My experience


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Hello, I wouldn't usually post my story like this, but felt like I needed to after all the comfort I received on this site.

So I'm a 21 year old female, currently studying medicine. I got my first pilonidal in April 2018. It was only moderately painful, more annoying than anything. I ended up getting it to go away on it's own, with a week long prescription of Augmentin and a good amount of Epsom salt baths and castor oil with hot compresses. Never burst or anything, just kind of went away.

My second pilonidal occurred sometime in the first week of July 2018. It started the same as the last - more annoying than anything, so I started the same routine. Got it checked out, got more Augmentin, took some sitz baths. It wasn't getting better or worse, until one night I went from a 2/10 on the pain scale to 10/10. I was screaming in pain but still refused to go the hospital, still hoping it'd go away. That continued for a few more days, on and off from being decent to being horrendous, until I finally cracked Saturday night and went to the ER.

I had felt sick, but not as sick as I actually was. I think I had actually become loopy. By the time I checked in and got my vitals taken, my temperature was 102 (100.3 is a fever), my blood pressure was 138/100 (I usually am 100/60) and my heart rate was 160 (normal range is 60-100, with 80 being a good target). The nurse took my heart rate 3 times, twice with the machine before doing it himself because he was in such disbelief that I was still standing. I was immediately brought into a room, not the little curtain cells but an actual room, and given 3 bags of fluids immediately. I had to have an EKG done because of my heart rate, which was terrible because I had to lay down on my back for it. The nurse then gave me IV Ceftriaxone and oral Doxycline as antibiotics. Afterwards, they sent a team of 3 surgeons to come and look at me, who determined I had to have it lanced.

I INSISTED I didn't want lidocaine, but some form of anesthesia. Not only do I know from my experience in medicine, but from this site, that the lidocaine is horrendous. I totally every damn person that walked into that room that I needed general anesthesia - my nurse, the surgery team, the head of the ER, and the EKG tech. They ended up giving me ketamine and Versed, which gave me a crazy drug trip that caused me to fully awake 2 hours later. The lancing itself only took 15 minutes, but the ketamine made me trip and made me loopy for a while, and the Versed gave me amnesia of the entire event (and about an hour prior to the lancing as well). So basically, I was TECHNICALLY awake, but have no recollection of the entire ordeal.

Once I was conscious, I was given IV Toradol for pain (basically super strong liquid Advil). I was told that since I had been under, I'd need to at least be in recovery for 4 hours, so until about 3am. Because my vitals were still off (my heart rate hadn't gone below 100 the entire recovery time) I was sent to observation hooked up to a monitor the entire night. Throughout the course of the night I had received 5 more bags of fluids and my vitals were monitored. I didn't see the surgeon again until around 4pm the next day when my vitals had finally normalized, I'd received another dose of antibiotics and pain meds and was preparing to be discharged. The surgeon ended up removing the packing and leaving it unpacked, informing me that while the cyst was about an inch and a half long it was a few inches deep, it'd be better to just dress it and let it drain more naturally.

So here I am, writing to you the day after my whole experience and wanting to share some wisdom. In the matter of a few days I turned severely septic and in more pain than I've ever felt before. Go get yourself checked out in the hospital, and request a form of general anesthesia if you don't want to be conscious during your I&D. I'm currently in 0 pain and feeling better than I have in a long while. I could not imagine suffering through the pain I had any longer. Not only was I in pain, but I became extremely ill because of it.

The surgeon had given me some good info. "Although it only looks to be the size of a grape on the outside, it could be the size of an orange on the inside", which is basically what I had. Excited to finally be on a path of recovery, no matter how slow.

Good luck to everyone else!


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Oof I wish I didn’t remember the process of lancing my cyst. It was the worst pain I’ve ever been in! I’m a 16 year old female and my dad took me to the doctor for the procedure and at first I told him to leave the room because I knew my butt was going to be out and I didn’t want him there for that lol. He insisted on staying and I’m glad he did. I was screaming like a baby absolutely sobbing squeezing my dads hand like it was a stress toy. It was truly horrible but I’m so glad it’s over bc I feel so much better.