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Hip Infection* Westy's Hip Recovery Thread

Layla

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Hi Westy,
I hope you had a productive visit with the OS and have a clear direction of next steps. We're here for you when you need us.
Hugs and best wishes for a good weekend. :SUNsmile:
@Westy
 
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Westy

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Good afternoon everyone,

I had a 90 minute visit with the Wound Care Clinic (located inside the hospital where I've had my 3 surgeries) yesterday afternoon. The staff there is 100% female and they are without question, the ultimate professionals. The level of care and compassion is off the charts. The way it works is as follows. When you arrive, the staff brings you into a WCC room. They than have me remove my pants and undies and give me a sheet to cover up. Next i get help getting into a bed and while I lay on my side the staff undresses the incision and clean it up. Next they squeeze all around it to help bring out as much drainage as possible. (They're very generous with the liquid lidocaine, so I don't feel much at all, even though the site is still pretty tender and sore) Once they've removed all the excess drainage, they take very precise measurements of the "tunnels" and the deep open wound for length and depth.

At this point, the Doc comes in and does a thorough examination and manipulates the area as well as looking at the measurements the staff had taken. We have two bonuses in this portion of the post folks. LOL Doc found another black suture and low and behold, while looking into the deep portion of the open wound she finds a blue plastic suture about 2 inches in length, and removes it. No folks, I'm not kidding. My wife took a picture of the blue plastic suture and Doc said, let me put it in a bag and you can take it with you to show the OS.

Doc then says, I'm going to call the ID Doc and discuss this with her, because my thinking is that after seeing the amount of drainage, there's no way this is ever going to heal on its own. you're going to need a device called a "wound vac" surgically installed and it has to be installed ASAP. (Me: great!!! sarc)
Once she had spoken to the ID doc, they agreed that this was the correct path forward. I asked her which Doc would do the surgical procedure to install the wound vac? She said, your Ortho OS would do it. She also sent the my original OS a message with her recommendation.

Finally they repacked the incision with something they referred to as the cinnamon bun surgical "sponge paper" which is a new one for me. They cut out a section from this large sheet of the surgical sponge paper and roll it in the style of a cinnamon bun to the exact length of my open wound and tunnels; Ten they gently pack it into the wound and top it off with gauze 4x4's and and ABD pad. This needs to be changed at least once to twice a day. She was awesome enough to Rx us some pro strength lidocaine, and showed my wife how to properly use it. the important part here is a a few drops of this stuff goes a long way and too much can have a negative effect on the heart. YIKES.

So right now, I'm hoping my original OS gets back to me on Monday and advises on who will do the surgery to install this device. I'm hoping it's an Ortho, so they can do a bit of real time exploring of the wound, when they open the incision, (AGAIN) to see the if there's any sign of infection present. It feels to me like the region might still have an infection in it, due to the pain and stiffness in the area. But that's total speculation on my part.

I could go on, but this post is already way too long. that's my latest in the Epic Tale of Woe. I'm very frustrated and just want this to be over. I did make contact with a guy I found on YouTube who had the wound vac installed, and he was awesome. He told me all about it and how it helped him get better, quicker. The poor guy had to have the 6 week PICC line antibiotics 3 times in a year due to leg infections. It's amazing how powerful the interwebs can be when you reach out and seek information.

Have a great weekend everyone, more to come next week.

Westy

PS Thanks again for all the encouraging comments, prayers, good thoughts, etc. You're great and I appreciate you.
 
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Westy

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Hi @Westy

Any updates? Did they culture the drainage? Hoping for the best.

Bruce, I was on 4 plus weeks of oral antibiotics prior to surgery #3 and now have been on the PICC line IV antibiotics for 3 weeks. Unfortunately, due to being on all these antibiotics, all the cultures come back totally negative. The downside to that is since they can't identify the bacteria strain, I have to be treated with 2 very strong broad spectrum antibiotics, so they cover all the bases.

Westy
 

VSlowLife

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The level of care and compassion is off the charts.
It was so good to hear this at the start of your story. Wow, it is quite the process. Thank you for sharing your story. :bow:

I am glad you have confidence in the people who helped you.

I will continue to keep you in my prayers and hope for the best possible outcome.
 

Mojo333

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Hi @Westy
I'm so sorry this is a continuous stressor.. but forgive me for being curious. The wound vac.
My sister is severely diabetic and has major issues with her feet, neuropathy. And has had to utilize wound vacs often?
I am uninformed about the wound vacs that are "surgically implanted "
My sister has amazing success with wound healing due to a wound vac...
Would you mind terribly clue me in about this process?
I am sending you, continuously ...all the best mojo...I hope this is the beginning of the end if this long journey for you.:console2:
 

Layla

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My heart goes out to you in your situation, Westy.
Your detailed explanations are eye opening and informative. I'm learning from you. Your positive outlook in the midst of all holds me in awe. You will remain in my prayers for strength, courage, comfort, peace of mind and perfect healing.
I hope your Sunday is a good one.
@Westy
 

Eman85

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I read this and really can't believe what you are going through with the sutures and such. It sounds like you've got some caring professionals in the wound care department. I really hope your luck is taking a turn for the better.
 
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Westy

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Hi @Westy
I'm so sorry this is a continuous stressor.. but forgive me for being curious. The wound vac.
My sister is severely diabetic and has major issues with her feet, neuropathy. And has had to utilize wound vacs often?
I am uninformed about the wound vacs that are "surgically implanted "
My sister has amazing success with wound healing due to a wound vac...
Would you mind terribly clue me in about this process?
I am sending you, continuously ...all the best mojo...I hope this is the beginning of the end if this long journey for you.:console2:

Hello @Mojo333 I have to be 100% honest, I don't know much about them at all. The Doc at the WCC gave me a brief overview of how they work and a few other details. For example, she told the dressing needs to changed in a sterile area every 3 days, and her guess based on past experience is that I'd need this "negative pressure" machine for roughly one month. Once I understand more of the details, I'll certainly post them to this thread. I'm trying to keep the forum filled in as I travel through this journey. My hope is that one day, someone or even a few people will find my posts helpful to their own situations.

I know I've read a ton of very helpful posts on this forum. It's just amazing how generous folks are with sharing their own stories. And of course, the encouragement from so many has been a true help for me.
Hope you and yours have a great rest of the weekend.

Westy
 

VSlowLife

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I have to be 100% honest, I don't know much about them at all
I had a PICO negative pressure wound device for a week following my surgery. I understand your unit will be used for a month.

Fortunately I had a short robe with side pockets while I was in the hospital. It was convenient to place the square motorized part in my robe pocket.

I went home in flannel PJs, and although my top had a pocket on the left side, they preferred I kept it in my PJ pocket in the pants, on the same side as the dressing. I was wearing slightly, over sized PJs, with generous pockets, fortunately. I had no idea I was getting this device.

It was always making a low level noise, and it blinks. It did not disturb my sleep, most likely because I was on pain medication.

I had to detatch the tube from the electric unit, to shower. I used cloth medical tape to roll up the extra tubing and secure it to my body. I used a 3M tape.

I was instructed not to have the shower water directly hit it. I used a plain wire coat hanger, to hold the hand held shower head, on the curtain rod on the side opposite my surgical site. It is easily bent to what you need, the type from a dry cleaner.

There were no directions to cover the tubing, but I did anyway. I was afraid for anything, even water to get near it. It was not easy to do with Saran Wrap and medical tape. Wished I had a thicker piece of flexible plastic. It would have been more manageable.

Hope this gives you an idea. Each device and doctor usually has their own directions.
 
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FCBayern

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@Westy So sorry you are having to go through so much, but your willingness to share will surely benefit someone that follows you. Thanks for sharing and all my hopes and prayers are with you for the best outcome.
 

Layla

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Once I understand more of the details, I'll certainly post them to this thread. I'm trying to keep the forum filled in as I travel through this journey. My hope is that one day, someone or even a few people will find my posts helpful to their own situations.
I'm sure there will be those pouring through your thread in the time to come. For that we thank you. We do want to follow your journey and appreciate the time spent to update us. We'll be here for you through it all. I hope you have a nice Sunday!
 

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Hello! You are going through a very difficult situation and you are kind enough to share the details with us. Which in turn, will help others who may be going through this in the future.

That is pretty frustrating about the discovery of more sutures. Kudos to your wound care team for being so thorough.

I hope you were able to enjoy the weekend, we had warmer than normal temps and it's such a moral booster. I also wish for a week of successes in treating your infection. :praying:
 

Elf1

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Don't have much to add that my fellow Bone Smarties haven't already covered. Will just continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers and hope that this finally turns around for yo you. :praying: :thumb: :friends:
 
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Westy

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Hello to all my online hippie friends,

This will be my final update for a while: This past week has been very weird. I haven't felt good. The pain in the incision has been bad enough to get me back on the Norco. But the more crucial thing is, my body has been doing all kinds of very strange stuff. I've had a fever 0f 99.4 which is real high for me. This morning i woke up, and i felt like I was on fire. My temp was 101, the highest I've experienced since i was 14 years old. The odd part, I didn't have the chills at all. I was sweating profusely throughout the night too. A few days back, my temp was 98ish, and I had crazy chills, as in the teeth chattering variety. Just strange behavior from my body.

I had a blood draw yesterday, and expected the doc to call this morning with results, and I knew deep down they were going to be a disaster. I know my body very well. I spent many years as an endurance athlete, and have been able to tell when something's off right away. Two weeks ago, my C Reactive Protein was 1.03. Last week it was 1.40. Are you ready for this? The results from yesterday's blood draw, my CRP was 11.8. Yes, 11.8. That's a massive jump. I knew ahead of time it was going to be bad, but I didn't think it would be this bad. My OS's medical asst. gave me the # when she called this morning and also told me Doc has scheduled an EXPLANT procedure for tomorrow around dinner time. I'm sure you all know, but just in case, that's the procedure where they go in and remove the original implants and then install the spacer. What absolutely blows my mind is that the CRP can jump this much all while on massive daily doses of TWO very strong IV broad spectrum antibiotics. (via the PICC line)

I called the ID doc, and she's sending a Home Health Care nurse to take another blood draw today, because she wants to check to see if this infection has now become a blood stream infection. This type of infection (blood stream) is called septicemia which is the stage just prior to sepsis. She's suspicious because of my temps and the way I described the chills to her. Not that everything we've all gone through isn't serious business, but septicemia is the real deal, as in not good in any way shape or form.

I've always lived life with the attitude of not worrying about that which I can't control. I've always been a very "chill" calm, cool, and collected guy. (for the most part, lol) I have to admit to all of you, while I'm not worried about the surgery, I'm absolutely terrified about this possible blood infection. From day one, I was very resistant to even having the dang PICC line put in. I've never done well with antibiotics. They cause a lot of issues, even when counteracting them with probiotics.

So far, every single aspect of my initial hip replacement has had one constant. Anything that can go wrong has. It's like an Epic tale of Woe. I know I;m not alone in this journey, thanks to this forum. You've all been an amazing positive force for me throughout this trip. I wanted to update the thread with the very latest details. When I'm able to come back and keep the thread going, I will do just that.

Meantime, thanks for reading, thanks for all the advice, thanks for all the good thoughts, and thanks for being right alongside me as I've moved through this MISadventure. i surely appreciate all of you.

Here we go again,

Westy
 

Layla

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Aww, Westy...I'm so sorry. You'll have many here thinking of you, holding good thoughts and lifting you in prayer. While the road may be long, this is the beginning of a journey that will bring you back to healing and good health. Stay strong...we're here for you always.
@Westy :prayer:
 

CricketHip

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Continued prayers and healing thoughts and energy directed right at you! I'm sorry.. not what we want to have happen to one of us hippies.
You sound like a strong and determined person and I think that will help get you through this.
We are here, if and when you need us.. even if it is for a giggle or two or a tear shed quietly.

Especially when you beat this and want to celebrate.

:prayer:
 

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