Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My Armpit...

...hurts. This blog is probably not a great read. Especially if you are squeamish, but it's all I can think about right now, and I cannot be this close to a computer without writing SOMETHING, so here I go.
Last week, I thought I had a bug bite of some sort. In my right armpit. And when I looked at it, there was another lump above the bite. Uh oh, a lump. You know what I was thinking. My sister helped me look at it, squeeze it and worry over it for a day or so, bless her heart. (It's my armpit, for crying out loud!) The lump got worse. We took my pit and my lump up to my mom and Nana for their squeezing and viewing pleasure. Nothing. It kept getting bigger.
In the meantime, my kids were sick, so my pits were in the back of my mind. It was painful, but I had to put it on the back burner because of all the puking. Until I got home.
I showed my husband (pit hasn't been shaved for days, nor am I wearing deodorant for fear I might anger the lump.) and he swore it was an ingrown hair (eewww). He is a fairly hairy guy and I figured, if anyone knows what an ingrown hair (eewww) looks like, it's him. So I bought it. He said "You have to get that junk out and relieve the pressure." So, I downed two Coronas, gritted my teeth, and squeezed as hard as I could. It hurt so bad, I didn't think I could keep going. But I did it. And finally, a teeny, tiny bit of junk came out. My husband assured me that it would be better in the morning because it would continue to drain and that's all it needed to do.
I woke up in the middle of the night in horrible pain. The lump was now the size of a golf ball and I couldn't even put my arm down. I knew something was wrong.
I waited it out until morning, got the kids up and fed, took Avery to school and went to the "Doc in a Box" clinic for emergencies. After waiting for 2 hours, they finally called me back. I had my two youngest babies with me and they were as sick of being there as I was. When the doctor came in, he was cheery and wondering who was sick. We all looked fine, I think he must have thought. And then I lifted up my arm and said "I have this lump thingy." He looked like a deer caught in the headlights and said "Oh my god." Have you ever had a doctor say "Oh my god?" It's an unsettling feeling, to say the least.
He examined me for about 2 minutes and said "We need to get your kids out of here. I have to do a procedure immediately." Oh jeez. What is this thing????
This is an abcess with a severe staph infection. It seems to be traveling up your arm and we need to get in there and drain it immediately. I flinched a little at the words "get in there" but I wanted relief from this thing, so I said "Sure, I'll call my neighbor. Maybe she can come get my kids." Thank God for my sweet neighbor. She was there, no questions asked, in about 5 minutes.
And then, I was free to worry about myself. My own reality started to sink in when they took be to the back room, filled with gauze and scalpels and other scary looking stuff. The doctor told me it was going to hurt but that it would be over quickly and would relieve all this pressure. I didn't think it could hurt any worse than it already did. I couldn't even put my arm down, couldn't lift the kids and could barely get dressed. I had nowhere to go but up.
And here is the not-for-the-faint-of-heart portion of the story (if you didn't stop reading at the mention of armpit sores and not shaving): I got my gown on, lay on the table and the doctor came right in. The nurse had already informed me that this was a rough procedure and that it was going to hurt badly but it would be ok. Ok, so the doctor repeats this. He says "Now, you are going to be very uncomfortable for the next few minutes. I'm going to try to numb you, but when an infection is this advanced, there's really nothing I can do to make this better." Yikes.
Ok, I'm a tough girl...go for it. So he cleans it. Ouch, that hurt. It's that tender, so him wiping it with Betadine hurt. Then he put an ice cube on it. Ouch, that hurts too. THEN, he jammed a needle into the golf-ball sized lump. OH. MY. GOD. I honestly screamed. Like a little kid. He said "I know, it hurts. Hopefully, this will numb it some." Another shot. And another. Oh Lord, please help me.
Then he says "Ok, now I'm going to get started." GET STARTED? You mean it's not almost over? I can't do this. He tells me to do my Lamaze breathing. HAHAHAHAHA. It didn't work that well when I did it during childbirth. And I might mention that, besides childbirth, this was the absolute worst pain I've ever felt in my entire life. Honestly. It was horrible. And then he got started. He sliced the lump with a scalpel and I felt every bit of it. I said, or screamed, "I can feel that" and he said "I know, I'm sorry. Your infection is so bad that the anisthetic isn't going to help you much." Ok, so he slices it. And then he says "I'm going to drain it." This involves continuous squeezing. I thought I was going to pass out from the pain. Literally, the room started to go black. Mercifully, he says "That's the worst of it." He irrigated it with some water and saline solution and then says, "Well, this actually may be hard because I have to pack it with gauze." HE PACKED IT. This is the hardest part for me. He shoved gauze INSIDE the opening. There is a little "tail" of gauze hanging out of my body right now. I hate it. It bugs me as much as anything and I'm not sure why. Maybe because it just seems so invasive and rough. I don't know, but I'm ready for all of this to be over. And the doctor doesn't know when that will be. He said "One more day and you would have been hospitalized, so don't expect a speedy recovery here." My husband and I were supposed to go on a romantic weekend getaway this weekend. I guess it wouldn't be too romantic with an unshaved, smelly pit with a gauze tail hanging out. But I'm bummed. And so is my husband. Not only does he miss out on his weekend, but he's using his days off to take care of all the kids because I can't touch them.
It's a mess. And so is my house. But we'll be back to normal in no time. I finally found a solution that eases the pain: Two Vicodin and four Motrin. So I'm off to down this delicious little cocktail and pass out for a few hours. See you tomorrow!


Lauren (next in line for staph) said...

This is like a car wreck...I actually experienced this on the weekend....heard about it on the phone...but could not stop reading about it just is like a car wreck, don't want to look, but can't stop.
I do feel very sorry for you...puking babies,painful pit and now missing your romantic vacation.

OH YEAH and how did you forget to mention how you might have passed it on to me??? I always get left out of the blogs...MAN

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you had the mind to write this with all those meds!!! Only thing missing was a glass of wine and we could've had a great party. Miss ya and hope you feel better soon!

betsy said...

Oh you poor thing!!! Im so sorry!!!cort