The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur for one reason, hidradenitis suppurativa.

Two weeks ago I had discomfort near my bottom. After getting into a rather weird position I managed to see the area and noticed the start of an abscess. I booked an appointment to see my GP.

I saw said GP and she confirmed my suspicions, it was the start of an abscess. It wasn’t ready to be operated on so it was a waiting game. A game I’ve played many a time.

By the following weekend the pain was excruciating and I had to visit Out of Hours. Again they agreed the abscess tract was forming and, with it being a perianal abscess, there’s a concern it could develop into a fistula. Essentially an abscess has to be at a certain stage before surgeons consider IV antibiotics and/or surgical intervention (incision and drainage). The doctor I saw advised me to wait 24-48 hours and come straight back to A&E once it gets to a point I can’t sit down properly or at all.

Well that point came 24 hours later. I went straight through to A&E and was referred, rather bizarrely given the nature of visit, to medical doctors. Bloods were taken and I was examined. The medic agreed there was something forming but, as my blood test results showed, my chemistry wasn’t showing massive infection as yet. This then meant no surgery or IV antibiotics. He advised me to be reviewed by own GP on Wednesday.

Saw GP as advised. He didn’t examine the perianal area, he took one look at me and decided I looked rather poorly. His first instinct was to refer to the surgeons directly.

I was seen and admitted last Wednesday, the abscess was a great concern. I was told I was to be operated on the following day, nil by mouth from midnight that night. I got to the ward and was asked what I wanted to eat before midnight.

Medication given and pre-NBM meal eaten I fell asleep. I apparently slept through someone on the ward screaming!

In the morning I was waiting to go to theatre as told the night before. However, by the time 11am came around I realised that the operation wasn’t going to happen as yet. This is somewhat frustrating when you’re in a lot of pain and longing for food/drink. Shortly after this realisation the doctors came to see, and examine, me. They apologised for delay but said I could eat/drink until 1230pm. I was to be nil by mouth again with a view to slotting me in to the CPOD list in the evening.

By 715/730pm I was curious to know if I was on the list. I was told by nurse that I wasn’t and she would speak to one of the team so I could be allowed to eat/drink normally. They said yes but only until midnight. It took 3 bleeps and 8 calls by the nurse to even get this information. I think it was after 830 by time I ate something.

So the nil by mouth began again. This time I was definitely on list. Gowned and stockinged I waited. I had a sleep too. By 11 I was getting rather anxious and the nurse chased the team. They finally arrived after my blood pressure went below 80/60! They had crash trolley by their side. A usual occurrence for me when BP decides to be silly. It would appear all this fluid and food avoidance for no apparent reason was affecting me. IV fluids were ordered and a cannula put in. At 255 I was visited by 2 people from theatre, they were there to discuss anaesthetics. Before they left the young doctor said I should be in theatre within 30-40 mins. Now I was being prepped for a ward move and just as they had finished packing my stuff up (I was too weak) the theatre porters arrived. I was in theatre by 330pm.

Op was a success. Pus removed and stitches in place I was back on new ward literally 2 hours after I had left old ward. Immensely strong painkillers were given. I also had a catheter until the following morning.

I was to be discharged the following day. Due to other urgent surgical calls I was waiting about 10 hours to be allowed home. I won’t go into how frustrating it was for me.

I cannot fault the nurses and their due diligence. They made sure I was comfortable and my BP was regularly monitored.

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