Labor Day weekend has, historically, not been good for my general health and wellbeing. I’ve been sick over the holiday weekend numerous times. Eight years ago, I had emergency surgery over the weekend. And this year, I’ve been battling a nasty infection in my abdomen. So you can see there’s a trend.
No clue from whence this infection came. I noticed a red streak on my side about 12 days ago. I touched it, and it was slightly tender. Being the person I am, I then promptly ignored it and baled hay all afternoon. It was worse the next morning, but I had another busy day at the farm, so I ignored it. On the third day (Sunday), I figured I needed to see a doc, but it wasn’t an emergency, so I went canoeing down the White River. Monday morning came, and I left a message with the doctor’s office, still rather nonchalant–just thought I might need to have it looked at or something.
The nurse called me back five times and left three messages saying that I needed to be seen ASAP. I went. The doc prescribed an antibiotic, told me to watch to see if it got worse, made an appointment for Wednesday and sent me on my way.
Over the next 48 hours, I didn’t think it was getting better, but I didn’t think it was worse. I told the MA as much when she was taking my info at the follow-up appointment before the doc looked at it. When the doc did get eyes on it, the infection was proclaimed “significantly worse” and we were now “fighting to keep you (me) out of the hospital.” Ok, doc. You now have my attention. That was the first time I really thought anything of it. Geez. I didn’t know.
The doc cut open my side to get the abscess to drain, packed the wound, showed me how to do dressing changes, put me on another antibiotic, made an appointment for Friday and sent me on my way.
I don’t do that well with blood and guts. It’s a good thing this is my body because there is no way that I could care for it on someone else (sorry future kids). The doc packed it with some kind of tape that stunk to high heaven (I think it was soaked in iodine or something), and I had to let it stay there. That was difficult. Dressing changes are not awesome, and this was way worse than any incision I’d ever had after surgery.
The infection itself is bad enough, but the antibiotics are an even bigger drag. I suffer strong side effects from most medicine that goes in to my body, and antibiotics are the WORST. I’m glad I’ve passed the half-way point on this course. I haven’t been able to do any exercise at all, much less do any preparation for the triathlon that is now less than a month away.
After four appointments with my doc in the last eight days, two antibiotics and numerous dressing changes, I can now say that I’m officially on the mend. I have to let the wound heal from the inside out, meaning that I can’t swim for who knows how long. That’s frustrating me. I also won’t be doing any other exercise until I finish up these meds because I can barely function. I feel like someone stole all my energy, down to the last drop. Like an energy sucking vampire maybe.
In the meantime, I keep thinking of that Chumbawamba song… “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.” If you were a child in the 90s, I suspect you now also have it stuck in your head. You are welcome.