Not THAT kind of CaT scan or the Diary of An Abscess

Catching you all up to the happenings in our neck of the woods.


Monday Morning August 1, 2014:

This is day 3 back in the hospital for Benjamin.  As I told you he had his appendix out, tomorrow will be two weeks.  A day or so before the beginning of week two of his recovery, he began to feel that something was quite right on the inside. Not only that he was beginning to run fever.  So I called – “Oh, that’s normal – 100 isn’t really a fever.” So I call the second day “Really, I am sure he’s fine. If Tylenol brings it down there’s nothing to worry about.”  Uh huh.  Right.  This went on until day 10 post surgery when it was time to remove his staples.

I tell the doctor whom I have only spoken with once during these last few days and then only because the office staff was tired of me calling to report that his fever was inching up, that he had run a fever again last night but didn’t wake up with one.  He has his nurse take Ben’s temp. 101.  Who knew?  Really?  That’s NOT normal 10 days out?  But it was 7 or 8 or 9?  The doctor quickly announces that he “mostly likely has an abscess in his abdomen”.  I saw red.  And as any of my kids can tell you, it is impossible for me to hide my true feelings.  So then comes the detailed explanation of how there was really probably no way we would have known before about day 10 or maybe 9 but it was really no big deal…when you are taking out a “hot swollen” appendix laparoscopically some of the “juice” (not my words) is bound to get away from you and even though you irrigate thoroughly…well like only 10% of the patients have some sort of further issue with intra-abdominal abscess or infection. It’s a shame I can’t properly share the hand gestures that went along with this.  This did not calm me to say the least.  So off to get a CT scan just to be sure.

Another doctor (of radiology)  came and spoke with us about what was going to take place if in fact there was an abscess.  It did not sound pleasant.  So indeed there was an abscess and they threaded a tube from the middle of Ben’s left butt cheek all the way through to the abscess and attached a bag to the tube to catch the infection as it was drawn out.  That was Friday afternoon.  This is Monday morning.  There is still stuff coming out of him and into the drainage bag.  He’s been given large amounts of intravenous antibiotics as well as by mouth.  And he still ran a little fever yesterday.  We were to go back to radiology at 7:00 am for a CT scan to see how it looks and if they can pull the drain.  Personally the way things are going, I doubt it.  Since it is now 7:47 and we are still waiting.

I guess I don’t understand inefficiency.  I went to the nurses desk to find out if it was okay for him to eat since they had just brought breakfast.  Nope.  He shouldn’t eat.  Well when might we expect radiology to pick him up?  No telling.  They probably have 10 or more people scheduled for 7 am. Reaaallly?  That many huh? Well how about you ring them and see what the ETA is?  Oh sure I can do that.  Well then let’s.  Five minutes later his nurse for the day comes in and says “sure he can eat”.  Are you really sure?  Yes.  Because I heard he couldn’t.  No, he can.  Okey dokey. The nurse at the desk who was looking at his chart said no.  Not that he is likely to eat but I was trying to make a not so subtle point that no one seems to be on the same page this morning.  And of course his doctor left for vacation today.  But his partner can handle this.  No problem.  We’ll see about that.  He’s the partner I talked to in an after office phone call who told me not to worry about a 100 degree temp 7 days after surgery.  I am pretty sure, looking back, it was worrisome.  I am trying really hard to be reasonable.  Ben, who normally has me check my reaction time lost his cool last yesterday when he called the 4th time for his nurse and supposedly/evidently she didn’t get the messages.  Things went a lot better after that – for that shift anyway.

His nurse just reappeared with news that radiology is waiting on the Dr to arrive so IF the drain can be removed it can be done shortly after the CT.

UPDATE 8/25/14: We did in fact go home that Monday afternoon.  The drain was removed and Benjamin was sent home with antibiotics and instructions to call if his fever returned.  Yeah, like that worked before.  Then this past week we have been battling some more tummy issues.  Seemingly gallbladder related – which is what I suspected on the initial ER visit.  But ultrasound showed nothing.  Prescribed Nexium once a day and we will wing it until something else shows up.

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