Tuesday, January 14, 2014

SLIGHT SETBACK

Okay, so I had a little setback today. Everything was going great. I seemed to be healing very well ( my scar, that is.)  As I took a shower and washed my hair this afternoon, I felt some of the scabs coming off ( too much information I know, sorry.) It was not a nice feeling. For the first time since the week of surgery I felt very faint as I showered. When  I came out of the shower I went straight to the mirror to look at my head. I wanted to see what it look like after some of the scabs had come off. I had one stringy looking thing on my hair by my incision, actually on the right side of my scar, so I pulled it thinking it would easily come off. Wrong! My God! I saw the stars. Apparently, I pulled off the scab or what felt like a stitch, although I know it was not and I exposed part of my wound.

I freaked out and started to almost cry and say "oh my God oh my God" because it was stinging so bad and I could see my head and it was slightly bleeding. Just like when you pull a scab off of your knee and it is not ready to come off (like when you were a little kid,) except this is my head! 

I had a towel around me and my kids heard me freaking out. My seven-year-old came running in and was threatening to call my husband at work and I was pleading with him not to because there was nothing he could do.  Defiantly,  he went and got the house phone and called his father anyway. Twenty seconds later I had my husband on the phone asking me what had happened. At this point I was hyperventilating and almost crying again as I explained to him what had occurred.

Luckily, for me, he was not t the office and was already 10 minutes away and arrived  home rather quickly. He took a picture of my head (open wound) and emailed it directly to my neurosurgeon. (Again, I am lucky I have a neurosurgeon who checks his emails all the time and is great about following up with patients.) He responded immediately and said that he wanted to see me and was afraid I might need another  stitch, a butterfly stitch he called it. 

When I heard that I freaked again.  If the neurosurgeon was concerned that meant I should be worried. At this point, my kids started to freak out and we're concerned that     I would have to stay at the hospital. We live one hour away from where my neurosurgeon is so we made arrangements for the kids to stay with my dad and proceeded to drive there.

After insane traffic in the city, we arrived at the emergency room in the hospital only to encounter a seven hour wait, as I told by the guy behind the counter. 

Well, my husband and I proceeded to act as we know how. He, with his feisty temper, was arguing and demanding we see the neurosurgeon, who had instructed us to drive down there and I, well, I casually "flirted" with the guy behind the counter. Actually, in my condition, I wouldn't even say flirted, I would say more like "obtained sympathy."  I was in no condition to flirt.   The guy asked me why I was there and I bluntly told him, "I had a brain tumor removed and now my head is open."  Umm, I think that kind of freaked him out. 

As I filled out the paperwork he had asked me to fill out, he got up and went to talk to some people In the triage room. When he came back he told me he had talk to someone and he would try to get me in as soon as possible. I told him I appreciated it and that my neurosurgeon was upstairs waiting for me.  He said he understood but that I had to go through the bureaucracy of the procedure like everyone else anyway. I also had faith that my husband would pull through. He got on the phone and emailed the neurosurgeon and let him know that we were downstairs. 

A few minutes later I was instructed by the head nurse (after she took my blood pressure) to wait in my car or wherever I felt more comfortable because it would be a long wait. We decided to wait outside the ER waiting room so that we would not be sitting in the middle of all those people with God knows what problems they had. Sounds mean I know, but my husband is a kidney transplant recipient and I did not want him subjected to any infectious room.

Within less than 10 minutes of our waiting outside, I saw my neurosurgeon coming down the hallway with his entourage of other surgeons. With a little guilt (and excitement) at the same time, I quickly walked into the ER again and the head nurse signaled to me to come in. The neurosurgeons and the other surgeons (3 if them to be exact)  hugged us and we said our "hello's" like old friends while everyone was looking at us. 

They took me to a back room.  They examined my head and poked and prodded me like a science experiment. They determined that it was not infected and I did not need stitches. Whew!  I cannot tell you how relieved I was at that point! He gave me instructions on what to take: antibiotics, ointments and instructions not to wear my head scarves anymore, as they put pressure on the wounds. He said bandannas were okay if I must wear something.

In total, we were there about only one hour and I was grateful that I was able to go home and not have to be admitted. I definitely got to thinking about all those poor people in the waiting room with no connections, no strings to pull, no doctors to call,just sitting there endlessly waiting until their name was called.  Again, I am grateful! 
Of course, I took a couple of pictures (in the car on the way to the hospital and as I sat in the waiting room in the ER in the back room,) for my children, so they could see me smiling and not all freaked out. I don't know why, even when I'm freaking out and in pain I always fake it and smile. I guess it helps me to keep going! 

Me in the Emergency room waiting for neurosurgeon - 1/13/14

In the car on the way to E/R - smiling for my kids



And that my friends, is my story of my slight setback!

Today, I am moving forward! Like my best friend told me, "It's going to get worse 
before it gets better." And I have to believe that...

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