From a gastrointestinal hold-up to… a stitch infection?
By Friday I was on the phone with the doctor again, the skin had turned red with a burning soreness from which I could not escape. She said the stitches need to come out. My next appointment with her wasn’t for five more days, so she called in a prescription for antibiotics, and said, if it doesn’t get better, she will meet me over the weekend to remove the stitches. At that moment, all I wanted was pain relief, so I began the antibiotics… along with more Ibuprofen.
By the next day I felt somewhat relieved, so Saturday was just a regular day at home; resting, reading, cooking, chores… By evening Matt and I were preparing dinner, and we were working out a disagreement. Matt was feeling I have been inattentive recently toward him, and I pointed out that I have not expressed to him how much pain and discomfort I have been tolerating, nor my secret concerns that my health would get worse before getting better.
Matt suddenly looked at my stomach intently and asked, “What’s that wet spot on your shirt?” Immediately I thought, Oh no, what now? I lifted my shirt and from the reddened skin and stitches oozed a mucous substance.
Oh my poor body!
As with so many times before, I had no idea what to make of this. Both Matt and I have been feeling worn out from these mysterious and worrisome episodes. Matt’s expression had softened and now showed severe concern. He got up and wetted a tissue with alcohol and rubbed the fluid away from my stitches. I vowed to call Dr. Childs the next morning.
After communicating the symptoms over the phone, Dr. Childs gave two options, I could drive in and have the stitches removed immediately (she was already at the office on a Sunday morning), or since it was not an emergency, I could wait and drive in Monday morning. I said, “I’ll come in now,” thank you. Yeah, let’s get this dun!
The good news is, Dr. Childs confirmed that the fluid was draining “as it should”, this happens, not to everybody, but is very common with soft tissue surgeries. The seroma, as it is termed, will have to drain and heal on it’s own time.
Whew! Stitches out, seroma relieved. Now I have a patch on my belly that absorbs seroma fluid. Because gauze pads are expensive, the doctor recommended feminine mini-pads will work just as well at a lower price. So be it, a mini-pad on my abdomen and daily flushing with a syringe of water (yuck!) will do just fine.