Sunday, 11 March 2012

Why I don't have to change nappies

Until Thursday, this was taking up prime real estate on the dorsal surface back of my wrist:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Ganglion cyst, a.k.a. "big ugly lump"

It first took up residence a few weeks after Wombat was born. I freaked out at first, not knowing what the hell it was. Fortunately, I had an appointment with my doctor about something else the day after I noticed it.

The doctor told me that it was a ganglion cyst and that if I wanted it gone, that I would need to have surgery. He also told me that they can come back after surgery and that if it wasn't hurting me that I should just leave it alone. It was hurting to get Wombat in and out of his car seat at the time, but he was only a few weeks old and I didn't want to have to manage the logistics of breastfeeding and general anaesthesia, so I decided to leave it alone.

A couple of months later, it went away. Then it came back again later that day.

I left it alone for over a year, but I eventually found that I was losing strength in my wrist. I decided to go see a doctor about it once I started work at my new posting location.

I was referred to an osteosurgeon who specialises in upper limb surgery and he booked me in to have it removed. Thursday just gone was that day.

On the way to my appointment, I told Seagull that I was going to have the big ugly lump removed from the back of my hand. Seagull said "big u- lump". It was pretty cute.

I was booked in to go into surgery at 5pm, but predictably, I didn't go in until 6pm. Given that the surgery took place at a place that was nearly an hour from home, Thunder Maker had to bring the boys with him. There was a Hungry Jacks just down the road so the plan was for Thunder Maker to take them there for dinner and let them play on the play equipment there for as long as they would stay amused on it. The play equipment turned out to be designed for larger/older children than Seagull and Wombat, so the visit was short-lived.

I remember the anaesthetist taking a while to find a vein in the back of my hand and telling him that he may struggle to find anything. Then he slipped the needle into the back of my hand. I then had a little conversation with him and the anaesthetist nurse about how I hate anything involving needles at work because the RAAF medics always struggle to find my veins and I end up walking out with 5 puncture sites after having to have blood taken.

I remember being told that normally they wouldn't run saline through a patient having my procedure done, but because I'm breastfeeding and I'd been fasting for the last 8 hours that they would put one through me so that my milk supply wouldn't be too badly affected. I was also told to pump and dump the first lot of milk so that Wombat wouldn't be drugged out by it, but that he would be fine to breastfeed after that.

It was at about this point that I realised the anaesthetic was starting to kick in. Next thing I knew, I was in recovery trying to see what time it was. My wrist was bandaged up and feeling sore and cold. I snuggled it in under the blanket. The nurse was really nice and noticed that I was cold. It was time to move me into the post recovery area, so the nurse grabbed me a warmed blanket and swapped it over as she was getting me settled into a nice comfy chair.

Once I'd had a sandwich and a cup of tea, the nurse helped me to get dressed. I was really grateful to have someone to do up my bra because that wasn't going to happen if I'd had to do it myself.

When I was dressed, the nurse brought Thunder Maker and the boys in to give us the post-op information. After that, we were free to go.

Fortunately it really hasn't been that sore. Especially given that I'm allergic to all the good painkillers like Panadeine and Panadeine Forte.

Yesterday I was getting my breakfast when I looked at what I can actually see of the back of my hand. My reaction was WTF?!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Note the blue/purple bruising. Not that you can see it, but it is really swollen too.
I started popping neurofen in an effort to get the swelling down. I'm not too sure that it's really worked because this is what I woke up to this morning:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Swollen and blue up to my knuckles. Trust me, the real thing looks more impressive than this picture.
I decided it was time to take my rings off. By the way, the only reason I'm not grossing you all out with pictures of my stitches is because my stupid bandage has to stay on until I go back to have the stitches out. I'm suspecting the bandage is going to look pretty manky by the Monday after next.

The best thing about all of this is having a legitimate excuse for not having to change nappies.


GlossQueen said...

Oh, I have one of those things too, it's really painful! I hope you recover quickly and it doesn't come back.

Sidetracked said...

Honestly, if you get the chance to get rid of it, do it. It's worth seeing if you can get it drained first though. One of the blokes I work with had one drained and that would have been my preferred option, but mine was really hard and had to be surgically removed. The pictures make the recovery look a lot worse than it actually is.