Nurses will help me with. Turns out, they are equipped to access a port, so I didn’t have to get a PICC line. It does mean I have to leave the needle in that accesses my port for a week. That tape is going to be rough coming off.

My port all accessed and ready for antibiotics

My port all accessed and ready for antibiotics

We settled on a slightly more general antibiotic that can be given as an IV push once a day, as opposed to a more specific to Staph antibiotic that I would need infused three times a day, or oral antibiotics that might not get the job done and would require I go back to the hospital to get accessed for those IV antibiotics. Give me the drugs that decrease the chance I come back to the hospital, thank you very much.

That hospital's version of my antibiotic. In through the port this time.

That hospital’s version of my antibiotic. In through the port this time.

It felt weird to be home. There was a bit of sensory overload after six days in the hospital. Even so, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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Successful Surgery

Surgery was scheduled for 6pm last night. The Infectious Agents doctor (I finally learned her name – Dr. Colpan) was disappointed the surgery was last night. She would have wanted to stop my antibiotics beforehand in the hopes of getting a good culture and some idea of the bacteria I’ve got growing inside me. Too bad – I wanted the surgery ASAP so I could get out of here sooner.

Before the surgery, I had to take off all my jewelry (they use a tool to cauterise blood vessels that could cause a spark on metal objects) and all my clothes (luckily, no catheter this time, just a breathing tube). I also had to wipe the area being operated on with a cleansing, antimicrobial wipe. Three minutes with one wipe, let it dry, and three minutes with the other. Three minutes is a lot of time to have to wash a small, tender area.

I had to go to the main OR, instead of the Women’s Hospital’s OR. Dr. Kang took what was available. By 6pm, the OR was pretty empty, so I got lots of attention from all the nurses prepping me. Dr. Kang showed up only a few minutes late and had to complete some paperwork and sign my breast. You have to be sure to mark laterality, just in case.

I was pretty woozy after the surgery and a little nauseous, but I never go to the pukey phase like the last time I had anesthesia. They game me a couple more drugs for nausea this time. My throat was quite dry and sore from the breathing tube, so I woke up every hour or so overnight to get a drink and go back to sleep. This morning, I’m feeling pretty good. I haven’t needed any pain meds, which is pretty awesome. The surgery site hurts every once in a while, but nothing too intense. It is weird not to have the expander in anymore. The right side of my chest is completely flat now. It’s covered in gauze, so I haven’t been able to look at it yet.

I do have two gown patterns to add to the collection:

The gown pattern for the Women's hospital. I've worn several of these during my current hospital stay.

The gown pattern for the Women’s hospital. I’ve worn several of these during my current hospital stay.

The gown from the main hospital's operating room

The gown from the main hospital’s operating room

Now I’m just waiting to see Dr. Kang and probably Dr. Colpan again to tell me when I can go home and what drugs I’ll be taking with me.

 

I’ve Entered the Despair Phase

When I first was admitted to the hospital, I was furious that I would have to spend days in the hospital. Who wants to spend days in the hospital? Stupid expander. Stupid infection. Can’t it all just be over. Now I’m at the point where I’m feel I’m never going to get out of the hospital. I’m not bored – just tired of being hooked up to an IV tree and stuck inside.

The lovely view out my window

The lovely view out my window

Today’s doctor’s visits didn’t go as well as yesterday’s visits. The Infectious Agents (IA) doctor wants the expander out (which is what Dr. Kang said they would say). Dr. Kang wasn’t quite as positive for today’s visit. While the redness seems to have declined (although the IA disagreed with that assessment), there’s a black spot within the oozy spot. Most likely, that blackness is the expander showing through. If we can see the expander, the sore will not heal over it and we’ll just need to take the expander out. It could be OK, but the spot will need to be gone tomorrow morning. Otherwise, it’s time to plan surgery.

Surgery will entail taking out the expander, cleaning out the area, and letting it heal with nothing in the space. I would actually be happy if we got the expander out. The big negative would be since we wouldn’t put anything in that space, I would need a drain. I HATE drains with a burning passion. Drains ruin my life. Once everything heals, Dr. Kang would go back and put in the implant. I’m torn – getting the expander out is a major bonus, but having a drain is one of the worst things.

Best case scenario, I could have surgery tomorrow night and be home within 24 hours. It depends on the availability of the OR. Tomorrow morning I’ll know more. It’s all so up in the air and dependent on how things are looking. We’ll see how it looks in the morning.