I’m going in for my first abscess surgery tomorrow at the royal Brisbane. I could not be more ready for it; the abscess area under the skin is now going black and the pain is unbearable. I have been waking up in the night with pressure pain and no matter how i sleep or walk, it is intensely painful. It has gotten distinctly worse over the last 2 days since going off the anti’s.
So I am at work (stupid, I know) struggling to get through this day but determined to only have the Friday off work. I was in tears this morning and short of breath due to the infection, but I am determined I will not be that victim sick person who leaves work early. I have so much work to get through!
I am fasting today and doing bowel prep tonight before bed because I know the enema will be too painful for me right now. They offered me bowel prep instead, saying it will help with the healing process if the bowel is clean and I can do the prep instead of doing the enema. Glad I don’t have to take the enema but not looking forward to the dreaded bowel prep!
My sister is going to pick me up after the surgery and I will stay at hers over the weekend so she can look after me. Hopefully I will be zoned out on pain meds and just sleep!
Anyone know what else I can expect from this? They said I will be given a lot of pain meds. A seton is planned to be inserted into my fistula. The abscess is off the side of the fistula so they will drain it while I’m under. Thank god for that!
I hope you are all well, will let you know how the surgery went once I am back on my feet!
Thanks everyone!! I am looking forward to the situation being in some way resolved, and I have great faith in my surgeon Dr Clark, I have heard great things about him and he seems like a very honourable and experienced professional, with LOTS of colorectal and IBD experience.
Hopefully once this seton is in the abscesses will be a thing of the past – does anyone know what the success rate is for these procedures? The abscess I have at the moment is unbearable, the only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that it will be over soon! The abscess is not mid-fistula, but rather right of the fistula. So I am thinking they will scrape out the abscess and then insert the seton. Gosh, sounds so painful – I am ready for pain as last time I had an examination under anaesthetic ‘down there’ it was sooo painful for the two days afterwards.
I have been told I will have a LOT of pain meds to tide me over. Woo for that – I’ve had enough of pain for the moment!
Hi everyone, thanks again for all the well wishes! The surgery went well, I was very drowsy for a long time afterwards, but was lucky to be first on the dr’s list of surgeries that day so i went in at 8am. I am staying at my sisters at the moment and told work i would be back in on Monday but i am thinking of taking tomorrow off. Yesterday i was very sore (as t be expected), and today not AS sore but still i have difficulty sitting etc and walking is still very tender.
I have to admit the appearance of the drains scared me initially, the way it looks like a big hole, when really it’s like a lip holding the fistula open so the drains don’t get lost. My setons are red and look sort of like tag ties. the drains themselves arre very small and i think once the swelling is down and i get used to the look of the stretched fistula hole i will feel better about it all.. at the moment i am scared to go to the toilet and have been having salt baths and rinsing with a shower head after BM’s. But it still stings to go to the toilet and i am scared of the whole prospect of it. I know this is for the best and things will clear up soon, its just the initial appearance of the hole left by the fistula scared me. I am so relived to have the pressure gone from the abscess, now it’s just a matter of adjusting to my new life with setons and this hole appearance they have left.
It’s unfortunate i didn’t get to speak with the surgeon following the op....... i was expecting the red tags but not really the large hole it seems to have left. I have a follow up with my new gastro in 4 weeks. I’m just not sure how fast i can expect this hold to shrink with the seton in. I want it to shrink fast! And i have been told the setons are in place in order to close the fistula – i just want some kind of understanding of how fast the hole will close up. I was expecting a seton to be poking through my tiny initial fistula hole, and not expecting the plug hole, or stretching which has occurred. But i have great faith in this surgeon and i know he knows what he is doing.
I think once i am pain-free it will help me in general too. Still sore to go to the toilet, get up and sit down etc. But then again the surgery was only on Friday!!!
How wonderful that you are doing well!! It all sounds quite normal, if that gives you any comfort. Just stay on top of your pain meds. Keep a schedule on a pad of paper and write down everything you take and when you take it so there is no confusion (or fear of overdosing). I tried to make sure I had pain meds on board when I typically had to use the bathroom. I usually go after meals, for example. So I tried to time the doses so they would be in full effect. I never let the pain meds lapse! But I am really really a chicken about pain. I found I didn't really have much pain at all -- really -- after about the 3rd or 4th day. I also learned how to get out of bed (roll off -- don't sit up), how to lay in bed, etc.
And welcome to the seton club!! A rare bunch we are too! My doctor calls them body art or unusal body piercing. Yes, extreme body piercing and not for the faint of heart! I've had red, white, and blue ones. I think the color indicates the thickness, but I am just guessing. My current two are a very fashionable red!
My largest abscess (actually twin abscesses -- both large and very deep) left me with a wound hole the size of a small ice cream scoop. While I love my surgeon, he didn't warn me about it. I was alone at the time and had a friend bring me home right after the surgery. The friend didn't stay because I said "I'll be fine". Well, I had to pee, so out comes the bandages and I had to look with a mirror -- and I nearly fainted when I saw the large, deep whole! I felt woozy and went down on my knees and held on to the toilet to steady myself. I thought how can I handle that?! How can you even go to the bathroom and clean it!! I was petrified. I didn't have a hand-held shower sprayer yet. I am so glad you have your sister with you!! For emotional support if nothing else!
I asked my doctor about the cleaning. How can it not get infected with poop and pee down there??? He said to work hard to keep it clean but understand that the body is used to dealing with poop and pee down there. Pee is usually sterile anyway. With no sprayer, I used wet wipes on the outside and then tried to swoosh the wound clean in a tub of water. Not very easy. With subsequent surgeries, I got the sprayer and just sprayed the wound out gently and learned to stop worring about it. There is only so much you can do. The rest you have to give to God to deal with and he knows what he is doing since he designed our bodies.
Also, I found that guaze stuck to the wound tissue. Hurt like blazes when I pulled it off. Everyone said that is good because it pulls off dead tissue. Good! They can do it too themselves sometime!! (I really pity burn patients because that is what they do to them. I would need morphine. ) Finally, a nurse said to wet the guaze with sterile saline before putting it in. The salt keeps the wound sterile and promotes healing, and the guaze will come off much easier. It is wonderfull! You can get sterile saline at the pharmacy. My doctor's assistant actually wrote me a perscription for large quanities of sterile saline and I got it for dirt cheep! It is best not to use regular water because it isn't sterile and doesn't have the healing salt.
I suggest you get you sister to look at the wound every day or so. I know this is gross on many levels and a lot to ask of her, but it is good to have a second pair of eyes watching the wound to make sure it is looking OK. My wound hole actually got larger at first. What happens is that the skin stretches and the wound flattens. Hard to desribe, but all quite normal.
Don't be bashful about calling your doctor's office if you have any questions or concerns. That is what they are there for. He has a nurse of phyician's assistant that may have more time than the doctor to take your call. In my experience, nurses are compasionate and will spend time on the phone with you explaining things and giving suggestions. This is your first time (and hopefully your last) so of course you have questions!!
Hey Phobesky, glad to hear your surgery is over and you are recovering well. Be sure to take it easy and not overdo. Sending healing thoughts and prayers your way.
My wound was about 1.75 inches long by 1 inch wide (2.5 cm = 1 inch). How big is your 5 cent piece? Salt baths sound great. The saline didn't hurt me at all, an dI hope the salts baths don't hurt you.
Speaking of pain -- Eeek!!!! Is paracetamol just acetaminophen??? That would not cut it at all!! I was given plenty of percoset (acetaminophen and oxycodone). After 4 -5 days I was able to start using less percoset and more acetaminophen (Tylenol). I would call them immediately and demand a narcotic like percoset!!! These doctors just have no clue!!
I understand the zombie feeling! But it is amazing to feel less toxic. My body just said "Ahhhh!! That's better!" Unfortunately, I always feel icky for a day or two after surgery because of the anesthesia. It makes me feel nauseous, anxious, and generally unwell. Once my body gets rid of it, I am fine. I now make sure they give me anti-nausea and anxiety meds in the OR. That helps but I still don't feel right for two days. I hope your zombie feeling passes quickly. Although the best thing you can do is right now is just be quiet.
And of course you feel overwhelmed. I did in a serious way!! Who wouldn't!! But you have good people around you that aren't going to let you down. Please remember that they feel great helping you out. It is in our nature to want to help and it makes us feel needed. They also know that they now have someone there for them if/when they need it, and that certainly is a comforting thought.
Is there a away you can work half days? I would hope your boss would understand surgery - she probably has had surgery herself. My work grants advanced sick leave for those who are short on leave but have a real medical need. You get the paycheck now, and later as you earn more sick leave you it payback. Your situation would certainly qualify for advanced sick leave where I work. Or maybe you could work extra days/Saturdays after you are well to pay it back. Just some thoughts. Honestly I am hoping you find a way to be out for a week in order to give your body the best shot at quick healing!
Yes, I love my setons!! They save us and for that I love them. So now you have joined the Seton Sister club!! Congratulations!! Whenever you feel down or someone is not being nice to you, just remember that you have something so special and fashionable that they don't have!! And that you could totally gross them out by describing what you have!
my daughter came home with percoset. which she took for almost two months after her first surgery in Feb. But she was afraid of being addicted to them so she has tried just tylenol and/or advil. But after our vacation she's been taking vicodin. She also has baby wipes in her purse for when she's not at home.
I do think it that when she hurried back to work it effected her recovery. But I understand the need for a paycheck too.
Although the dr. said it shouldn't help, she has an inflatable donut she sits on. The kind men use after prostate surgery, I remember my friends Dad having one. Pillows didn't really work for her. It's the hole in the middle which relieves pressure where her manmade "hole" is (very near her 'gina).