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So what was the significance of Dr. Rubble instructing me to take a shower before I came to today’s appointment? I’ll tell you. By showering and letting water flow into the wound, the gauze he packed into it would not adhere to my healing abscess, making the extraction of the two feet of material not agonizingly painful. Sure wish I would have understood that clearly before I came to my appointment! Dr. Rubble even made a point of asking me if I had showered. I said sure–I showered dutifully. He asked if the gauze had gotten wet. I said sure, because it had. If he would have asked if water had saturated the gauze, I might have been spared a good deal of pain. Oh well. His nurse held my hand while I bit my lip.
Tennisfiend witnessed the extraction, later commenting that the gauze looked like “a yard of meaty bacon” as the doctor removed it. He was quite remorseful for not clarifying the doctor’s instructions to me since my perception of Wednesday’s instructions was blurry. The doctor’s next set of instructions were obediently memorized by both us. I must shower 4-6 times a day, letting water flow into and rinse my wound. Friday I should be able to clean the insides with a q-tip (gasp!).  If he noticed the look of inexpressible horror on my face, he ignored it. The doctor prescribed me a mega-dose of Cleocin, an antibiotic so powerful it gives you diarrhea for weeks after treatment. Assisted by TF, I bravely staggered out of the office five minutes later. We sat in the parking lot for ten minutes while I recovered.
It took most of the afternoon to build up enough courage to take my first shower. I started by wetting the bandage thoroughly to keep it from sticking. Heh.  I tried not to look, but morbid curiosity overcame my usual squeamishness. My first glance made my stomach clench. Immediately, an image from the Discovery Channel popped into my head. A group of fishermen butchered a great white shark. The gruesome combination of pale white skin and bloody red flesh looked exactly like eviscerated shark meat. I felt simultaneously dissociated from my incision and utterly repulsed by it. Despite my love for horror movies, I am ridiculously squeamish over real life medical procedures. I vow to desensitize myself with some Discovery Health programming.  Brrr.

Comments

  1. CW says:

    Thanks for this post! I just had breast abscess surgery, and I am still in the hospital. I am so nervous about cleaning the wound and packing it!

    • A Quiet Week says:

      Best of luck to you CW. I remembered surfing the web during my illness.

      It is the greatest compliment to know that I have reached someone and given some comfort and advice.

      I recovered quickly from my procedure–the body is miraculous. I wish you a similar speedy recovery.

      Cheers!
      Lori

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