Hello Everyone- it's been a little bit since I last posted. The post op(s) complications have continued & I've not gotten a lot of answers. The wound vac was on for nearly a month before the wound Dr took it off to give me a little break & be able to assess my pain. This was at the suggestion of my NS, who thought that the vac may have been contributing to the pain in my right leg. He said, the only way to assess, was to have a break from the vac & see how I responded. During the break, I was first ordered wet to moist dressing, with daily changes. When the packing was taken out each day, the gauze deepest in the wound & in the tunnel that had formed in the wound, would come out with a light green drainage on it. Last week at the wound center, the Dr said there might be some pseudomonas in the wound & added Dakins (a bleach based solution) to the daily dressing changes. The outside of the wound looks to be healing around the tunneling, so he warned that he may have to open the wound up a little bit if that continues. Unfortunately, the theory of my NS has not proven to be true, as the pain on my right has persisted (& gotten worse) with the vac off. Two weeks ago, at my NS appt, he said that if pain got worse or extended down into my calf, to let him know so that he could order a new MRI. Well, I tried to let him know by calling 2x last week and leaving messages for the Dr & PA, that the pain was much worse and extended into my calf. Nobody returned my calls! When I went to my appt at the wound center, I let the wound Dr know this & he ordered an MRI based on the pain and persistent low-grade fevers. I'm having the MRI in a couple of hours. The NS office called on Friday to confirm my appt for this afternoon & I told the girl about my calls not being returned by the nurse or PA & having to get an order for an MRI from the other Dr. I confirmed my appt for this afternoon & told her that I would be addressing this with the NS at my appt, as I was trying to follow his orders to call & there are times that I am having difficulty walking again. My concerns about the possible causes for this pain are: return of seroma, reherniation, or infection in disc space. I have had continued low grade fevers and blood work came back with indicators of infection. I say "continued low grade fevers," but I don't know what my fevers would go up to if I weren't taking the acetaminophen. If I don't take my pain medication (w/acetaminophen) every four hours, my pain gets really bad & fever goes up. The home health nurse has been concerned about persistent HR in excess of 100 every day. That doesn't really concern me bc I know my body & I know that my HR goes up when I am in pain. The pain and fevers concern me. I am back to being in 24/7 pain. Should I sneeze or cough, which I try to avoid (but has been difficult since I caught a bug off my daughter & am very congested), it causes excruciating pain and I feel like my legs are going to go out from under me. Turning over in bed, getting up after laying down for a while or sleeping, and getting up from sitting position is very painful in lower back, right hip, right buttock, and leg. Just sitting or laying down is painful in lower back, buttock & hip area, but my thigh will also start burning and I get nerve pain in my calf.
This is all just very frustrating bc this started out as something that was going to be a "2 week down time." I knew full recovery would take a long time, but I expected to be back to work and I am going on 2 months out of work. I have recently exhausted all of my paid leave & only have just over a month of FMLA time left. NS said it would be a good idea to get my Short Term Disability paperwork completed. I'm in the process of that, but I'm leery about a release of all medical records to employer. This release does not specify that they are records related to this injury/claim, it is a broad release that includes full medical history. While I have no issue with all records related to this injury/claim, any & all medical records, pharmacy records, etc seems to be a violation of privacy. There are things in my medical records history that have nothing to do with this injury/claim & are none of my employer's business. I'm not sure yet how I am going to handle that. Any one else have this issue?
I hope you all have a peaceful day and your recoveries are going well. I hope to have some answers today, after the MRI,which I have to go get ready for now.
8/28/14 Discectomy, Laminectomy, Foraminotomy L5-S1
9/15/15 Surgical Debridement of infected surgical incision & drain seroma; wound vac applied
10/21/14 L5-S1 Osteomyelitis & Discitis; 10/23/14 Bone & Tissue Biopsy = MRSE