Back to the Hospital & Some Graphic Pictures

Are you sick of these posts about surgery and recovery? Because I am. I have been looking at pictures from everyone's wonderful spring break trips, and it's making me wish I were somewhere else. Anywhere else. I spent my spring break in bed at home and having surgery. I wasn't planning to post these pictures, but Steve thinks I should. He really enjoyed being the photographer. Kind of like a seven-year-old boy enjoys ripping legs off of a grasshopper.

So the "almost hernia" wasn't an "almost hernia" after all. The bulging area on my incision turned red and made it pretty obvious that it was an infection. I went in for an ultrasound on Wednesday at 10:00 am, and they quickly sent me Salt Lake to be seen by the doctor down there. (Dr. Steppacher was still out of town.) I was prepped and ready for surgery at Intermountain Medical Center by 2:00 pm.

Dr. Goodman cut open about half my incision and cleaned out the infection. (A staph infection, likely caused by that stitch that poked out through my skin a couple of weeks ago.) Because of the infection, the incision could not be closed up and will remain "open" until it heals by itself.

I actually felt quite a bit of relief after the surgery. Except for the wound dressing changes. Gauze pads were packed into the wound and had to be changed every eight hours. The first change was one of the most painful things in my life. I had been feeling so good that I was completely unmedicated. It felt like a jagged knife was very slowly being pulled down my abdomen. And that was just to remove the gauze. Then he had to shove new gauze back in. I screamed through the whole thing and cried afterwards. Steve was ready to get a video but ended up having to go sit down because he was going to pass out. We made sure I was medicated for all subsequent changes.

On Friday evening, Dr. Goodman came and hooked me up to a wound vac. The cultures were back and showed the infection was responsive to the antibiotic, so I was free to leave. As soon as Steve could get away from Sonora Grill, he drove down and picked me up. I was discharged (with a bowl for the drive) and got home at 10:30 pm.

The wound vac was fairly painful (and really loud) for the first two days, so the home health nurse thinks there must have been a leak. It's not nearly as problematic now. . . except for the wound dressing changes. Now they are only every other day, but I've got to get something figured out because I really don't want to have to go through that torture ever again. I slept for three-and-a-half hours after she left and am still a bit tender around the area. I am already dreading Wednesday.

So, just when we thought things were starting to get back to normal, we are back to where we were a month ago. I have new lifting restrictions for the next eight to ten weeks. I have to be propped up with four pillows to be able to go to sleep at night. I have to keep the wound vac completely dry and can't shower or properly bathe for three weeks. (You may not understand how difficult that is for me, but believe me, it's going to be tough.) But at least I have a good husband who hasn't complained once, is taking good care of me, and is helping me identify lessons to learn from this experience.

Consider this your official warning:
The pictures below are a little gross.
A little graphic.
I have not shown them to my children.

Tuesday, April 19; Wednesday, April 20; Thursday, April 21

Friday, April 22; Saturday, April 23; Monday, April 25


James and Jade Bethers said...

Holy crapballs Batman!!!!! You are one tough girl! Can't. Believe the stuff they can do anymore! Whatever you do, take it easy and we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers!

Stephanie said...

My stomach is throbbing just looking at those pics. Not the best thing to view first thing in the morning. I wish I was there to help. I'm a helper and feel so helpless 400 miles away with nothing to do but say, Hang in there. Good luck. And, I love you.

Aneesa Bee said...

OUCH! I'm so stinkin' sorry. Darn staph. I'm glad it's responding to treatment though. I thought the pictures were great--so nice of Steve to keep us in the loop. I feel some of your pain just looking at them. OUCH!!!!!!

Kassi Luck said...

wow, that looks painful. I can not imagine how bad that hurt and I have had csections, so I have had sore incisions. You are one tough cookie!! Hope your recovery is fast!!

Rebecca said...

Oh Emily, you are going to make me cry!

Mommy Named Meg said...

Oh Emily... That stinks. I'm going to stop complaining about my recovery now. My healing incision is nothing compared to yours.

Joanie said...

I did my share of dressing changes when I worked at the U Hospital. I can't believe you would even attempt a dressing change without being medicated, or that your nurse would let you. I hated causing so much pain. The good news is that it's getting better and not worse. I hope in the end this will all be worth it for you. Good luck!

Min said...

OW! OW! OW!!

The Ballard's said...

Excellent color in the photographs. Good work Steve. With as weird as it sounds, the last picture really does look good. Um, Adam wants to come to my house this weekend. I forgot to tell you that when I went to Gloria's to drop off Kaleigh's clothes he told me about how his dad wouldn't let him come to my house, only Kaleigh. Then he said "When my dad takes me to Grandma Jean's, then he leaves, you come get me, that will be funny hugh?" I might have to do just that:) Le me know what you need this weekend. I can do whatever. Hang in there.

maloufish said...

tmi Em... TMI!!!!

(I'm sooo sorry for your pain... ugh)

Get BETTER!!!!


Ryanne said...

Holy moly Emily! I'm glad you have such a wonderful husband and family to support you through this. You still sound so upbeat despite all you are going through.

Lori said...

oh my emily! i haven't checked your blog in awhile. poor girl. van had his ab incision get infected post-surgery but it was no where near this invasive! i will be praying for you and your sweet family as you continue to recover

Tyson Harris said...

Emily I just feel so terrible about this. I hope you are recoving. Karen and I have been keeping you in our Prayers. I know we are on the other side of the country but in you need anything from us please let us know.We wish you a speedy recovery.

Rachel said...

Those pics look so painful, Emily. I truly am so sorry,and am so glad you have family and friends taking good care of you. You and yours are in our prayers.