Tuesday, January 18, 2005

More Hospitals

Maybe someday I’ll have something to write about other than hospitals. I have been having problems with a large hematoma at the pacemaker site. I saw doctors at my clinic last week, my heart doctor and a surgeon. Sunday, the incision broke through and a very large amount of blood came pouring out, so I went to the emergency room at the hospital around the corner. This was all from the hematoma – the doctor expressed more of the blood, a nurse put on a large pressure bandage with rubberized tape, I had an EKG, blood tests, and X-ray to check on position of the pacemaker. I was told to return to my own doctor in two days.

That would not have been possible at my own clinic, so I chose to go to the emergency room at the county hospital, where all of my doctors are headquartered. This morning I was leaking a lot of blood through the pressure bandage, so I realized it was probably a good decision to have planned on going to the county ER today.

I had a great, young doctor there, and he agreed with my concern about the possibility of ongoing problems with this surgery. I had two serious operations in the 60’s, with rejection of inside sutures, and months of recovery. He put me back on antibiotics and asked the nurses to make an appointment for me with my original heart doctor – the one I had up until last summer. I have had a new one since then. My old doctor doesn’t come to my clinic anymore.

While I was out at the desk getting my discharge papers and an appointment, my current doctor saw me there, and we had a long chat about the problems I have had since I saw her last Wednesday. She had referred me to a surgeon on Thursday because of her concern about the size of the hematoma. He said he wouldn't try to drain it because of the danger of infection – then the pacemaker would have to be removed. Now, he doesn’t have to drain it, but the danger of infection is very real with an open incision. Wonderful.

Makes me tired thinking about it all, and also makes me rather woozy (is there such a word?)


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