Boiling down south

Sadly, the title of this post bears no relation to weather conditions up north, down south or otherwise… I’d have to go a lot further south.

On Tuesday, I was driving down the M1 while the non-drama of my light chain results played out. I was on my way to East Sussex, where I am staying for a week, house- and dog-sitting for my cousin.

There’s a reason for telling you this – not just idle chit-chat.

On Monday, I had managed to get an appointment to see my lovely GP. Fortunately, she had seen my name on her patient list earlier in the day and suspected that I was returning to see her with the boil. So she had asked her colleague to fit me in to the minor operations clinic he was running that afternoon. She took one look at the nasty red abscess and agreed that yes, it did need to be lanced. Uh oh!

The first thing I had to endure was the local anaesthetic… several times. Ouch!!!

He told me he had numbed all around the boil, but he wasn’t sure if it would be fully effective, as the infection might stop the anaesthetic from working.

Unfortunately, he was right!

I didn’t get to see what he was doing, but my goodness, I felt almost everything. About half the areas he poked and cut and squeezed had not succumbed to the anaesthetic. What he was doing, that I couldn’t see but could feel, was really hurting me. Owwwwwww! The nurse working with him came round to the side of the bed to smile at me and reminded me to keep breathing. Fortunately, I did!

After he’d done his worst, he said he didn’t want to close up the wound just yet as there might still be some infection left in there. So he packed the hole with gauze and covered it all with a really big padded plaster. Apart from a slightly bruised feeling, it felt all warm and cosy and safe.

Then the doctor told me the dressing would need changing on Wednesday. It could not be left like as it was, as it could become further infected. Now I had a bit of a predicament… I wasn’t going to be at home on Wednesday, because I was going to East Sussex the next day.

The doctor had an idea… he would write a letter explaining what had been done and what was required, and I would arrange to see a nurse down here. So, that’s just what we did… And my cousin helped by kindly booking a nurse appointment for me at a local surgery.

So Wednesday morning came around and off I went to Lewes, with a friend in tow. The nurse was very thorough and did her own bit of poking and prodding… without anaesthetic. I think she jabbed the hole with metal tweezers to see how deep it was. OMG! It hurt! I winced and “ow-ed” and “ouch-ed” a LOT, despite breathing like I was in labour.

But there was another predicament to come… she said it would need re-dressing in two days and then two days later (Good Friday and Easter Sunday). Hmmmm…?

Fortunately, my friend was on hand. Yes, the same friend who gave me GCSF injections prior to my stem cell harvest and the same friend who shaved my hair after stem cell harvest. She’s a very good friend! She watched what the nurse did and agreed to do it in the coming days, even though she was nervous as hell… well, who would want to participate in causing pain to a friend? She’s no sadist, by any means.

Off we went though, with a bag of goodies – latex gloves, plastic tweezers, scissors, thin ribbon gauze (for packing the hole), vials of saline solution (for cleaning the wound), Inadine gauze dressing, (infused with microbicidal povidone-iodine), gauze and a large well-padded dressing/plaster.

IMG_0995  latex gloves  saline  Packing Gauze  inadine

WARNING: As promised, there is no video, but there are some photos of the actual wound at the very bottom… for the unsqueamish out there. Sorry to the rest of you – it just had to be done.

Friday morning came around and we got everything ready for the minor op my friend was about to perform. Despite her nervousness about hurting me and my nervousness about being in pain, it all went very smoothly, calmly and without much discomfort at all.

Sunday was approached a lot more confidently and proceeded equally without incident.

clarithromycinThe wound does seem to be getting smaller, less red and less raised, so I think it’s all going fine. The doctor at my home surgery had also prescribed a new antibiotic: Clarithromycin, which I’m hoping is also working, but I’m very much looking forward to finishing the course of tablets, as it’s affecting my bowels and worse still, gives me a very bitter taste in my mouth, especially on waking.

I was supposed to go back to the nurse at my home surgery tomorrow, but I’ve decided to stay down south for a couple more days, so I will have to beg some more ribbon packing, saline solution and Inadine dressing from the local nurse, or at worse buy some.

On a totally different note and to provide some word ‘packing’ for those who don’t want to see the photos…

The local What’s On magazine down here is Viva Lewes. My cousin has a copy of the March issue in the house so I was browsing through it and found an interview with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who apparently lives in Lewes. She confesses to preferring to shop at Waitrose (although she does use Aldi and Tesco too). So, guess where I’ve been shopping while I’m here? I’ve not yet bumped into her, but you never know, right…?

glyndebourneAnd in a nod to Dame KTK, I drove past Glyndebourne, just to take a peek. I didn’t get to see the lovely old mansion, but was disappointed to see the top of the opera house, looking rather ugly and out of place. It looked more like a factory than an opera house. But I’ve not been inside and maybe the acoustics make its outward appearance fade into insignificance…?

Ok, here are the photos…

IMG_0961   IMG_0966

Wed 27 Mar – Dressing removed – New dressing applied

IMG_0967 IMG_0968 IMG_0969

Fri 29 Mar – Top dressing removed – Packing removed – Clean wound
IMG_0970 IMG_0971
Fri 29 Mar – Wound re-packed… and re-dressed – all warm and cosy again

Abscess wound 31.03.2013

Sun 31 Mar – Noticeable improvement
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4 Responses to Boiling down south

  1. It’s definitely shrinking, let’s hope the antibiotics do the trick and you can rest up a bit to recover. It’s an impressive boil for sure!


  2. Morag says:

    Local anaesthetic is a very painful injection. Hope you don’t need any more for a while! 🙂


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