Day+342 (11 months, 8 days)

I can’t believe it’s already April. Time flies so fast!

My postherpetic neuralgia (post shingles pain) is not bothering me as much anymore. It still hurts once in a while and the area is very sensitive to touch, but I sleep through the night now and that’s good. I am still on 2 medications so I don’t know if I am really getting better or the meds are simply working now. I will have to wean myself off the meds soon and see what happens.

My Hickman Line exit site got infected again. The infection was deeper inside the skin this time as compared to my more superficial infection in January. I could tell this was the case because the site started swelling up with a bigger bump filled with pus. So I called PMH and got to see Dr. Lipton on an emergency basis. He wasn’t supposed to see patients that day but he was at the hospital so they paged him for me. As soon as he saw the site, he ordered it to be removed immediately.

Dr. Santosh was the doctor who removed the line for me. He first gave me some freezing around the site and then I felt no pain, just lots of tugging and pulling. Basically, he removed the tissue attached to the “cuff” of the Hickman Line with tweezers and then he pulled the whole line out. He then used several alcohol swabs to clean the inside of the wound and scooped out as much pus as possible. Then he “packed” the hole that remained with some gauze and put a bandage on it.

Of course, when the freezing wore off, there was lots of pain around the site. I have to go to a community clinic to get the wound cleaned and dressing changed every day. They also cultured the line and found a bacteria so they put me on antibiotics as well. I will be seeing Dr. Santosh again this coming Monday – he wants to check that the wound is healing properly and he also wants to do some more bloodwork to make sure the bacteria is gone.

My next appointment with Dr. Lipton is at the end of the month. I’ll be getting the usual bloodwork done, as well as the PCR test to see if I’m still undetectable. My fingers are crossed for only good news!

Other than the lingering shingles pain, and the Hickman Line infection, I’ve been feeling alright. I’ve gained a lot of weight, which I am not happy about, but I know I can’t cut back on calories because my body needs a lot of calories to continue recovering. I just have to cut back on bad calories and exercise more.

Some positives this month:

* I got my first haircut since I lost all of my hair. Finally, I grew enough hair to justify getting it cut. LOL!

* The removal of my Hickman Line is bitter sweet. I kind of miss it in a very weird kind of way, but its removal constitutes another step towards recovery. I can’t wait until the wound recovers so I can swim and maybe even scuba dive!!! (I’m probably getting way ahead of myself here but you can’t fault me for dreaming!!!)

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One Response to Day+342 (11 months, 8 days)

  1. Cheryl Thornton says:

    Winnie – sorry to hear about the hickman infection! We have missed you in the chat room and hope to see you in there soon. Life seems to be getting back to some normalcy – a haircut is a big step – Congrats!!

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