Well today we got some more good news. The cultures came back from the lab, and the stuff that is still draining from my neck (ew I know) is no longer pus but normal tissue secretions. I feel so relieved because I haven't noticed much of a change as far as drainage goes, I mean its been much less than it was when I was in the hospital but still its coming out. I was worried that I'd have to have my neck cut again because of how rapidly the hole is sealing itself up and the fact it was still draining. So that was relieving to hear, it seems the Zosyn is doing it's job.
My swelling is going down, and I am starting to feel good again. I even went to Target yesterday. Its funny, before this all happened, even after my surgery on Sept. 11th I was scared of people seeing me. I guess maybe after all I went through with my hospital stay and all that it changed my outlook- now I dont care one bit about people staring at me. They can alllll kiss my butt because at least I am not sitting in the hospital! I hope this attitude stays, because that was always so discouraging to find I still cared how people thought of how I look, people I'd probably never see again and who were rude enough to stare. And this time it's much worse, with my neck all bandaged up and my jaw still swollen and this bandage covering my Groshong on my left arm, I kinda look like someone beat me up.
I gave my doctors a bit of a laugh today. Every morning before I leave the house I change my neck bandages just because I like to go out with clean ones on. They have been asking me to bring in 'the specimen' (the bandage with the discharge on it) and I always forget it. Well, today I remembered, so I stuck it in a baggie and found an old Christmas ribbon and put it on top. Then when I got there I told my doctor I had a present for him. They all thought that was funny referring to my nasty disharge-y neck wound bandages as 'a present.' Hey, I still have to have a sense of humor about this. ;P
On a side note, I have been feeling so exhausted with this medication routine. I am super tired because I cant sleep for long stretches of time. I have to set my alarm for 1 1/2 hours before a dose to take the medicine ball out of the refrigerator to get to room temperature. It was originally only one hour before but my vein was getting too irritated with the coldness so now it has to be out longer. So I set my alarm for 4:30 am just to get up and take the med ball out of the fridge, then re-set my alarm for 6 am to take it which requires getting up, washing my hands, using an alcohol prep pad, inserting the saline syringe (which takes forever because you have to do it soooo slow), then attaching the med to my IV line. So then after about 15 minutes I go back to bed, re-set my alarm for 7:30 am since it takes an hour and a half to all go in, and then at 7:30 I have to get back up, wash my hands again, un-attach the med ball from the PICC line, swab it all with alcohol and do another saline syringe flush.
I have to repeat this routine 3 times a day and darn if it doesnt always happen when I want be sleeping! If I try to nap in the afternoon its always around a med time (2 pm) so I cant, then at night my dose is at 10 pm so it doesnt even finish until 11:30 so there's no such thing as going to bed early. Blah. When I think about having to do this for 5 more weeks I swear I want to go crazy. Not to mention I cant remember what it was like to shower like a normal person. I have to wash my hair in the kitchen sink because I cant get my neck wound wet, then I go in the bathroom and sponge off my upper half of my body (cant get my Groshong arm wet at all) and then I run the bath water and kind of crouch in the tub and clean myself that way. I cannot, absolutely cannot take baths. They just disgust me, its like sitting in my own filth and stewing just is NOT getting clean. Cant do it. So that is how I bathe myself every day. I miss showering, because I used to do it at the end of a long day to relax, and I wont see that shower for another 5 weeks. Boo.
Anyway, my left arm is feeling much better, the hot compresses and trying to relax it more have really helped, and the lump that was forming on the side of the vein has gone down. I have also had some weird dreams, I am sure if they are stress related, but last night I dreamed my head surgeon was accusing me of not coming in sooner, and that this infection was all my fault. I think in my heart I still worry about that, and it bothers me.
Here is a more recent picture, the swelling is really going down isnt it?