Warning…this post (and photos) may be too graphic for some…
Since my last post 5 days ago the plan changed slightly.
On Friday I was taken to see an intervention radiologist in theatre to have my infection drained. I was to be awake for the procedure and the radiologist was to use an ultrasound and X-rays to guide the drainage. Now, I’m particularly anxious of drains after a bad experience earlier in the year where a Dr took several painful attempts to drain my abdomen; each time cutting through my skin, fat and muscle with no success…only pain! For this reason I’d asked if I could be sedated for the procedure. The Drs, thankfully, agreed and I was given an oral sedative on the ward before I was taken down to theatre on my hospital bed. However(!) en route we were told of a delay and I was taken back to the ward. Happy and relaxed I ate a wee protein seed bar while I waited. This was a mistake!…
Half an hour later I was back on my way down to theatre and met by the medical team who would be controlling my pain. They offered me the same IV sedation I’d had for my biopsies earlier in the year which had been very effective – I’d be awake but not ‘with it’ shall we say. Fantastic! Until they asked when I’d last eaten… Turns out I’d needed to be fasted for 6 hours prior! So they were no longer able to offer me sedation and instead could only offer IV pain relief. I was gutted!
Accepting this was just how it would have to be, I was wheeled on my bed into the theatre room. It was fascinating! Because I was awake and not sedated, I was able to watch the team getting ready. I was moved onto an X-ray table whilst they put on their X-ray proof vests and theatre aprons. They then scrubbed their hands and gloved up before placing theatre sheets over my body.
Next the radiologist used an ultrasound and X-ray machine to locate the abscess that had shown on my earlier CT scan. Once located he injected local anaesthetic into the area whilst a nurse started to administrater IV pain relief. The radiologist then began cutting through the layers on my abdomen and, initially, all I could feel was pressure. Suddenly I was hit with stabbing pain and I admit I screamed. He reassured me and injected more local anaesthetic whilst I was simultaneously given more IV pain relief. Once I was comfortable enough to proceed he went ahead with the final cut. It was excruciating! I burst into tears. He again reassured me and explained that he had been unable to numb the abscess wall and that’s why I had experienced pain.
His next step was to insert a tube into the abscess and then to drain some samples for the lab. Following this a drain bag was attached and the tube was stitched and tapped in place. I was then lifted back onto my hospital bed and changed into a new gown as mine was now stained with blood.
The team were exceptional. They explained everything, comforted me and even had music playing! I felt very well supported and entirely in safe hands.
I was taken back to the ward on my hospital bed and advised to remain lying down for a few hours. I was exhausted and unable to stay awake for long – a happy side affect of the pain relief.
Although I’d been told it could be up to 5 days before the lab were able to determine if what was being drained was an infection, just a few hours following the procedure the ward received a phone call to say that the lab were already growing things from the samples. This confirmed that I did indeed have a form of sepsis. No wonder I’d been so unwell!
All I can say is I’m so glad to have access to medical treatment for this, however unpleasant it may be, and especially for the intervention radiologist allowing for treatment without the need for another general anesthetiser and operation!
Here’s to onward healing.
Love and light, Fi xxx