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My Angry Rant About Having Surgery, IVs Administered, and Surgical Dressing Applied..

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My Angry Rant About Having Surgery, IVs Administered, and Surgical Dressing Applied..

Old 04-25-05, 02:55 PM
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My Angry Rant About Having Surgery, IVs Administered, and Surgical Dressing Applied..

It all started exactly one week before Easter when I discovered a small bump under my right ear. I just assumed it was a pimple and didn't really make much of it at the time. But, as the week went on, it started to get bigger and slightly tender to the touch. At this point it was starting to look like the T-Mobile commercial with the guy with the huge bug bite. I just assumed it was a swollen limp node.

Anyway, one week later on Easter Sunday I finally decided to go see a doctor. I was going to visit my cousin's place that day anyway, and since he was a doctor I got him to check it out...for free! He put me on some antibiotics (Keflex?) in pill form for 10 days -- four times a week.

After a couple of days on the antibiotics, it continued to get bigger and was now throbbing with pain. Then the fever kicked in, which made the pain that much worse...to the point where I couldn't sleep. I started taking Tylenol 8 Hour -- which helped right up until around the 7th hour until it completely wore off at the 8th hour and the cycle started again. The Tylenol did help somewhat, but it took damn near forever to take effect most of the time and didn't completely stop the pain.

Now, after 10 days of feeling like complete shit, I was finally done with the antibiotics, but still had this huge thing on the side of my head. I went back to my cousin/doctor and he took some blood samples and referred me to a ear, throat, and nose specialist.

So now I'm at the specialist, who is from Bulgaria and oddly reminds me of a cross between Dr. Nick from the Simpson's and Yakov Smirnoff. He's poking and prodding around my ear and inside the mouth. He then pushes and squeezes the hell out of the [already very sore] bump while simultaneously sticking a sharp instrument inside my mouth. OMG, even though I have a high tolerance for pain, you could see the tears forming in my eyes, and I stopped just short of crying like a little girl. He doesn't know exactly what caused it either, but says it's a swollen salivary (paraded) gland and decides to put me on IV therapy for a week.

I didn't want to stay in the hospital, so I got a nurse from a Home IV therapy clinic to come out and administer the antibiotics. The doctor had put me on IV therapy for 7 days - 3 times a day - every 8 hours. Fun times.

After a week of pumping crap into my veins...nothing changed. The fever and the pain just kept sticking around like a bad hemorrhoid. Back to the doctor I go, and then he tells me it's now an abscess and will require surgery...and more IV therapy. No food or liquids after midnight before the surgery.

I arrive at the hospital early the next morning and fill out all the mounds of paperwork. Then they give me the official hospital gown to put on -- which looks like a prom dress from hell. Then I wait for two or three hours in my "dress" waiting for the doctor to show. Finally, he arrives and the chain-smoking nurse wheels me in to the operating room.

On goes the gas mask and off to dreamland I go. Apparently, they sliced and diced the bump and drained all the infected puss out. About 30 minutes later I come out of it and woke up freezing my ass off. I literally wakeup shaking from the sub-zero temp, and after a heating pad or two I'm eventually warmed up. My throat was also raw for a couple of days from the tubes shoved down the throat.

After the gas finally wears off and some clearing out of the throat, I'm feeling pretty good. Unfortunately, I still have 3 and a half days of hospital stay ahead. Not to mention, my head's wrapped like a mummy from all the surgical wrapping applied.

This was actually a new experience for me...never had the privilege of being a hospital patient prior to this. And the good news kept coming -- I couldn't sleep on a flat bed, it had to be inclined to a 90 degree angle for the duration of the stay. Also, the IVs are now going to take around two hours compared to the 30 minutes it took for the home IV.

All I can say is if you have never had to stay overnight in a hospital -- pray to God you don't ever have to. It's like a run down hotel that charges 5-star prices. It was bad enough I had to sleep basically sitting up, but add to that the nurses that came in 2 or 3 times an hour to check vitals and administer IVs...AND WAKE YOU UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT FOR NO APPARENT REASON. Basically they would come in at 4:00am to wake me up and just ask if I was doing alright. Then there was the door that wouldn't stay closed if you didn't shut it properly...of course none of the nurses learned how to do that. Did I mention the two screaming patients across the hall? There was the old man down the hall that would scream "HELP!" every few hours just because he could. It would carry through the walls at night, despite the nurses saying he was heavily medicated and would soon fall asleep. The other one was a man in his twenties directly across the hall that was constantly cursing the nurses about anything and everything. "Bitch, you ain't sticking that up my ass" or "you can't keep me in this fucking room forever" were a few of his best lines. He also mentioned pooping his pants a couple of times, so I'm inclined to believe he might have been slightly mentally challenged. Maybe.

After three and a half days of pure hell and more paperwork, I was finally dismissed from the hellhole, otherwise known as a hospital. I still had to receive dressing changes for the wound twice a day. It's actually now down to once a day. Luckily I was off the antibiotics...both IV and in pill form.

I just recently went to the doctor and was told I have to wear the surgical wrapping at least three more weeks!! And, I'm supposed to take it easy for a couple of weeks...no hard work, exercise, etc. I'm a runner, and not being able to do that is driving me crazy insane. It's a beautiful Spring day outside and I basically can't do anything strenuous.

I look and probably smell like hell --haven't been able to wash my hair for a little over a week. Although, I'm finally going to be able to do that today. But, someone else has to do that for me, which will have to be in a beauty salon. It honestly doesn't bother me as long as it finally gets washed because it's starting to feel like an oil slick up there.

It's going to be so much fun Wednesday when I return to work with this thing on my head. The dressing really looks like a cloth diaper wrapped around my head, and is sort of in the shape of the old time football helmets. And since it doesn't exactly resemble surgical dressing, you tend to get funny looks when going out in public.

Funny thing is, the doctor still doesn't know what caused all of this. At one point he did mention the possibility of a spider bite inside my ear. And he even mentioned the Zoloft I'm taking is a possibility. Apparently, it can cause dry mouth and if you don't drink enough liquids, it affects the salivary gland. There were a couple of other cases of this happening, but with the small dose I'm on, and the fact that I'm always drinking water; it isn't too likely to be the cause.

There may be some slight scarring from the surgery. Luckily, the incision was shorter than originally anticipated...only about an inch long in length and slightly shorter in width. I didn't get to see inside the wound, but I saw the skin sticking up from behind...it was odd looking. Since it was infected, they can't close it completely, although it does have 5 stitches. It's continuing to heal...already it's closed up somewhat. The bills are already starting to arrive....thank God for insurance.

Anyway, I just can't wait to get this hell over with. After all of this is said and done, assuming I get the dressing off in three weeks, it will be almost two months of going through all of this.

My advice to all of you people -- immediately go see a doctor if you feel something is wrong. Don't hesitate...just go already.
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Old 04-25-05, 03:00 PM
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So how was Easter?
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Old 04-25-05, 03:01 PM
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Maybe it was caused by your dirty shower?

seriously, glad everything is ok so far...
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Old 04-25-05, 03:03 PM
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Glad you made it.

Originally Posted by Chad
My advice to all of you people -- immediately go see a doctor if you feel something is wrong. Don't hesitate...just go already.
Excellent advice. I too put something off and now it's biting me in the ass in a big way.
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Old 04-25-05, 04:01 PM
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I knew somehow or another my shower would make it's way into this thread. Speaking of which, during the home IV therapy, I had to take several with a garbage bag wrapped around my arm to protect the IV.

Easter was filled with Cadbury eggs and lots of pills.

And I had the actual surgery a little over a week ago: Friday the 15th.
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Old 04-25-05, 04:02 PM
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First of all, I am very glad to hear that you're ok. I'm very happy that things turned out ok for you.

Now, be very glad that you have never had 10 pounds of baby pulled out of your gut. I've had both my boys by c-section and you wanna talk about getting poked and pumped full if IV crap! And the surgery, yeah, they do that while you're awake. There's no dream land for you. Then, while you're recovering, you get to take care of your newborn baby and deal with scary-German-nurse "woman" coming into your room 5 times a day and making you get up and walk around. Yeah, with your gut cut open and right after your epidural is done, they haul your sore ass out of bed.

So, where as I may not have much sympathy for you right now I am glad to hear that you're ok. Did they ever figure out what caused it?

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Old 04-25-05, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Kittydreamer
...and you wanna talk about getting poked and pumped...
Isn't that how you got that way in the first place?
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Old 04-25-05, 04:43 PM
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I'm a bio major in college . . . and a story like this with doctors like you had and asshole patients like those you were around; this is why I wanna ba a vet, not a human doctor. Too many assholes ya gotta deal with, and then there's the dumbshit doctors who I would be forced to call colleagues. . . .but then again asshole doctors permeate every medical field, so moot point.
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Old 04-25-05, 05:14 PM
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Yuck that experience sounds terrible. What part of states are you in, that hospital could be worse then one I attend! I remember last year after a "simple" gallbladder removal alot same problems you mention. One bigges though was after 3 trips to ER, it took walk in clinic on 4th day tell me all this time that my liver was failing. Cheers to never going to hospital and dying in your sleep when time comes :P
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Old 04-25-05, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Chad
Funny thing is, the doctor still doesn't know what caused all of this. At one point he did mention the possibility of a spider bite inside my ear.
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Old 04-25-05, 07:03 PM
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Old 04-25-05, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Chad
... He doesn't know exactly what caused it either, but says it's a swollen salivary (paraded) gland and decides to put me on IV therapy for a week.
I think it's spelled "parotid". Can you still spit? Get well soon buddy! Oh, and did they shave your balls for this surgery?
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Old 04-25-05, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by devilshalo
Isn't that how you got that way in the first place?

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Old 04-25-05, 07:52 PM
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Sounds like you had a sialolithiasis. Basically, it's a stone in your salivary glands. Kinda like a kidney stone. Location does sound like the parotid, but sialoliths usually happen in the submandibular gland. And as you were saying, you had a dry mouth perhaps from Zoloft. These stones can form if you don't have enough water to keep the saliva flowing smoothly. The chemicals in the saliva can crystallize and form stones. Not sure if this is what you had, but it's pretty common.

I laughed pretty hard while reading your story. Sorry about that, but it's just that it's a bit too familiar. See, when I was in med school, one of the things I HATED about my clinical rotations was having to get there at like 5 AM to round on patients. I NEVER understood why we did that seeing as how they were still sleeping and we students and the residents WANTED to be still sleeping. Who the hell are we helping?? As long as they're stable (and there's no reason a guy with a swollen salivary gland shouldn't be), leave them alone! Until it's time to ACTUALLY do something with them.

But regardless of time, the reason all that you were so frequently poked and prodded? Documentation. It's all this lawsuit crap that's coming along. It makes more work and more hassle for everyone involved. It's utterly ridiculous and I'm happy that I got out of clinical practice. If I'm ever a patient, I'm going to warn them not to wake me up at the risk of getting punched in the face.

Last edited by hahn; 04-25-05 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 04-26-05, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by hahn
But regardless of time, the reason all that you were so frequently poked and prodded? Documentation. It's all this lawsuit crap that's coming along. It makes more work and more hassle for everyone involved. It's utterly ridiculous and I'm happy that I got out of clinical practice.
Exactly. As much as it sucks for the patient, if for whatever reason you had died at 3 a.m. and the nurse didn't find out until 7 or 8 a.m., it would be her ass up shit creek without a paddle.
Kittydreamer - it goes for your situation, too. As much as it must have sucked to have had to walk around after a cesarean, you were a risk for DVT (blood clot) at the time and to not ambulate you would be negligent.
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Old 04-26-05, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Kittydreamer
First of all, I am very glad to hear that you're ok. I'm very happy that things turned out ok for you.

Now, be very glad that you have never had 10 pounds of baby pulled out of your gut. I've had both my boys by c-section and you wanna talk about getting poked and pumped full if IV crap! And the surgery, yeah, they do that while you're awake. There's no dream land for you. Then, while you're recovering, you get to take care of your newborn baby and deal with scary-German-nurse "woman" coming into your room 5 times a day and making you get up and walk around. Yeah, with your gut cut open and right after your epidural is done, they haul your sore ass out of bed.

So, where as I may not have much sympathy for you right now I am glad to hear that you're ok. Did they ever figure out what caused it?

Oh come on...those are two completely different scenarios...you can't compare them! There's a huge difference because you WANTED to have children and knew there might be certain risks involved. Unfortunately, you had to go the c-section route, which I realize was extremely painful for you. But, the end result was something wonderful -- you created new life. I on the other hand, didn't choose to give "birth" to some infected puss coming out the side of my head. I'm just going to shutup now.
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Old 04-26-05, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Chad
I on the other hand, didn't choose to give "birth" to some infected puss coming out the side of my head.
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Old 04-26-05, 05:51 PM
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Hopefully it was infected PUS that they drained out of you, and not an infected PUSS.
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Old 04-26-05, 07:20 PM
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God I hope so...that would somewhat difficult to explain.


Originally Posted by hahn
Sounds like you had a sialolithiasis. Basically, it's a stone in your salivary glands. Kinda like a kidney stone. Location does sound like the parotid, but sialoliths usually happen in the submandibular gland. And as you were saying, you had a dry mouth perhaps from Zoloft. These stones can form if you don't have enough water to keep the saliva flowing smoothly. The chemicals in the saliva can crystallize and form stones. Not sure if this is what you had, but it's pretty common.
No, actually it turned out I didn't have that. Although the doctor did consider it a possibility at one point.


Originally Posted by hahn
I laughed pretty hard while reading your story. Sorry about that, but it's just that it's a bit too familiar. See, when I was in med school, one of the things I HATED about my clinical rotations was having to get there at like 5 AM to round on patients. I NEVER understood why we did that seeing as how they were still sleeping and we students and the residents WANTED to be still sleeping. Who the hell are we helping?? As long as they're stable (and there's no reason a guy with a swollen salivary gland shouldn't be), leave them alone! Until it's time to ACTUALLY do something with them.

But regardless of time, the reason all that you were so frequently poked and prodded? Documentation. It's all this lawsuit crap that's coming along. It makes more work and more hassle for everyone involved. It's utterly ridiculous and I'm happy that I got out of clinical practice. If I'm ever a patient, I'm going to warn them not to wake me up at the risk of getting punched in the face.
During the first day, I honestly believe there was around 25 to 30 different people coming in throughout the night to check vitals. Not to mention the nurse in training who stuck me three times before finally finding a vein.

Last edited by Chad; 04-26-05 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 04-26-05, 08:18 PM
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My wife had that stone-in-the-saliva-gland thing once. Her chin swelled up like a bullfrog. The doctor told her to suck on lemon drops and eventually, it went away.
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Old 04-26-05, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Chad
During the first day, I honestly believe there was around 25 to 30 different people coming in throughout the night to check vitals. Not to mention the nurse in training who stuck me three times before finally finding a vein.
That really sucks. I'm sorry your first hospital experience had to be so miserable.
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Old 04-26-05, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Chad
No, actually it turned out I didn't have that. Although the doctor did consider it a possibility at one point.
I thought they didn't know what caused it. Did they figure it out later?
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Old 04-26-05, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Chad
"Bitch, you ain't sticking that up my ass" or "you can't keep me in this fucking room forever" were a few of his best lines.
I think I'm going to use those every time I have to go to the hospital, no matter what it's for.
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Old 04-26-05, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by hahn
I thought they didn't know what caused it. Did they figure it out later?
No, they still don't know what caused the whole thing. I just meant the doctor mentioned at one point that I might have the stones in there. Sorry if I'm being unclear here...just not up on all the terminology.
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Old 04-27-05, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jasonr114
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Ask and ye shall receive:



Picture taken earlier today. The stitches come out tomorrow, so I'll try and post another pic if it looks any different. This is actually the first time I've seen it from behind. It's closed up considerably since the surgery... would've been nice to have seen it right after the slicing and dicing.
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