So. I've had a miserable few weeks of it. No, seriously. This isn't normal run-of-the-mill bitching on my part. August has mostly sucked for me. And it's made me weary. And anxious. And just so damned depressed.
Near the beginning of the month, we were getting ready to hang out with a friend. The kid was gone (California), I had days off, and we were going to get utterly plastered. Sounds like a good idea. Except I fucked myself up, physically, in a pretty bad way. I was going through the standard routine of plucking my face (I'm Mexican, I'm fat, I have weird issues, I grow ugly chin hairs....ew), when I ran into a little teeny tiny stubborn hair. Me being me (fucking vanity), I tried to dig it out. It left a tiny gash, but no hair came out. So I figured I'd get it the next day. Except when I woke up, a part of my chin (where the hair was located) had swelled up. I knew what that meant. A Staph infection. I eventually (because I'm a stubborn and vain asshole) got the hair removed, and hoped and prayed that it would go down. Nope. The Universe had it in for me.
I woke up the next morning with the left side of my face (right on my jawline) swollen all to fucking hell. So I hopped the Metra and went up to Mercy Hospital. I was diagnosed with sebaceous cyst and ordered to go meet with a surgeon to have it removed. I was given antibiotics to treat any underlying infection, and sent on my way. Except it didn't help, because it WASN'T A FUCKING CYST. I felt the need to emphasize that, because the doctor was completely and utterly fucking wrong. She was a young and arrogant little twunt, and I hope the review I gave about her care bit her in the ass. Moving on.....
Saturday rolled around. Face still fat, looking like I went a few rounds with Mike Tyson in his heyday. Starting to hurt my teeth because it is so swollen. I was waiting for the inevitable draining of the nasty gunk from the little sore, but nothing happened. So we rolled to the doctor on Saturday night. It being the weekend (and Lollapalooza in full swing), there were a lot of people in there. We eventually got to see two doctors at about four in the morning, and they both thought it needed draining. So did I. I was practically begging them to cut it with a fucking scalpel. They didn't, but brought out a syringe and tried that way. Nothing. Dry as a bone. So they released me with a prescription of Vicodin, told me to keep taking the antibiotics I was previously prescribed, and to come back if it worsened. I bet they weren't expecting the latter part to happen.
My husband and I got home at 5 in the morning that Sunday. We slept until the early afternoon. When I woke up, I walked into the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and started bawling my fucking head off. The whole left side of my face was misshapen, swollen in the most horrifying way. It hurt to cry. It hurt to open my mouth to wake up my husband and tell him we had to go back. Of course, I didn't even need to say that. He was just like, "Get in the car and let's GO." And thus began my odyssey to the place that I now refer to (with mucho sarcasm) as my second home.
It took awhile for them to get me a room in the ER (stupid fucking Lolla drunks), and all the time I was completely driving myself into an anxiety riddled mess. As always, I thought of the worst case scenarios. What if it keeps swelling? What if it turns into that rare flesh-eating disease associated with MRSA? What if I die? So the usual cheery thoughts I have. I guess I wouldn't be me if I didn't think the worst. When they finally got me back to a room, my blood pressure was extremely fucking high. Ha.
Anyway, the hours ticked by, and doctors, interns, residents, etc. trooped in to examine me. The one constant was my nurse, and I was grateful to have her because she was just an absolute sweetheart. She helped out when I had developed Vertigo in July, and she remembered me, so she was understandably horrified to see what I was in for this time. Morphine all around for the pain, and then I didn't care that I looked like a roided up chipmunk on one side. The hours in the ER came to an end with about five doctors deciding that I was going to be given IV antibiotics overnight, and possibly a second night. So I was shuttled off to the ninth floor.
I woke up the next morning (after barely sleeping.....you know how hospitals work), and just sort of lounged around. Not much to do. Mid-afternoon, the priest came by (Catholic hospital), and talked to me. It was kind of nice, because he wasn't pushy about it, and he did say a prayer for mine and my roommate's recovery. After he left, the doctors trooped in to inform me that I was staying another night, and oh, we're going to give you a PICC line to administer antibiotics at home. What the what? Da fuq is that? Well, in case you don't know, it's a catheter that's inserted into your arm and snaked up one vein to your major vein near your chest. It distributes the medicine quickly, it's easy to care for, etc. Yeah, I wasn't feeling that, but they reassured me that little old ladies deal with them all the time and I'd be fine. You obviously don't know me and my panicky nature, Mr. Doctors, but I'll go along with your scheme. And so it was done.
That night, they moved me to an isolation room because they feared I had MRSA. I had to laugh at that because I had already exposed my germs to just about everyone in the fucking hospital, but okay. The night passed the same as the first night (hardly any sleep and lots of worries), and by the next afternoon, they allowed me to go home.
Now this is where I start to fall apart. You will see. I'm almost tempted to break this story up into two parts, but I'm on a roll. So here we are......
Before I had left the hospital, I had asked about how the PICC line would affect me, my job, and other things. The doctors assured me that it would have no effect, that I would hardly know it was there, that I could go back to normal things in life, blah, blah, blach. BULL FUCKING SHIT. First off, it completely affected my job after I found out that the doctor and nurse would be popping up at random times to check on me, check my blood, check the line. It affected my life and my husband's life because I was (and still am) terrified about every little thing in regards to this line, which led to numerous ER trips because of air and clog scares, which led to us being out until all hours of the night.
I have been out of work since the fifth. I thank all of the deities that my job is completely understanding about this. Yet it doesn't make me feel better. I feel like I've dropped the ball on my contract and that I will not be called back for the next season of work. When I popped in the other day to tell my bosses I wouldn't be in on Monday (because after promising me this thing would be out today, the home healthcare place was like, "Oh, well we don't work on Sundays." Just......eff you. All y'all. Bitches.), a coworker asked if I had put in a bid for a permanent job. I didn't. There is no way they would hire me on after this shitshow.
I have not been able to get a full night's rest since this line was put in. I'm so afraid of dislodging it. My neck hurts from the way I've been sleeping, and I feel like I'm just dragging through wet sand most of the time. As such, I've developed a cold, which might have something to do with the lump on the back of my head (swollen lymph node that scared the shit out of me, but is now going down).
The worst part of all of this is that it happened during a time when I should have been enjoying myself. My son came back home, my sister and her boyfriend came for a visit, and we had shitloads of activities planned. And all of it fell apart because I felt fuck awful most days. It took most of my strength to go to the Art Institute with them. Then they generously offered to watch my son while I went with my husband to a ball game. I felt like so many shades of shit, and all I wanted to do was just ENJOY MYSELF. And I couldn't, because I have this stupid little flaccid penis-looking thing poking out of my arm, reminding me that I am not well.
So as you can imagine, I've fallen into a pit of anxiety and depression. I feel useless, old, and sick. I feel tired. Most days I'm on the verge of tears because I hate this thing so much. And I know this is extremely whiny, especially when I know of people that have had them for months and years, and for worse things that what I'm dealing with. So that makes me feel even more guilty and depressed, because I have no right to piss and moan over this when I'm (supposedly) getting it taken out tomorrow.
I'm also still afraid of this thing. The little bubbles in the line taunt me, even thought I've been told by countless doctors and nurses that it is fine. I'm not sure what complications can happen when they pull it out. I'm trying to stay away from WebMD because you can look up the most innocuous thing and they'll tell you you're dying.
So that is the end of my story. I plan on calling the nurse every hour tomorrow, starting at 9, until she gets over here and removes this. And if they try and tell me I need more antibiotics, I'm going to threaten to pull this thing out myself. Because fuck a PICC line.