First, the 30-Day Song Challenge thing is obviously on hold. I’ll play catch-up soon. I have school work to do, staph to take care of, and general malaise from the pain of the staph making me just not give a shit about a meme. But I love music, so I WILL prevail. It’ll just take a bit to catch up.
Second, the staph update.
Today, I used HOT compresses with Epsom salts to draw up the pus to the surface. I figured that if it burst on its own, I would know how to take care of it, AND I wouldn’t need surgery. Problem solved, right?
Uh, yeah. It swelled magnificently and put even more pressure on my nerves, the cluster of which has been identified as the Brachial Plexus. This explains some back, shoulder, chest, and arm pain I’ve been having with the largest cyst, which is right in the crease of my shoulder. Ow, basically.
My sister Jerica (vet tech for several years) texted me and asked me if there was anything she could do. I asked her, somewhat jokingly, if she could relieve my abscess and try to drain it, and she was like, “Sure!” I figure, hey, she does it to dogs all the time, I should be no problem.
I get there, and found out things were worse than I thought. Forrest took photos to commemorate the event (at my request), and these are the only ones I’m willing to post, and even THEY are horrible (really, laying on the couch is a bad angle for anyone). Click to Embiggenate so that you can read the text:
After several tries, a few jaw-crunchingly painful moments for me (have you ever had a lump of flesh squeezed really hard while there was a needle stuck in it? it fucking hurts), and very, very little drainage (basically, what you see in the photo is about how much was expressed), Jerica informed me that if I was a dog with an abscess that bad, they would put me under anesthesia to take care of it, because it was just THAT complicated. Good to know.
She mused that she could do it with a scalpel, and I considered sending Forrest to Walgreens for an Xacto knife, but then Jerica and Forrest convinced me that seeing the surgeon recommended by my doctor would be the best way to go.
The problem is, the surgery could cost upwards of $500 depending on what they do. Sure, it could cost the low-balled amount of $325 (I called them this morning, you see, to get price guesstimates and see when they might be able to do surgery – I DID act sanely before I let my sister poke needles in my armpit), but I have 3 abscesses that need to be removed, and one of them is going to have to be opened, scraped, and either stitched up or packed. Packed is going to cost more. Three abscesses as opposed to one? Costs more.
I’ve been told not to worry about it by Forrest, but of course I’m worried about it. I don’t have a job right now, my prospects are few, and my body is finding new and colorful ways to attack itself. I can’t afford the surgery, and (LOW SELF-ESTEEM ALERT), I feel guilty for him offering to pay, because I don’t think I’m worth it. Spare me the “you ARE worth it, and he’s a great guy for offering!” comments. I know this. I just don’t feel the self-worth right now. It’s just part of me being sick. I’ll hopefully get over it eventually.
At any rate, I’m getting up at 7:30 (in 5 hours…whee) to call the surgeon and see if they can squeeze me in early tomorrow morning. As of today, they had a bunch of openings, so I’m hoping I can find something before 10am. After that, and I’ll probably have to reschedule my interview, and I REALLY don’t want to do that.
Also, I really hope they give me morphine or something. Lidocaine helps on the surface, but DAMN, the inside of that thing feels like a tiny, concentrated fire of black death and pestilence riding on zombie horses with mounted machine guns.
Here’s what my abscess currently looks like:
The abscess on the very top actually expressed a bit (you can see how it’s really red just to the upper left of the purple part of the abscess), and the one on the lower right that just looks like a red smudge hasn’t grown in the past day or so, so hopefully that one will go away on its own with the antibiotics. But isn’t the main one GORGEOUS now? It’s been poked and prodded, sterilized a dozen times, covered in liquid bandage, and sterilized once more for good measure.
It has nearly doubled in size overnight, but looks flatter today because I think that while Jerica was poking around with the needle, she may have separated some of the membrane walls that were keeping the pus “locked” in chambers (i.e. possibly hair follicles). It’s a bit softer, at any rate, and doesn’t hurt as much, so I’ll take it.
In the words of the Emperor of Austria in Amadeus, “Well. There it is.”