I was recovering well from my 7/21 TACE procedure and had even been out to play an hour and a half of soccer on it with no issues. I had a college friend visit on Friday 7/31 with his wife and three daughters on their way to the beach in the Outer Banks in NC. On our way to dinner I complained a little to Tessa that crotch hurt a little where the incision site was but didn't think twice about it. We had a great pizza dinner Friday, put the kids down, and sat and talked until just after midnight.
It had been a long day and I wanted to hop into the shower before bed (is a midnight shower before bed weird?). As soon as I dropped my shorts to head into the shower, I looked down and realized I was in trouble. A giant bubble had formed under my skin somewhere between the size of a golf ball and baseball. The site was red and itchy. Anyone who has gotten an infection knows this is a sure sign.
I called the message line for the on-call interventional radiologist who promptly returned the call. Without hesitation she told me to come in to the Georgetown ER. We politely informed my college buddy and his wife, called my parents to spend the night with the kids, and we took off just before 1am in the cancer car headed to Georgetown ER.
By 1am, we were in the thick of the ER with everyone else waiting. I'm sure I said it before and I'll say it again, but your health is the great equalizer. The wait room had:
- people who were complete divas demanding attention
- it had a crazy old lady who would try to start up a conversation and comment on everyone entering the waitroom (later to find out she was worried she had a mosquito in her ear but really her ears were just full of earwax)
- it had drunks
- it had druggies
- it had young babies
Lucky for me, the IR on-call had phoned ahead and told the ER to expect me. This did help to get me into an exam room but didn't do much to help me get out before 8am.
Once in the exam room, they used a permanent marker to circle the swelling (to ensure it did not spread more while I was waiting). They started up a line and drew some blood. The big concern was that the artery where the infection was near could have meant it would infect my heart. (I'd had pericarditis once, and I really was hoping I wouldn't get it again, painful). I eventually made my way down to get a 4am ultrasound to ensure that i didn't have a pseudoaneurysm (don't worry, I had to look it up too).
Lucky for me, tests came back negative and they put me on a 10 day antibiotic treatment (3 pills, every 8 hours). The antibiotics are supposed to be ok to take given my single kidney and cirrhotic liver.
Story over, right? Wrong....
I came home to crash, and woke up 3 hours later and decided to check my bandage. It looked like a maggot was trying to escape out of my incision site. I knew it wasn't anything alive, but it looked nasty! Now it being Saturday afternoon, I again called the on-call IR specialist. They told me to head in and I could actually catch my surgeon at 2:45pm, so Tessa and I head out to the cancer car for our return trip.
Upon arrival, the doc put on gloves, and pulled this little guy out of the incision site. It looks nasty however it's actually the Mynx closure device and my body was rejecting it. After it was pulled out, he compressed the swollen site and hand drained fluid, puss, and other stuff my body didn't want.
I didn't lose the golf ball / baseball immediately but after 3 days of being on antibiotics and the fluids that were drained, I'm well on my way to becoming myself again. Thank goodness.
Hope you all had a better weekend that we did.
Whitey & Tess