sickness and knots
by the time i got home thursday night, i had a fever of 101, sore throat, body aches, chills … the whole drill. i’ve been in a hot bath or asleep since then, and leanne is once again making me nice foods. this is the longest i’ve been vertical since thursday. we didn’t get to go to vegas for nate’s birthday and i’m sad for that, but i wouldn’t have been much fun. as it is, i feel a bit on the mend, though it’s quite possible nate and a martini in his honor would have sped it along.
i have noticed just today that my medial incision, previously un-scabbed, now quite possibly shows knots surfacing. i quote from dr. grissom:
Internal sutures are most commonly used to close the incision. They dissolve after 6 to 12 weeks. Occasionally the knot, which is tied to prevent the suture from unraveling, will come to the surface of the incision and cause drainage, redness, and irritation. This usually happens several weeks after surgery. If this occurs, please call the office and come in to have it removed. This is not painful and takes just a few seconds.
it is in fact six weeks since the surgery, so the timing is right for the dissolving (or the floating to the top?). i’ll call on monday if it looks the same. the knots, the sickness, and the SARS are all presumed unrelated! going to lie down again…
a stunning parade of bills for my biopsy has been arriving, and i’m not entirely sure when it will end. i’m lucky to have insurance. with over ten thousand dollars billed already to insurance, and most of it covered save for a few hundred dollars, i don’t know what i would have done had i been one of the many many many poor without insurance. here’s a sampling of my halfday of services:
682.00 -- radiologist, including localization surgery
560.00 -- anesthetist
7,663.45 -- hospital, over a thousand of which is for
2,100.00 -- surgeon
734.00 -- pathologist
since it turns out my old car costs $500 for its old-car tuneup today (always worth it to visit the good folks at pat’s garage), it’s a lucky thing there is 10K less that i have to owe.
two of my scabs fell of in the last few days. does that mean i’m healing or scarring?
blood is an interesting thing. do an idle search on google for “blood, scabbing, and healing” and you’ll find a lot about tattooing, PC game cheats, some about tainted blood and platelets, and less about what a scab might actually be good for. there’s hardly a thing you can look at on the news, or in the ‘real world’, these days that doesn’t have as its basis — and its manifestation — blood or its products, yet i hardly comprehend what it’s actually made of and what it does, much less what to do about scabs and scars. my friend todd and my late friend david were forever changed by bad blood products from bayer, baxter, and alpha pharmaceuticals. deb suffers from an entirely opposite condition of the blood, and many of us rely on products that affect the blood – but ironically might damage it – to keep us alive. two years ago you couldn’t turn on the news without hearing about mounds of burning animals, killed in masses because of the ‘mad cow’ disease risk. the phrase of today is once again ‘no blood for oil’.
if scabbing means bleeding has stopped, what does the end of scabbing mean? there is only a tiny scab left on the left corner of my medial incision. i haven’t even been picking at the scabs, because i understand that could make scabbing worse — though i don’t know why. when i lie on my stomach, one of my favorite ways to sleep, my breast hurts; when people hug me these days, i often wince. sometimes, even if it doesn’t hurt or they didn’t hit the sensitive left breast, i shout out ‘ow’, but nobody thinks its funny.
i suspect all the scabbing will be gone soon, and then i’ll see the full potential of the scars — marks of being stabbed, however precisely and on purpose, and then prevented from bleeding. then i just have to figure out how to heal.