Read at your own risk.
If you are one with a weak stomach
do not read this posting.
Are you still reading?
If so, remember,
you have been
W*A*R*N*E*D ! ! ! !
This story starts out very simple. On Saturday morning, Gene found a bump to the right of the top of his incision. It was in the area of staples 4 - 6. I had never seen a hernia but have heard that they happen where a muscle i weak or torn. Well I would think an incision would make the muscle weak, don't you?
Now he couldn't have found it, or it couldn't have been noticeable when his Home Health Care Nurse (who comes 3 times a week if he isn't in the hospital) was here so she could let us know what it might be.
It hurt him a little, but he said not in a painful way, just a noticeable way. I still thought it was a hernia, he thought it was an infection.
Monday morning the Dietitian did a home visit. She was pleased at what we have been doing. So we were rather pleased with ourselves when she left.
For some reason Gene lifted up his shirt and that bump looked more like a cyst ready to open. The head was all green/yellow looking. (Oh yeah, when this opens it is going to be gross ! ! ! !)
Home Health Care Nurse comes about 11:30. Gene wants her to look at the "bump/cyst" and it opens. Man, did it ever open. I swear, green/yellow pussy looking stuff came out of it like it was a Niagara Falls. It just kept coming and coming, gauze pad after gauze pad, trying to catch the ooze before it ran down his belly. I ended up getting two cloth diapers (that I have had since my Tavish was a puppy and I used them to line her kennel instead of newspapers) thinking they would soak up the ooze better than the gauze. They did. We had one full, so I threw it away. It was so full I didn't want to even touch it let alone wash it. The 2nd one, basically, sopped up what remained.
While I'm holding the diaper on Gene, Tabatha, HHC nurse, called the GO Clinic to see what we needed to do. I ended up talking with Jenny, that we saw last week when he had the blood come from the drain, and she said to come in to the clinic ASAP, making sure to stop at phlebotomy before the clinic. "How soon can you be here," she said.
My answer, "We will see you in 45 minutes."
It was 11:45 am, almost the same time as we called last week for the bloody drain. We were reporting into the GI Clinic at 12:30 . . . 45 minute. Cha-ching! Right on the dot.
The bandaging that Tabatha had put on was leaking so when Jenny took of the dressing it was pretty nasty. (Just thought, all the time it oozed there was never a smell . . odd.) She laid a new dressing on top of it and called Maureen to see it.
Maureen showed up and knew she had to aspirate it. Gene was in some pain while she was doing this but he knew it had to be drained. When she couldn't get anything else out she took a pix and sent it to the doctor. She said, "He just has to see everything that goes on" with a smile.
By this time she had gone into the opening with Q-tips and finger to see if she could figure out where this ooze came from.
Pretty soon he shows up. We find out that this ooze was Pancreatic Fluid. He said it looks for the "road of least resistance" to get out of the body and, for some reason, this was easier than going out through one of the drains.
It needed to be cleaned out more, so this meant two small cuts from the top and bottom of the openings, right where the incision was. Lidocane didn't numb him well, but he told her to cut it anyway.
She worked and worked to get every little part of the ooze out of the cavity that was now exposed. When she was finished, Dr Kukar came in to take a look into the opening and feel around to find the opening where all of the ooze came from. Maureen showed him the vicinity so he didn't have to poke and prod.
When he was done he asked the nurse to call Wound Care to help out. He then took a piece of gauze and packed the cavity. I watched because I knew I would be doing it the next day. By now a member of the Kim, from the Wound Care team,was here now. They discussed how to wrap it. Dr said he didn't want it sealed. He wanted whatever was in the cavity to "wick up through the gauze."
Kim ended up spraying something around the wound that would allow the tape to b e removed easier, then placed a thick gauze pad over it and taped three sides, left the top open.
Now the GROSS part . . . and you thought what I wrote before was gross.
I had to clean it this morning. I asked Gene if he wanted to take the one Oxycodone pill ($0.67 at the Roswell Pharmacy) that they had sent home with him for pain before I started probing and poking in it. He didn't so, after we got the other three drains emptied, the only shot he needs to take administered and did the finger stick for his blood sugar I told him to lie down on the sofa. He said, "No." I repeated and so did he.
When I looked at him he was smiling. I knew that meant that he didn't want to have it done, but knew he had to.
This is what I saw once the bandages came off. Not really as bad as I though. I told Gene I had seen worse when the stitches in Mom's leg tore and she ended up in the ER waiting to get more stitches. It really is interesting seeing what is under the skin when it is clean without blood.
Tomorrow we go back to the GI Clinic for Gene's normal appointment with Maureen (Dr Kukar will be gone.) We will see if I get a good grade on my nursing skills :)