I knew I would be seeing Dr Morris shortly, since his face said it all behind the glass as he viewed my images. My stomach was beyond its capacity since I had to drink that CT scan drink & I could only drink about half of what I was supposed to. It wasn't long after I got back & settled that the whole trauma team appeared in my room. "We found the cause of the infection". I was relieved it wasn't in my heart from the PICC. "You have a huge abscess around your left kidney". "That explains why my lower back on the left side has been hurting", I said. For weeks my lower back had been hurting kind of a pulling sensation, just like a kidney infection. We talked about treatment options, first they would install drains & a stent which is the less invasive option. If that didn't work they would go in surgically & remove it. I voiced my preference which is to go in & get it out, but they insisted on the drains much to my dismay.
I was told when I'd first arrived at the hospital the Dr who worked on my internal injuries remembers my left kidney having a laceration (along with my liver & spleen). He cleaned it up as much as he could. But the CT scan showed that I had a hole in the top & bottom of my kidney. My blood was too thin (from all the blood thinners) to do any of the procedures so I was sent up to the ICU to be given Fresh Frozen Plasma, this would help thicken my blood back to normal. & put on NPO; no food or water. My stomach was 10 months pregnant + 10 thanksgiving dinners that night so the last thing I wanted was food... But I'm always thirsty. Back to the oh-so-familiar sponges dipped in water. The nurses in ICU were friendly. Some almost jumped when they first saw me because they'd helped take care of me in the beginning & couldn't believe how much better I looked & how far I'd come. One nurse said she took care of me that first dreadful night & said they had to put me in restraints because I kept ripping out the tube that goes down your throat. Blood had to be drawn & sent to the lab after every couple bags of plasma to see if my blood had thickened up enough for the surgery. In the beginning we were scheduled to do the surgery in the morning but it took twice the amount of plasma than anticipated. My blood wasn't thick enough until 430pm, I was so thirsty.
They wheeled me down to radiology to install a drain that goes through my side to the abscess & on the outside of my body there's a bag & some sort of suction ball. I was to be awake but lightly sedated. They did a few X-rays then gave me a shot of lidocaine & began cutting a hole for the drain to enter. This was very painful. When the procedure was done, the resident Dr on call in the ICU told me I could only have a few sips of water because I was going in for another surgery the next morning. I took my few sips & fell asleep in the ICU The next step was to put a stent along the bottom hole of the kidney until it healed, which was put in the next day. For a few hours I felt better, maybe this could really work. They moved me back to the the orthopedic trauma floor, not rehab with Ryan. It was really hard not being with ryan. But every single afternoon when he had finished therapy he would come up to my room & lay next to me in his jazzy, until bedtime (love that guy).
A few days later another CT scan was done. The Drs told me that it wasn't just one big abscess like they thought. The drain was helping a tiny bit but they found a part of it was moving down to my bladder. There were several pockets of infection, my body had built walls around the fluid, which actually turned out to be urine that contained bacteria. Antibiotics would unlikely be able to go through these walls. I still had a low grade fever & basically sat in a pool of my own sweat all day & night. Another drain was put in, this one 10x's more painful than the last, I literally screamed more than once during the procedure. This one didn't ever even drain any fluid out. & after a very short time niether was the first drain. I had to stay on the ortho/trauma floor for 8 days, I stayed in bed all but one of those days just wishing they'd do surgery & just go in there and get it out. I could recover on that floor and then join Ryan in rehab until he had to go home and also have one less worry on my mind.
I wondered why they were leaving the drains in if they werent even draining until one day. Nurses work 12 hr shifts. During each nurses shift they flush the drains with 10 cc's of saline, so in a 24 hr period there is 20 cc's of saline in my drain bags. One morning one of the groups of Drs came in. They mentioned how the drains were still draining really good, about 20 cc's per day. Aha, that's why they havent removed them. "That's the saline that the nurses flush my drains with, 10cc's per shift=20cc's per day". I really like that group of Drs but they didn't say anything after I told them that, but I saw a small flinch.
During rehab a few days later we were about to start my 3rd (out of 4) sessionof therapy. We just got done with lunch and I was told earlier that I'd probably be able to take a shower later (my first one since Xmas eve approximately 3.5 weeks ago). My therapist Darcy whom I love and is absolutely incredible at what she does took off the blanket and pillow I had on. One of my legs was wet. At first we thought my bags were leaking but we quickly discovered it was my catheter. Earlier that morning my aid was violently yanking on it, so when they told me I'd probably pulled it, I told them why I thought it was leaking. My nurse was called down to the gym, meanwhile my therapist fixed the problem. When the nurse arrived she didn't put gloves on or even bother to lend a second pair of eyes on the problem. She offered to take me upstairs so I could change my pants, but then I would miss out on therapy & I was just barely granted weight baring on one leg. I smelled like urine. Darcy advised my next therapists to wear gloves because of what happened. My aid came in to tell me that the drs decided i couldnt shower while my (stupid) drains were still in. I steered my jazzy chair over to where they wanted me, wearing my dirty pee pee pants & began to laugh. Like I'm wearing my dirty pee pants, so the therapists have to wear gloves, & I don't get to shower because the drains that aren't even draining are still there kinda laugh. After therapy I changed my pants & cleaned up a bit & had a small mental breakdown. The next day my mental breakdown spilled over while talking to the Drs. And that day my drains were removed & stitches were finally taken out of my right hand.