Dec 07 2007 10:40 am
For the past few months I have been battling a Pilonidal Abscess on my lower back near my tailbone. I did my research before going to the doctor and self-diagnosed myself with one, but knowing that I’m not a doctor myself I kept my mouth shut and let the smart ones tell me what they thought it was.
The first doctor I visited was a dermatologist and was familiar with cyst removal, as Jamie had gone to him to have a small cyst removed from under her scalp. They were hopeful that all I had was small cyst and that a simple in-office procedure with local anesthetic would do the trick. The procedure went relatively well with the only problems being insufficient anesthetic due to inflammation. Feeling them cut me and the cauterization in areas was quite unpleasant. But, I got through it and was back at work the following day.
Two days later the cyst had returned, and this time with a vengeance. I felt pressure like I hadn’t felt before and later that night, it burst through the skin. What a mess. So, I went back to the dermatologist and he speculated that I had a Pilonidal. He referred me to a general surgeon to discuss my options.
The surgeon took a look at it and agreed with the dermatologist’s assessment. He was pretty upset that I had been on antibiotics for so long (3 cycles) and strongly suggested that I finish my current cycle and not refill as the bottle indicated. I took his advice because of articles in the news about bad staph infections going around. He scheduled my surgery for yesterday, Dec. 6, 2007.
I arrived at the hospital at 8:30am as instructed, and was taken to a prep room relatively quickly. I believe I spent close to two hours in there before being taken to a surgical holding area. My stay in holding was the most lengthy. My surgeon was late, which seems to be a pattern with him, and I don’t think I actually got in to the operating room until about 2:00pm. The time spent in the holding area was long, but surprisingly I wasn’t upset like I normally would be. Patience is not one of my virtues. I was all hopped up on drugs too, so it’s mostly a blur now. But I do remember being quite lucid during my time there.
The surgery, I have to say, was great. If you’re ever told you’ll be receiving something called “twilight anesthesia”, rejoice. It’s pretty much just like general anesthesia, except you’re not as deeply sedated. No breathing tubes required or anything like that, but you’re totally under. When I woke up, I was fully aware. None of the “sleep the day away” leftovers like with general anesthesia.
The doctor said my abscess was “large and complex”. I asked to see it but it had already been disposed of. They did hold up fingers though and showed me an approximate size. It appeared to be like six or seven inches long. Yikes. Kind of explains the odd feeling that I’m experiencing of having something missing back there.
I came home with a drain attached to me, and a bandage the size of a diaper. Taking that out was a treat, and I’d have probably cried like a baby if it wasn’t for Jamie. Jamie, incidentally, has been amazing for me over these past few months. Changing bandages, taking care of me when I’m down, and pulling that tube out of my back this morning. I am so grateful and consider myself incredibly lucky to be marrying this fine lady.
So, here’s to hoping I’m finally done with this business. This abscess has sucked and I’ll be very glad to never deal with it again. To those dealing with one, I offer my sympathies.