Medical questionmarks

When you are on sickleave at home, it's terribly boring. Standing in the kitchen behind the laptop at the counter top gets boring and dull. Reading and watching tv isn't so exciting when you have all the time to do so. Wedding preperations are frustrating as they must happen in those few painless hours behind the laptop.

And yet time flies by as well. Somehow you can spend a lot of time doing nothing special and yet days go by. Sleeping in, having a very slow breakfast with tv on, checking some online newspapers, reading some mails and facebook statusses, having the nurse come over, recover a bit by pacing slowly through the living room, preparing lunch, resting a bit on the sofa in front of the news, doing some household chores slowly, doing a few phone calls for the wedding and before you know it it's evening and I'm in pain and all that is left for me is laying on the sofa flipping through the tv channels.

So anyway, it's been 2 weeks since the doctor cut the hole. 2 weeks of painful treatments by the nurse (she's very sweet and compassionate though!), 2 weeks without sitting at all , 2 weeks of painfull feet, 2 weeks of constant sleepiness.

Finally I could go and see the surgeon and hear his opinion whether the wound was looking as "good" as the nurse claims. I really wanted him to tell me whether this was a fistula or not as he had casted some doubts last time on the source of all these infections. A fistula would imply he needed to do more cutting and with a wedding coming up in 3 weeks and a dream (diving) honeymoon that's not something you want to hear.

My first appointment got cancelled and postponed and then yesterday I could finally get my check-up. I got the reassurance that the wound is indeed looking good, but there is still no certainty whether it'll close entirely or not. It's a medical mystery: the lab finds no clues to indicate the source of the problem : neither cyste neither fistula. Argh.
And although I can feel the painlevels reducing as the wound is getting smaller, I don't know how it will evolve. The surgeon was kinda too optimistic in my opinion "either it closes in the coming weeks and then all is fine for the wedding and honeymoon ....or the wound doesn't close but as long as it's open no new abcess will develop, so I should be fine as well. I can 'probably' swim on vacation and maybe my husband could desinfect the wound now and then a little bit. "

Aaaaagh, I don't feel like leaving to a tropical island in those circumstances.

So based on my cousin's advice (also a surgeon, different speciality), I phoned the other bigger hospital in Leuven and asked for an appointment with one of the surgeon professors there to get a second opinion. If it weren't for my wedding and honeymoon I'd probably have a more relaxed "wait and see how everythings develops" but right now I want to get more information.
Much to my surprise I got quite easily an oppointment for the beginning of next week.

Gosh when it comes to medical services we do live in a luxury country I suppose. No wonder we "consume" so much. It hardly costs us anything either: a normal house doctor visit is 4-5€ (you have to advance 20€ but get refunded by our mandatory social security system), a specialist is 7 -10€ (yesterday's consult will cost me 7,5€). The surgery itself cost 688,51€ but my social security pays 670,91 automatically without the need of advancing it and my personal contribution was 17,6€. It would have been a lot more if I had demanded a private room as the doctors are free to charge a much higher rate then, but why would you need a personal room if you are only one day in the hospital, half of the time in the operation room anyway? The nursing cost for the prescribed service I get at home each day is directly paid by the social security system....I have no clue how much that would be as you never get to see any bill for that.
Man, we are so lucky. All the above mentioned costs are then as a matter of fact refunded by my medical insurance from work except for the firsst 75€. So the good news about having a recurring problem is that the entire treatment has become free for me.

I'd still rather have no more surgeries though, they are no fun! Argh, who wants pain? I just want to be healed and get active again, do sports, get outdoors, .... My world has shrunk so much because I can't walk far neither can I sit in a car. Thank goodness there's internet to keep in touch with people!


rozebril said…
Ik kan me voorstellen dat de onzekerheid vreselijk is, zeker met de trouw in aantocht. Hopelijk weet je volgende week meer!
Katrien said…
Hey Ellen, ... inderdaad wel jammer dat er geen duidelijke visie kan gegeven worden en geen duidelijke oorzaak kan gedefinieerd worden ... goed van jou om een 2de opninie te vragen! Zou ik ook doen!
Ik herken je gevoel ... lezen ... internetten ... kruiswoordraadsels ... liggen in bed ... na enkele weken word je dit wel beu hé. Gelukkig voor jou dat de dag vlug om is.
Courage nog hé!

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