Saturday, October 20, 2012

Slow Recovery

As I mentioned in this post, I tend to get the most knitting done when I am stressed. Well, the knitting has practically been flying off my needles all on its own around here lately. I feel a bit like Mrs. Weasley.

For those of you with squeamish stomachs, you might want to skip this next bit and just scroll down to the pictures of my latest finished object. I have refrained from blogging about this for over a week, but at this point I am feeling so frustrated, and, to be honest, angry, that I decided it would make me feel better to write about it. So my apologies in advance if this is Too Much Information.

Things had gone so well with Alexandra's surgery. In fact, it was the best hospital experience she had ever had. I was so happy that for once things seemed to go off without a hitch. The important word in that last sentence is "seemed."

A couple of days after she was home she started to have some pain around the incision site. Keep in mind this was no small incision. It had taken fourteen staples to close it. Here's the thing. They took all of those staples out the day she left the hospital, just four days after the surgery. As it turns out this was way too early. The incision started to come apart. This resulted in a trip to the hospital emergency room.

She was told it would now have to be packed every day with gauze, so for over a week she has been making trips to the ambulatory clinic to have this done. Not pleasant. Then it got infected. This wouldn't be a surprise since it is now an open wound and getting handled every day.

Then, a few days ago, it basically came completely apart. This meant another trip to emergency and a visit to the surgeon. The plan now is to use a special kind of vacuum dressing to get the incision to heal. She will have to wear this machine all the time, and as a consequence now has to book off at least a week and a half from her job. The good news is this should have the incision healed in a couple of weeks, as opposed to the month or longer it was going to take using the current approach.

I get that bad stuff happens sometimes. But "this stuff" was, in my opinion, totally avoidable. Had the staples been left in for the proper amount of time it is highly unlikely any of this would have occurred. There is a lot more I could say, but it would involve using some very bad language so I will stop here.

These are Donegal Fingerless Gloves by Kate Davies, knit with City Tweed HW. Details are on my Ravelry page.




I think it is safe to say you can expect to see more finished knitting projects in the near future.

26 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry, Kristie. It's upsetting that the doctors didn't err on the side of caution instead of going for expediency. Bad language would be completely justified...too much bad "stuff" happens and too often the person responsible is full of excuses. Fingers crossed!

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    1. The one good bit in all of this was their decision to use the vac dressing. They haven't fooled around, but gone straight to the best solution. Keep your fingers crossed!

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  2. I can't believe the staples were taken out that early. I'm sorry that Alexandra's recovery from surgery has gone so badly. I had a similar experience with a big incision like that. I was sent home from hospital with my staples in but an infection just starting, which they didn't notice and my district nurse didn't believe me when I told her it didn't look or feel right and eventually had to get the doctor out to check it out and she took one look and prescribed heavy duty antibiotics. I am sure that though this is all a bit grim and painful that she will heal up well and it will eventually be a (slightly bigger than ideal) scar and a story to tell about "that time when....". You just have to get through the next few weeks. At least you will motor with your knitting. Where would be without the knitting to help with stress!

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    1. You have gone through a lot medically, just like Alexandra. I wonder why the nurse didn't believe you? We have had that happen lots of times too, where Alexandra has something going on but it takes forever to get the medical establishment to believe it.

      I hope you are right, and this just ends up being a good story at some point down the road. And I can't imagine life without knitting, even in the non-stressful moments. If I didn't have it to help deal with stress I'm quite sure I would be spending lots of money on a therapist. :-)

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  3. How frustrating! Something that was supposed to fix a problem ended up being the problem! Poor Alexandra and poor Mom! I hope everything heals soon! But I like it when some awesome Knit Happens!

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    1. The good news is she will be okay. It isn't life threatening, it just means it is going to take longer to have it heal. I am trying to stay focused on that.

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  4. I'm so sorry your daughter's had to go through all this; I'm sending good thoughts her way for a speedy recovery. Thankfully knitting is there to help you keep your sanity. Hugs to you!

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    1. It sounds like you have been through your own "stuff" lately! (I just read your latest blog post.) Thanks for your kind thoughts. :-)

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  5. I'm sorry your daughter is having such a time with the incision. I too had an incision from surgery that got infected and they used the vac dressing on my wound. It finally started healing with that treatment. It's not too bad to put up with and it really does speed up the healing. Hope everything goes well with your daughter's recovery. I'm glad you have your knitting to help you cope with the stress. I love your blog and the knitting that you show. Even if most of us have never met, it is good to be able to vent to your friends.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I just read your comment to Alexandra. It was good for her to hear from someone who has actually used the vac dressing and had it work. And yes, sometimes it is good to be able to vent (although I always worry that I might lose readers when I do). Thank you for your kind words about my blog. :-)

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    2. Your welcome, I don't often comment but I felt that maybe it could help. If there are any questions, my ravelry ID is pprahl and through that I can give my email. I'm not an expert or anything but sometimes it helps to talk to someone who went through the same thing. If not, hope she gets well soon.

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  6. Sorry to hear things have not gone so well post-op. How frustrating for all of you! Hope the next couple of weeks go quickly.

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    1. The nurse who changed the dressing today said it is looking better, and she might not need the vac dressing for the full two weeks. :-)

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  7. What a nightmare! I do wish Alexandra a really speedy vacuum assisted recovery :)

    This is not the first time I've heard of a stapled wound coming adrift, and although it's hardly comparable it happened here with one of the dogs. Maybe somebody should be looking at the shift away from using stitches?

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    1. That's an interesting though about stitches vs. staples. It must have been a nightmare with your dog. I can't imagine keeping a dog quiet and inactive while a wound healed!

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  8. I hope that Alexandra heals well and quickly.

    Personally, the staples they used for my knee surgery were great. But they stayed in for 10 days--they are the tidiest part of my scar.

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    1. I'm glad you had a good result with your staples. Our understanding had been that Alexandra's would stay in for 10 days as well. I suspect what happened is there was a mistake made and they weren't really supposed to come out that early, and nobody is owning up to it. All we can do at this point is move forward. I hope your next knee surgery goes as well as your first!

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  9. So frustrating! It's hard to put your trust in a professional's hands only to be disappointed and hurt like this. Thoughts and prayers for both of you.

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    1. Thanks Susan! It has been very disappointing on many levels. Today she gets the vac dressing, so hopefully things will turn around quickly.

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  10. I can see now why you are knitting like a freak! How aweful! I am getting concerned of all the horrible stories/things you hear about after someone has gone to a hospital, had surgery. The Mursa infection comes to my mind immediately. There are several people on my Dad's floor at the nursing home that have Mursa and I pray continually that he OR my Mother don't contract that horrible infection.

    I will pray for your sweet Alexandra - quick healing, speedy recovery and no further complications.

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    1. Thanks for your prayers Kathy. I hope your parents are able to avoid infections. And hopefully the nursing home staff is being diligent.

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  11. it amazes me how quickly they take staples out. When Beck had her 2nd C-section the staples were out within the week, now that one large incision. Luckily it stayed closed but it does seem very quick. I hope your daughter heals well with no lasting problems

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    1. That seems fast for a C-section. Especially since a new mom would be holding and lifting a baby! I'm glad she did fine in spite of how quickly they took out the staples. Thanks for your well wishes!

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  12. I am sorry to hear about all those problems... how can they take those staples out so early??? I hope she will recove quickly4
    Now, for the gloves..they are so lovely. I just LOVE LOVE love heathered and tweedy yarns...

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    1. I love heathers and tweeds too! Add in the softness of City Tweed (it has some alpaca in it) and it was a wonderful experience to knit with this yarn. I have some more leftovers in a different colourway in my stash and I am thinking of knitting a second pair.

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    2. Its just too bad that Knit Picks wouldn't ship overseas... if I have any knitpicks yarn it is because someone was nice enough to bring them over in their suitcases...:-(

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