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4 months after MicroD and still not healed :(

Amanda S YanisAAmanda S Yanis Posts: 124
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My surgery was on March 1st, but on March 28 I was admitted back to the hospital with a wound infection. They decided to let my wound heal from the inside out by doing wet to dry dressings daily. Well here I am, three months later, and I'm still not healed. I'm just so tired of this. My back is soooo sore, and has blisters and scabs all over it from all the gauze and tape. I go to my surgeon every two weeks and I'm due to go back on Monday, but I really don't think he has any idea what is going on. I feel like he has never dealt with this before. Last time he saw me, he told me the next time I came in he could stitch it up IF I WANTED him too? Shouldn't he be telling me what to do? Well it turned out that he wasn't there the last time I went so I just saw his nurse, and she said she has no idea how he would stitch it up since it is a hole the size of a quarter and it would be hard to pull together. I don't want it stitched up because I feel like I would bend over once and pop all the stitches.

The other problem I'm having is weaning off my pain meds. I'm down to 12.5 mcg/hr fentanyl patch from 50, and I've only been taking about 1-3 Lortabs a day which is down from 8-10 just a month ago. But I HURT. Nothing like before surgery thankfully, but the pain in my leg is coming back a little bit. I just wake up so sore. Plus I'm having stomach issues to where I'm afraid to leave the house or eat. I would say about 75% of the time after I eat, I get really bad stomach pains and have to run to the restroom for the rest of the day.

I just dont feel like I'm getting anywhere. My 6 week recovery has turned into over 4 months now. I wish I never would have had this surgery because my quality of life hasn't changed one bit, except now everyone expects me to be better when I'm not. I lay in bed all day, either sleeping or watching tv. At night I can't sleep because my wound is so sore from doing the dressing change, plus I'm usually starving since I try not to eat too much so I won't feel sick. I feel like I'm letting down my family, my house is way beyond neglected, my kids are stuck inside all day because I can't take them anywhere, I'm just tired of being like this.

Sorry had to vent, I've been avoiding this site for quite some time so that maybe I won't think about all this, but I just couldn't go any longer. Thanks to anyone that listened.


  • Amanda this sounds plain cruel. Has your doctor ever suggested seeing a wound specialist? Or even testing for infection causes? Seems like there has to be someone better able to care for this.

    My daughters riding instructor had an infection at the base of her spine. Came to the surface like a huge pimple. They had to open it to drain it and treat it. It's been almost a year now. It had healed for a while and now reopened. BUt they did all kinds of tests to find out what was going on in there.

    I just wonder if the surgeon is out of his specialty. Most hospitals have specialized wound care centers. You might want to check with them.

  • I am so sorry that you are still having trouble with your incision.
    I really sympathise with you, as I know how frustrating it can be to have delayed healing of your surgical incicion.
    Have you seen another doctor about this at all?
    Maybe your GP could suggest you seeing someone who might have an idea of something else they could do.
    Do you still have an infection, or is it just that the wound hasn't closed?

    There must be something that can be done to help you. Have you looked into dietary changes that could help to speed up your healing? Manuka honey? Vitamins?

    I agree that it would be a good idea to see someone who specialises in wound healing.

    I'll pray for you :-)

    Do come on here for support. :-) We are here for you and someone may have experience of something that helped them. You have been waiting for too long for this to heal! I know that you already knew that! :-)
  • I totally agree with going to a wound doctor.

    I would fire my surgeon if he did to me what your doctor is doing to you. To see his nurse and not him is just wrong. Makes me wonder if he is hiding.

    I don't know what all was done during your MicroD but 4 months on the recovery is not all that long. Maybe you are just a slow healer. Maybe your blood chemistry is off in some way. Any doctor that says 6 weeks is just plain not telling it like it is. Sure there are cases of people being healed at 6 weeks but that seems to be the exception rather then the rule. This is my opinion only. Does it seem that your medicines are causing you internal stomach problems or does it seem like something else? Maybe seeing a gastrointercrinoligist(sp) is also in the cards to find out whats going on.

    There are other tapes and dressing that can be bought that might help your now sensitive skin. they are expensive so be prepared.

    If it were me I wouldn't be trying to get off the pain meds as I think people do more harm then good trying to get off them while their still in a lot of pain. What usually happens is that they lay around more and don't do much of anything because of the pain. You body will tell you when the pain is such that you don't need as much.

    We all hope that you can get some answers, and get healed ASAP. Stay in contact with whats happening to you.

  • AS far as I know the infection is gone. We are just waiting for it to heal now. I usually do see the dr, atleast for long enough to look at my back and walk away, his nurse does the rest. But last week he was called to surgery and my next visit I knew he wouldn't be there but made the appt anyways. Truth is, I almost feel better with his nurse, he seems to know more than my dr. I did see my GP about a month ago and she knows what is going on. From the beginning of April until about the end of May, I also had a home nurse come once a week to do the dressing change. It is healing, it is just doing it very slowly. It went from being big enought to fit an egg in, 3in x 1 in x 3in deep, to being about the size of a quarter and only maybe 1/2 in. deep.

    I want off this patch. I know that is part of why I feel sick all the time. I don't know why I was ever put on it. The Lortabs, well they dont really even help anymore. I was taking 2 7.5/500 every 4 hours for 4 months straight, and couldn't eat anything without feeling sick. Unless my gallbladder is acting up again. But as soon as I cut back on the pills, the stomach isssues starting going away. I just want off the meds because I feel like they aren't helping and just may be making things worse. and it really isn't my back that hurts as much as it is my entire body. My wound is sore because the skin around it is pretty much raw. I have gone through so many types of gauze and tape. Now with it being so hot out, I have to stick with what actually sticks and stays put. The tape my dr. uses works great, but is expensive and it tears off my skin when I take it off.

    When I was back in the hospital for the infection, the nurse I had used to work as a wound specialist. She suggested that I have a wound vac done, but I was told I would be in surgery again to open it back up, then would spend anoter 7-10 days in the hospital. Needless to say when my dr. looked at my back that morning and said he didn't think it was neccessary, i was relieved. To be honest, I am scared of that. I have 4 kids, I would rather go through these dressing changes daily for a year than spend another week in the hospital. And have yet another surgery when I know it was the first one that got me here? No way.

    I know, I know. excuses excuses. I'm good at that.

  • I am so sorry that you are having to go through all this. :S

    It does sound like it is progressing in the healing, just very slowly. Do make sure that you are eating very healthily to try to assist it. :-)

    My surgeon told me, with my wound infection, that he could go back in and clean it up, but that there was a risk that could push the infection in, to a deep wound infection, and he didn't want to risk that. I was relieved to hear that. #:S

    Do you know what type of infection you had?
    How do you manage to change the dressings now the nurse isn't coming any more?

    I had an allergic reaction to the dressings too, and took antihistimine tablets for it, which did help with the itching and blistering. Have you tried them?

    I wish I could do more to help you. Having had problems with my incision, I have some idea of how upsetting it is when the healing drags on and on. Mine did heal, although my scar at that point is much thicker and has a lump in it. Sometimes it still hurts and sometimes it is itchy. Still, at least it is healed and I don't need the dressing any more. I am putting Bio-Oil on it, which helps with the itching.

    Amanda, I really hope that yours will close completely very soon and you can get rid of the dressings that are making you sore.
    You are going to be the Spine Health expert on wound infections! :>
    I know, you would rather not be!

    Do keep us up to date with how you are doing.
    My prayers are with you. :-)
    Gentle hug >:D<

  • I had three differant infections. Two of them were a type of strep, the other I don't remember. I do know my GP told me that from the levels of infection I was close to being septic. And that the type of infection it was was highly contagious.

    My husband does the dressing changes daily. The dr. "trained" him when I was still in the hospital.
  • It sounds like you have a lot going on, with so many different issues. I agree that telling you 6 weeks to recovery was very misleading. Everybody heals at differnt rates and if you were that close to sepsis, I imagine that it was pretty severe, to say the least. With the explanation of the healing of the wound, it sounds like it just healing slowly, but healing none the less.
    I can totally feel where you're coming from regarding the patch. I had big issues with vomiting after being on it for a year and a half. Your doctor's first mission should be to find you proper pain relief. There are many drugs alternatives out there. Both of the ones you mentioned are not tolerated by every one. I would definetly question the possibilty of changing your pain meds. Maybe if you get some relief from the pain and the stomach issues you would feel better, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. I'm sure we can all agree that with all of our surgeries, that they are taxing on the very best of days. So to throw in everything else you have going on sounds exhausting. And frustrating I would imagine.
    I will keep you in my prayers, along with everyone else here, that you have a successful outcome.
    I've probably looked at this site 1,000 times before having surgery and am very new to the forum/posting, but I have found that the support found here is invaluable.
    You are by no means alone. And I'm sure I can speak for a great number of us that we all have each other's best interests at heart.
  • I don't know why I said 6 weeks before. I know I was never told it would only be 6 weeks. But I know I was never told "hey you may have a hole in your back for 4+ months" lol.

    I've been on the patch for about 10 months now, and been on the lortabs for 17 months now. I was also on Lyrica but stopped taking that on my own after surgery because I was taking so many pills I couldn't afford any non-genric anymore. Plus it made me swell like crazy. Before my back started acting up, I was on mobic which helped with the all over body pain, so maybe I need to be back on that? I think I will make an appt. with my GP and see what she says as she is the one who has been handling all the meds, except the Lortabs. (although she is the one who put me on them first) I was also on xanax for a while because of the dressing changes, and about a month ago she switched me to klonipins because they are less addicting, and that is not helping. I think I need to go back on an anti-depressant even though I've tried almost all of them with no help in the past two years. I just hate that it seems like I'm always after pills.
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