Staple removal, campground style.

It is well past the time for a health care update.

On 12/21/2022, Henry Ford allowed my surgery to proceed with my terms of consent, I applaud and thank them.

Dr. Faulker, the best pelvis surgeon (per my friend Amelia) in Michigan did remove my bar and handed it over to be preserved for me, per the granting of my request by the Regional Director of Orthopedics for Henry Ford.  That bar is now in my collection, along with all of my staples and stitches (removed in February 2022) from my original surgeries.  I have all my pieces, they and this experience, is part of me now.

Today I was scheduled for my surgical checkup with Dr. Faulker, however as I am out of State (and out of Insurance,) I cancelled the appointment as easily as texting the number three in return of their text to confirm my appointment.  All good, as I feel great, and am up to walking well over a mile a day, my posture and strength are improving.  With stretching (lots more to be done) I am gaining flexibility and improving my gait.

However, I still had twenty one staples in me.  As he said they would, they did “ooze” a bit.  Well, the left side “oozed” a bit.  Over the drive from Michigan to Texas, my right side leaked like a sieve.  He said is was normal, squish it out of the bandage, don’t change it for seven days.  So that is what I did.  I did laundry today and washed the shirt I wore on the drive.  Once it began to ooze, I just kept the same shirt on.

Even now cleaned, the shirt looks worse than it was.  However there is about an eight by eight inch blood stain on the right side of it.  Just a bit of ooze.. I kept my jacket on when I went into gas stations.  Oh well, over now.

On the seven day mark, I removed the surgical bandages and gently, yet thoroughly scrubbed the incisions with soapy gauze during my shower.  Once finished and I had patted myself dry, I used fresh gauze for each and dousing of rubbing alcohol to clean them again before applying fresh thee by four waterproof bandages from CVS.  Actually, I kinda liked those ones better, much thinner, yet they stayed in place.  The surgical bandages seemed to slide around on their adhesive a bit.  Anyway, whatever.

Cleaned and changed twice more since then, today was the final day.  I’m suppose I’m just presuming, yet I’m pretty sure today’s appointment would have removed the staples.  And as I am not there for the doctor to do this for me, I am so very thankful for nurse Nancy in the Florida Rehabilitation Center I was in.  She took cleaning wounds VERY seriously.  I thought odd, as the previous two weeks, my wounds had been ignored in 3C.

Same when she changed my IV’s bandages (or technically, if I recall correctly, my mid-line bandages.) In any case, she would use all the pieces of the special bandage kits, with precision, care, and attention to every little detail.  She was serious about wound care.

You don’t want an infection with a pathway to blood or bone.  She spoke it, I heard it.  God echoed it in my brain, still.  I have taken my wound care seriously as I can.  On with the staples.  They are out now.

I had planned to use my pliers from my toolbox and try to modify them to work as a proper person-staple remover should.  They cause pressure on the top middle of the staple, causing both ends to curl outward.  But I’ve been too busy for that project, so today I was just thinking I’d make the best of it.  Leaving CVS with fresh supplies, yet no staple remover that I’d hoped to find there, my next stop was going to be at the O’Reillies in town for new tools.

I thought I deserved fresh tools for my minor surgery. However, just down the block on the way, there was a group of Mexicans, perhaps one family, with some fresh BBQ chicken in a giant smoker in front of a NAPA store.  Change of plans, lets see if NAPA has what I need, they did, and lunch was amazing.

Not to much more to say on this, it took about twenty minutes.  And as I have no insurance of my own, Henry Ford would have billed the State of Michigan for my care.  As I qualify for that state aid, now unworkable for a year.  What would have been that bill?  I guess it would have been at least a grand, if not two.

For me, twenty bucks and twenty minutes.  Campground style… now, hmm.. what about this screw in my knee- I know there are three, yet one of them… nah, just kidding- I don’t think I could do that myself.  However, eventually with the right surgeon, those screws could be removed.  Eventually, everything can be removed except for my femoral bar, though it’s five screws could go now, and the drill bit in my pelvis, that will be there for life.

Or as I pointed out to that surgeon, unless I break my pelvis again, perfectly on the fault created by that bit..  she agreed.  If that happened, it could come out, otherwise, in a more stern voice, that bit will be there for life.

Oh, final note, notice on the right side- early I had said that it felt swelled along its length, well I think the staples took a big bit of flesh, once removed it kinda opened like a canoe and worried me a bit.  Upon inspection, just a big fold of skin.  In any case, all wounds (forty two staple pokes,) are cleaned and covered for a few more days.



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