My story, more importantly my advice!

brodie-mai

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Hi, I am a 24 year old female from England. This post is going to be a lengthy one but hopefully helpful to someone (maybe just like me when I first came to this site) I first came on this website when I first started having flare ups. Every 7 months an abscess would form. Build for 6 to 7 days (never had it lanced) then eventually it would become so swollen and inflamed that it would burst/drain on its own whilst I was at home. I had this problem for about 2 years when I saw a plastic surgeon who spoke to me about cleft lift surgery and skin grafts to minimise scarring. As a female I was concerned. I decided not to have a surgery, reason being is that everyone I know (my father, his father, my boyfriend, a family friend) had all had surgeries and it had come back again and all went on to have further surgeries.

This is where my first piece of advice comes in. Get the surgery done! If you have a sinus there it will get infected! With every infection the sinus gets bigger. I'm kicking myself I didn't get the surgery done when I first went to see a surgeon.

I dealt with this problem for another 4 years. Every 7 months having to take a week or two off work because I had a massive abscess. Once that drained the problem went away. Out of mind out of sight. This totalled to 6 years left untreated.

The last flare up I had was one of the worst ones ever. I know it sounds gruesome but I was even considering putting a pin inside to release the pressure. I remember the days leading up to and the day it finally released. I was lowering myself into the bath, sobbing at 5 in the morning after sleeping for about 2 hours. I was in too much pain to even get up to go to the hospital. I would spend hours in the bath a day.

For someone who was worried and anxious about having the surgery I have had the most issues with getting it done. I was on the waiting list for 7 months, then I went to speak to a surgeon, then I had the pre op assessment. After this I was removed from the waiting list, as a mistake on their system. I had to go back to the GP and start the process all over again. My GP said that it was unacceptable and tried to get me "fast tracked". Ended up getting a call from the hospital who told me my operation would be on the 24th of February 2020. Off I went, after starving myself, to be told the operation wasn't on that day.

I was so upset and in tears at the hospital after getting agreed time off work and mentally preparing myself. The surgeon was absolutely fantastic. After seeing the state I was in she emergency booked me in 2 days later at hillingdon hospital.

I was down to have a pilonidal excision. All went well, was quite a deep wound but got it stitched up, not packed. They said the stitches have a 50/50 chance of breaking apart which would mean having the wound packed. Got in the car to go home the day of the surgery and after a 10 minute drive my trousers were soaked with blood. We wasn't sure if this was normal given the surgery or not, so called the hospital and they said its fine. After bleeding excessively we put sanitary towels there and they was soaking every 2 hours. Useless calling the hospital again so we called the surgeon. She gave us an appointment to see her two days later. (which they usually don't do)

She removed half of the stitches and found blood clots underneath the stitches. She removed as much blood as she could and said we could try to leave the bottom stitches in and get the top half packed.
Two days later I was in A&E which a very foul smell coming from my wound and blood.

They put me in surgeon review ward and even tracked down my specific surgeon who made time in her schedule to come down and review me and pass me into another set of brilliant hands. I was sent to surgery again (exactly one week after the first) as the wound was infected. Probably due to the blood clots. This time I went for a wound debridment.

WHen I woke up in hospital I was put into a ward and had to stay there 5 days so they could assess my bleeding and also because the tissue viability nurse was coming on Monday.

They left the packing in for one day and it had become stuck. When they tried to remove it to change it, I cannot explain to you the pain I had. I was put on morphine and tremadol. They really should have put water in the wound the moisten the packing.

My wound was the biggest one the nurses had seen. I would attach the photos but I was scared when I first saw it (only a few days ago) so I'll put some photos after it's fully healed to show you how small the scar can go!

I was having 4 Aquacel packings inside when I left hospital and now done to half of one so that shows something!

Here is where my story gets a little different. It would probably be a easier and safer after care but just as I left hospital Corona virus had just started breaking out. I think I went to my GP nurse every day for about a week before lock down in UK. Luckily I live with my mum who has been an absolute star because after one month I'm still needing every day packing changes and she has learnt how to do it so we don't need to go to the doctors every day. Only once a week to get checked.

ANother important piece of advice, if you live in UK. The doctors failed to tell me this until my second prescription, but if you pay £30 to the pharmacy you can get unlimited prescriptions for a year. For all the dressings I needed one prescription that would last me 5 days was £70.

Now I'm coming up to 2 months after my operation. I have to say my surgeon is fantastic. With this Corona virus she has not been able to see me but she still telephones me every Wednesday for a telephone appointment to see how my wound is coming along.

They said maybe I can start changing the packing every other day soon. I currently use aquacel but we have just started using aquacel Ag as this apparently has better healing properties due to the silver. My wound isn't really painful anymore. Sometimes like a dull ache. And apart from that first packing change you can hardly feel having it changed and dressed.
Some times I have a dull ache.
I am curious to know how it's going to be like when it's fully healed. I'm thinking of getting laser hair removal in that area to stop a reoccurrence and to also apply bio oil but the gel once its healed and I only have a scar.

So all in all, here's my adivice. If you have this problem get a surgery. If you don't like or feel comfortable with your practice nurse, (mine was very rude) look into going to see another nurse at a Hub or hot clinic. Though remember you have to bring your own dressings. They have been brilliant for me. If you bleed excessively after surgery or have a foul smell get it looked at straight away. And lastly get the certificate that allows you unlimites prescriptions.

If anyone sort of local to me gets the chance to request a referral my surgeon was Ms Ijaz. Who works in Mount Vernon and hillingdon hospital. She really takes care of you.

Don't hesitate to ask questions if you managed to get to the end of this post hehe.
Keep safe everyone, we are all in this horrible pain in the ar*e (literally) together.
And to fellow females who this happens to, don't be scared to reach out this forum is full of lovely people.

As many problems I had with going through with surgery I don't regret having it done one bit!
 
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