Katie's Law: Take 3

Friday, May 23, 2008

How did I not see this coming? I got a job this week, finished my job that I disliked today, so clearly, some other shit was waiting around to fly at a fan. And yes, that post I’ve been promising all week is being pushed back again because I need to rant. If you don’t want to read about it, then don’t, but so help me, if you leave me a nasty comment on this rant, I will hunt you down and make you regret it. I can be twice the douche-bag you’ll ever be.

Another disclaimer, this rant contains some less than especially pretty images and again, because welcome to my life, it has to do with the boob surgery. So if you’re a man or have a weak stomach or just don’t care, stop reading. There is a more generalized rant at the end if you want to skip ahead, but I won’t be offended.

So I mentioned that I was having some issues with the boob from the surgery earlier this week. Basically, this weekend the incision opened up and there was literally just a small hole there. It wasn’t infected, but it wasn’t really okay either. I tried to band-aid it together (like you would do with one of those butterfly bandages) in hopes that it would mend itself, but, alas, this is me, and it did not. It got bigger instead.

I called the doctor and was seen yesterday. She explained that the opening was because there was a pocket of moisture deep to the scar tissue that had begun forming and when that happens, it causes the scar above it to open up. What has to happen in these situations is that the area has to heal from the bottom up, otherwise, just letting the top heal will begin a ridiculous circle of healing and reopening wounds.

So she got what looked like a really long matchstick, only the end of it was covered in SILVER NITRATE (which is science talk for really freaking painful stuff) and she stuck the silver matchstick into my boob-hole. And rubbed it around real good. She coated the entire opening with it, which is supposed to stop the top from healing so the bottom could heal first. It basically irritates the hell out of the tissue and it is about as pleasant as it sounds.

And then she took a piece of gauze and using the non-silver end of the nitrate stick of death, she shoved, or “packed” the gauze into the hole, a process that I was told to repeat twice a day until it got better, which she said should be less than 2 weeks. Fine. Unpleasant it was, but completely survivable. It was remarkably painful all day yesterday and when I went to pack it this morning I noticed that it was, um, oozing a little, but nothing terrible, so I went to work.

Here’s where it gets gross, just fyi. When I got home from work I wanted to check and see if the gauze was still in, which naturally it wasn’t, but as soon as it was not compressed by my bra, the hole started draining a shit load of fluid. Bright yellow fluid. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that it looked like my boob was urinating, which is not something it should do.

I’m sorry, that is just not okay. It’s just not. I overreact a lot, but even The Fiance said I was right to be freaked this time.

So, of course the doctor’s office was closed, but they have a number on their answering machine that you can call if you “really need to speak with the doctor.” So I called and it was actually the doctor’s cell phone, and she answered it. The gods were with me on that one.

Apparently, this is called a Seroma. Basically when they took out the tissue, my body compensated by filling the area with fluid (actually, fluid and some proteins, hence the yellow) and now that fluid has a direct route from my boob to the outside world and is making really really good use of it. There’s not anything that can be done, which I guess is good and bad news. I have to wear tighter bras (I know none of you are going to feel sorry for me here, but I don’t think they make smaller sports bras, the one I’m wearing is an extra-small. I’d really rather not shop in the kids section…), keep packing it and switch out the gauze when it gets saturated with boob fluid.

Oh, and also, just to be safe, she’s putting me on Levaquin again to try and prevent an infection. Fine, I dealt with the insurance mess last time and the pharmacy insurance people assured me that I’d just have to pay the remainder of my 100 dollar deductible (15 dollars) if I had another brand name prescription to fill this insurance year.

I know, it seemed too easy to me too.

I’m not sure why I was surprised when the seven little pills rang up as 60 dollars this time, but I brought it to the attention of the pharmacy people and asked them to double check it (sidenote: to the woman at CVS, I wasn’t holding up the line because I enjoy being at the pharmacy, so you feeling the need to say loudly three separate times that there were “other people in line, you know” was just not necessary. Trust me, I noticed you and I took a slight bit of pleasure in wasting your time after you started being a snarky jerkface).

You’re going to love this. Despite the fact that this is THE EXACT SAME PRESCIPTION as the last time, my insurance is requiring me to pay because it’s not their “preferred drug” for this particular problem. Excuse me? Insurance company, are your breasts leaking yellow fluid? No? Are you my doctor? No. Then you do not get to tell my doctor what the preferred antibiotic is to prevent my boob from being infected. I’m sorry, you don’t. And would it be freaking impossible for you to be open at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon so I could explain that to you in a very loud enraged tone?

The pharmacist suggested that I call my insurance company on Monday, sort it out and then come with my receipt and get a refund for whatever the difference is. You see the flaw here, right? That would be that I’m leaving for California tomorrow. She said that’s fine, as long as I come back within 10 days. I explained to her that I would be in California until the end of June and her response (which made me laugh through my rage) was, “well, you’re screwed. Hold onto your receipt just in case.”

I am so ridiculously pissed off (and not hormonal at all) about this whole thing and simultaneously scared shitless because I’m about to take off on a 3 day drive through the middle of every tiny-ass town in Texas with a very creepy leaky boob. And if it doesn’t clear up, what the hell do I do? I can’t wear a sports bra under my wedding dress and I am sure as hell not going to wear one on the beaches in Hawaii. To say that I’m worried and upset would be the understatement of the millennia.

Moreover, this whole debacle totally overshadowed the good news I had planned to share today, which is that I’m finally finished with my job. I am no longer a teacher, which is ten different kinds of awesome. And I have a job lined up for when I get back, which is also spectacularly great.

However, I’m also completely losing my shit, and a lot of fluid and unfortunately, that’s getting a little more of my attention than it should.


Anonymous said...

Good golly, Miss Molly. That is really, really awful. I don't want to sound superficial, but my first thought was for your wedding dress, too.

However, you are heading to LA, and if tabloid television is a good indication (ha ha), there are plenty of plastic surgeons there, and maybe a second opinion wouldn't hurt.

If the sports bra isn't tight enough, what about an Ace bandage? Could you bind yourself up really tight with that? (Or, more realistically, enlist your mom's help to bind it up tight?)

Best wishes and safe travels.

Anna in IL

joanne said...

Holy Crap Katie,
I am so sorry to hear this latest news. Yellow stuff coming out of anywhere can't be good and especially through a hole in your you know what. OMG be careful and keep your bandages clean. Hope it clears up fast. Have a safe trip and i'll keep good thought for you, your boob, and all.

p.s. I hate Levaquin, and my insurance won't pay for it either. Last time I had it, it cost me $150.

~~Silk said...

Gack! I hope copies of your records have been forwarded to a referral in CA. And remember that there is NOTHING more important than your health and comfort. Don't let other things/people make decisions for you.

Ness said...

I am so sorry this is happening, especially now. The timing is horrendous. It's just like the song that does not end. It's time for a medical hiatus. Make sure and take all pertinent med records with you in case you have to see another Dr. while you're gone. I think Ace bandage would help a lot. Maybe a super tight tanktop? Drink plenty of fluids. OK, I'll stop making mom noises now. You're in my prayers.

Moondance said...

Well, that really sucks. Of course, you can't call your insurance company on Monday, it's Memorial Day - they'll be closed!

However, don't let the pharmacy clerk be the final word. Or even the pharmasist. It's CVS the corporation who owes you a refund, and you shouldn't have to be there in person to get it. Channel your rage toward making them treat you right.

Also, even though it's not covered by your health plan, chocolate helps.

the queen said...

That completely sucks. Plus, aren't there those glue bandages now? It's something at the pharmacy, I'm picturing you squeezing the hole shut, applying the glue bandage, then continue squeezing until dry.

Also, I had a waitress with your hairstyle, or former hairstyle. She had no scar, though. You have set a trend.

joanne said...

have a safe trip and a lovely, lovely wedding day!

Anonymous said...

Eeeew - nasty. When this happened to my mom (it being the weekend and no doctors to consult) we used pant liners/sanitory towels (sanitory napkins) between the dressing and her clothing.

She felt ridiculous but it helped a lot and we needed to do a lot less washing!

Hope it heals quickly and without (any further) compliations.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that sucks all around. But, it's Monday night now and hopefully it is doing well and you are now thinking all things wedding!!