Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Home Sweet Anchor Hold!

I was discharged to _home_ this afternoon; have just finished killing about 4500 backed-up emails and can now send. Thanks for your diligent prayer, and special thanks to Mark S and Gerard and my siblings Christine and Michael for getting the word to you. The flowers and cards were especially appreciated [I've a ton of thank-you notes to write!]

This isn't the first time that I went to my normal 3-month's doctor's appointment and ended up in the hospital. A chronic open wound I've had for many years, known to family and close friends as "the notorious spot with no skin," was acting up again, getting deeper and leaking more and fouler, so I was going to ask the doctor for a new referral to outpatient wound care (for the half-a dozenth time). He took one look and one sniff and told me I wasn't getting my referral and I wasn't going home.

Instead, I got admitted to the hospital, attached to a IV of antibiotics, and surrounded by contact isolation posters while they cultured my blood and my wound drippage and every other thing they could get --- making sure any exotic bugs I might have had didn't escape to the rest of the hospital. On Monday 3/3 the isolation was lifted, the cultures came back from the lab with only garden variety germs, no exotic-and-deadlies.

And my doctor spoke to some specialists (infectious disease specialist, surgeon) and to me and to my HMO; and it was agreed that yet another round of wound care nurses was likely to be futile, and the real solution was to get rid of the piece of unusual anatomy that the wound was on, called an abdominal apron. So on 3/6, after a lot of antibiotics and transfusions (eventually 8 units of red cells and 4 of plasma), I had a "removal of infected panniculae," which is what they call an abdominoplasty when it isn't cosmetic.

Thanks to all the prayers, I am recovering surprisingly well, though I've still got two long rows of stitches all the way across my tummy left to right that need to stay in at least two more weeks, and other recovering to do since my balance has changed radically and my hips move in ways they haven't done for decades (I need to practice moving; in hospital I was on twice-a day physical therapy....) And, as a bonus, my tummy now stops at the pelvic bone like everybody else's!

It's going to take me a few days to get caught up with things and back to regular posting, please be patient and the hiatus will end very shortly. Thanks again for all your prayers, and keep them up; now the incisions have to heal properly!

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