Friday, July 19, 2013

Seeing the Moon Behind the Trees

I was sitting outside on the back patio tonight, overwhelmed with what has happened the last couple of days.  Beyond the fence stand giant cedars, branches reaching out in every direction, blocking views of the sky beyond.  These branches are like the obstacles we face, so many and so thick that often it's hard to see through the thick of it.  But I hear birds chirping and notice a faint glow surrounding them.  So instead of sitting there, slumped over feeling sorry for myself, I get up and slowly walk across the yard, cool green grass under my bare feet.  I look behind the trees and there it is.  The moon is big and bright, like a crystal ball waiting to tell me my fortune.  Sometimes when we can't see the light, we might just have to find another angle to look from.    

This week did has not exactly gone smoothly, in fact it sort of went the opposite of what was expected. Having the J-tube removed was supposed to bring relief, a sense of freedom, the feeling of awe, that feels great!  Instead the tract in which the tube was residing in (through the small intestine) has built up fluid and become infected.  Doesn't this only happen when tubes are placed or currently in the body?  This is madness!  And of course, I have learned another lesson in the importance of self-advocacy.
Two days post-op the pain was becoming unbearable and something just didn't feel right.  Following instructions, I called the surgeon (remember Dr.P, grrr) and left a message with the front desk for him to call me because of the concerns.  For extra back up I called my primary care physician and spoke with his nurse.  He has been an absolute angel over the years, carefully listens during visits and provides excellent care.  His nurse sounds very concerned and passed info on to doctor as well as placed a call to surgeon.  Dr. P calls me after this only to advise I stick with ibuprofen or any non-narcotic for pain and start taking laxatives.  It couldn't possibly be the surgery so it must be slow bowels causing this.  

Listening to my body I hold off on laxatives, which could be more irritating, and wait for my doctor's visit the next morning.  My PCP, Dr. A (for angel ;) examines the area and within moments confirms it is infected, more so on the inside than out.  He spends time sitting with me and coming up with a plan of action.  
1) Immediately start antibiotics until culture comes back to determine if there is a specific kind to take.  2) Do something gentle to help get bowels moving.  Myralax makes me more sick so he suggested the "magic juice" I have used in the past if regular magnesium isn't doing the trick. 
3) Warm compress for the next few days to help fluid break up and release.  
4) Bandage changes 3-4 times a day to keep area clean.  Funny enough he suggested maxi pads as the best way to absorb and not irritate the area!  
5)  Rest, rest, rest.
6) Call if worsens such as fever, pain increase or vomiting, otherwise follow up visit next week to check up.   

I started antibiotics yesterday and took half dose of "magic juice"(bottom of post) before bed.  Another antibiotic today, 3 bm's later, and some healing vibes from good friends and I feel like I CAN get through this.  I'm doing my best to focus on the medicine healing this infection instead of the things that could possibly go wrong.  Like I always say, my favorite word is HOPE.  To add to that, I spoke with a good GP friend today who seems to be getting better, the 2nd friend this month!  So yes, there is hope, and that I will never give up on.  

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful blog entry! Love the start of it with the tree reference.