I still have the bronchitis and sinus infection I had when I last wrote in December. And now the hole in my side is nearly healed over but is infected. My back is filling up with fluid, and the very last thing we want is for the hole to close over with the inside infected as it would mean they’d have to open it back up again.
To bring you up to date, I had breast cancer in 2001, and probably had diabetes back then, but it wasn’t checked, even when my surgical scar took ages to heal and developed an infection. A couple years later, after I’d recovered from chemo and radiation therapy, I had reconstruction surgery. The type I had moved muscle tissue from my back to my front. It was more major of a surgery than the mastectomy I had in 2001. I nearly lost my reconstruction when my body tried to reject it’s own tissue, and developed a nasty infection (seeing a pattern here?). I still wasn’t diagnosed as diabetic but probably was. The back healed quite well, or so I thought.
Last year at the end of February, my BGLs became suddenly quite high and I was feeling very unwell, but had nothing I could pin it on. Eventually an area on my back, next to the scarline from the reconstruction surgery became bright red, hot and infected. By 6 March, the doctors finally recognised it as an abscess and I had emergency surgery to remove the abscess. It was decided that it should heal from the inside out, and that is the ‘hole’ in my side. I have been having nurses come to my home ever since then (almost a year now) to change the dressing on it since it’s not something I can reach myself, and as it required packing, it needs to be done by a professional.
So here I am, again in February, again having my BGLs going high (have a look here), running fevers, having a great deal of fluid build up in my trunk, some of which is from the infection, and some from Lymphedema in my trunk, which is the result of having had my lymph nodes removed when I had the mastectomy. Because of the fluid build up, it’s resting on my spine, and making my skin feel like it’s going to split. It’s like a swelling but harder, and the scary part of Lymphedema is at some point the fluid build up becomes permanent. It aches. It makes my range of movement limited.
And it ALL ticks me off. I’ve been a very patient person with all of this. I’ve taken every damn pill I’ve been prescribed, I’ve been good about checking my BGLs, I try to take it all with a grain of salt and just get on with life because I don’t want to wallow in any despair over something that I have only a limited amount of control over.
I’ve been pretty good with eating the right foods, but when I asked my GP yesterday if we should do anything about my current highs, he said no, the levels are an indication of a problem, not the problem itself. I didn’t feel well enough to suggest that because I do know how to do insulin shots that using a sliding scale just for the time being might be helpful in also getting control of the infection(s).
So since that appointment, my brain has that little red devil on my shoulder telling me it doesn’t matter what I eat because my numbers are going to be high and I should skip drinking my 2 cups of green tea after meals because when I’m sick, the tea doesn’t really help my numbers. For all I know it could be halving my BGLs, so the little red devil could just be egging me on for no reason. The little angel that sits on my other shoulder reminding me to BGLs, drink my tea, do what exercise I can do, etc. seems to have gone on holiday.
So, if there’s anyone still reading this, can you please send me some suggestions on how to tell that red devil off and reasons why his suggestions of going ahead and binging on chocolate isn’t going to be helpful? I know I may sound light hearted, but I am really ‘stretched’ to the limit (no pun intended since my back seems to be stretching to it’s limit).
Or maybe it’s a point of ‘why bother’ or ‘burn out’ I’ve reached. I dunno. I just know I could really use some encouragement at the moment.