A major tear
I didn’t know it could happen, but I experienced a major tear of all of the skin on my chest that had been stuck to my chest wall. It happened about 4 am Thursday morning. Since my surgery, the skin had been stuck to my chest wall, and it was supposed to eventually release gradually perhaps months down the line. The skin cannot stay attached to the muscle and chest wall for the long haul. When it releases gradually there isn’t as much of a problem, but when my skin tore away, it brought bright red inflammation, swelling and instant pain.I do not know what I did during the night or if I did anything to precipitate this happening, but other than pain, I felt unwell all morning. By the afternoon I was running a fever and my heart rate went way up. Richard took me into emergency. It was the first time I was admitted to a bed after the nurse took my vital signs. The doctor didn’t know if I had an infection or an inflammation from the tear. Either way, the size of the area that was torn is so large, he put me on antibiotics to help my body cope. My heart rate was 130 when I got to the ER, and it spiked at 147 so they were not going to let me go home until they could get me stabilized. What really helped was getting a large amount of IV fluid into my body along with oxygen, and my heart rate started to edge down.
I had been doing so well and then this. What the doctor told me is that with some women, their skin is so firmly attached to their chest wall, that they have to have another surgery to tear the skin off so that it can heal on its own and be moveable. In my case, the tear happened spontaneously, and it was painful! It happened shortly after I updated my last post and I have been in bed most of the time since then. Today has been the first day that I have been able to be up for more than 30 minutes at a time. My temperature has also fluctuated up and down from 101 to 103.2 until the antibiotics kicked in. I look like someone beat me up, but I am finally doing better today. I am also able to cut back on the tylenol/codeine pain pills.
The ER doctor said it will take at least a few weeks for the bright red inflammation to go down.There is also quite a bit of fluid that accumulated after the tear. Hopefully that goes away soon.
So, I am back on the mend….again!