Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Suture self."

Yesterday was a marathon.

I believe I spent a recent blog entry grousing about how my health insurance provider will only cover bloodwork if the draw is taken at a contracted lab (if a contracted doctor takes a draw at his contracted office and sends it to the lab he uses, they DON'T cover that--I found this out the hard way)--and how they gave me contact information for four labs, two of which are several states away.

Well, in all their infinite wisdom, the insurance company gave me the wrong address for the lab I needed. It was raining to a horizontal degree, the kind of rain that makes you think about designing an ark. The city we had to go to had streets numbered in a way I can only deem "full of clusterf**ky goodness". We couldn't see a blessed thing, and were happy the cops didn't show up--this was a nice neighborhood. 139th Place, 139th Court, and 139th Avenue were all connected and facing each other. Mr. Salted was the driver; we were armed with a Thomas Guide, a cellphone GPS, AND a Mapquest printout. Still, we drove around for about ninety minutes, ending up back at the same house each time--the address existed, but was a private residence in a completely residential neighborhood. We finally called the labs, got the correct address of the one that answered their phone, and the cellphone GPS led the way.

The lab had opened at 7:30 AM, and we were trying to make it there as close to opening as possible because I had to fast for the blood draw. Fasting makes me rather irritable; my blood sugar gets very low. I've learned to carry a South Beach cereal bar or some kind of snack to inhale the minute they tape the cotton ball to the inside of my elbow. We left our house at 7 AM; it was 9 AM by the time we found this lab, which was supposed to be just half an hour from our house.

The appointment to have my ankle sutures removed was at 11:30. They took another x-ray, which looked "just like you want it to look," according to my surgeon. My foot was all bruised dinosaur skin, still tinged yellow with iodine from the day of surgery. I had to hide my face when he started removing the sutures so I wasn't watching him do it. "This freaks me out pretty bad," I confessed. He told me it freaked a lot of people out and tipped the chair back for me. I looked through a magazine while he did the deed. Once he was done, he wrapped it in an Ace bandage and told me I could walk on it, IN THE BOOT, now, and that I could get it wet the following day. He told me to take it slow and keep the scooter for a couple more days. (Hell no! I wanted to be rid of that thing and not pay any more rent on it--we returned it.)

None of the places we had to go were anywhere near each other--the lab was half an hour south of our home, and we had time to stop back by in between; the ankle surgeon was 45 minutes from home another direction, the place we rented the scooter from was about an hour in another direction. We ended up getting home about 2:00 PM. I asked Mr. Salted to take the day off with me; the suture thing freaked me out that badly. I felt like a total weenie, but it was nice to have my partner there with me. (We filled out the FMLA paperwork for this very reason, after all.) I was so glad he was with me. The surgeon instructed me not to stop icing my foot, so I iced, popped Demerol and napped for the remainder of yesterday. The ankle hurt quite a bit.

So today was the momentous day: I was allowed to wash my foot! What an occasion! Goodbye, iodine, dead skin, wayward leg hair! It was/is hard to make myself touch the sutures. They are tender, look painful and, well, they're gross. I found out rapidly that it was not a good idea to let them touch anything, even the bed; they need to be on an additional cushion or reasonable facsimile of one, even with the foot covered with an Ace bandage and a sock.

The surgeon instructed me to rub lotion into my scars--Vaseline Intensive Care or the generic equivalent, something with aloe or Vitamin E--massaging them for 20 minutes twice a day. My response: "You mean I have to touch it?" (Insert the sound of a visceral reaction combined with shuddering and disgusted facial expressions here.) I was on the phone with my nurse friend this morning while I did the lotion thing for the first time; it made me feel better for some reason. I hope I will get used to this!

I was supposed to return to work tomorrow, but my ankle hurts quite a bit, I'm tiring very easily, and I get nauseous when I get up and walk around much. I am going to see how I feel; I may need to stay out another day or so.

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Seattle, WA, United States
This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other words...life.
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