The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

Any medical types out there?

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The one weakness in the Mexican Healthcare Experience was the aftercare was a bit sketchy. Should I be using ice to reduce the swelling where the stitches are?

corwin

Author: corwin

Site administrative account, so probably Corwin, Felix or DD-B.

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  1. No, just turn on the Comedy Channel….

  2. Ice is fine – 10min on, 10 min off – make sure it’s wrapped in something so you don’t get frostbite. Something like Aleve or advil will also help with the swelling around the staples. Keep the incision clean and dry. Polysporin will help if it starts to get itchy (usually around day 5). Staples usually come out day 7-10.

    Cheers,
    Heather (a doctor up in Canada)

  3. Yes. If you care about reducing scarring, pop open a vitamin E gelcap and rub the oil along the stitches.

  4. corwin

    Many thanks! Starting the ice now.

  5. Not a good idea if there’s pus draining. What was the antibiotic they gave you?

  6. corwin

    No pus draining, at least yet. I think Mesulid (r) nimesulida (100mg) is the antibiotic, though that might be the anti-inflamatory, in which case the antibiotic is Zinnat (r) Cefuroxima (500mg)

  7. Yup, the Zinnat is a broad-spectrum cephalosporin-type antibiotic. I second the ice-on/ice-off ten minute rotation. if ten minutes is too long ON your skin, feel free to shorten it. You want the cold to be a comfort, not painful. Redness is normal, but if the edges of the incision aren’t showing healing by 72 hours out, a trip to an ER might not be amiss.

  8. Also, if you can get your hands on any lavender ESSENTIAL oil it also will keeo wounds from scaring and has mild antibiotic properties.

  9. Advil or any other blood-thinny thing might be contraindicated for a little bit. But yeah, ice 10 min on & off is good and it helps with the pain a bit too.

    Also, make sure you’re eating enough of whatever you’re allowed to eat (if they told you…) to keep your stomach from getting mad about all the pills. Strong antibiotics sometimes = queasy.

    Glad you came thru the surgery ok!

    Here’s what google turned up for “hernia surgery aftercare” – a few tips, but nothing very specific (and you probably already have these links, being posessed of internet access yourself, but what the heck).

    http://www.surgeryencyclopedia.com/Fi-La/Inguinal-Hernia-Repair.html

    http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/common/standard/transform.jsp?requestURI=/healthatoz/Atoz/ency/hernia_repair.jsp

    http://www.medindia.net/surgicalprocedures/hernia-surgery-after-care.htm

  10. Aftercare on my surgery in Minnesota was pretty much absent. I got prescriptions and took pills home, was given a bottle of hydrocodone to taper off the dose I was on and wound up going to sleep before unpacking it because I was so exhausted, then when I woke up the pain was down because the stress was gone and I’d slept off the aftereffects of opiate crash. I did not receive the necessary dressings to take care of my wound care and change them, did not get any help with anything after they were done.

    After my second surgery, Kitten took care of me better than any hospital ever could have, but she is the same person who once knocked out a bad case of pneumonia faster and gentler than a hospital did the times I went to hospitals with pneumonia.

    So if they didn’t score high in aftercare, it sounds from what I just read as if you had a much easier time than I’ve ever had in a US hospital, and paid a lot less. Thank you for blogging all these details. I found it very useful and bookmarked the company site, because I will eventually look into getting dental implants and traveling to do it, once I sell a pro novel or book.

    By the way, we’ve been out of touch a really long time. Do you have my current email? (Gmail) — actually I think you can get it on this comment. Please email me, there’s a lot I want to catch up on with you and if you’ve read my LJ, you’re sort of caught up on everything I’ve been doing since I was in MN.

    Robert

  11. I used a cold pack on mine and it helped significantly – 10 on, 10 off, and because they used antibiotic tape on the incision, didn’t put anything on it for the first week. My surgeon was very good, with phone calls the day after and a visit a week after. Still some numbness around the site, but the scar is sometimes almost invisible. It just takes time and patience!

  12. Glad all went well and that you’re home and safe!

  13. corwin

    Robert @ 11: no, didn’t catch your email address. If you send me an email (linked on my web page) I can reply.

  14. Steve,

    Should there be a next time, give me a little notice and I’ll come along and translate for you. That’d’ve been a help this time, I can see.

    Glad you’re done with it, and moving on to healing now. Be easy on yourself.

  15. No joke…for “icing” an incision site, a bag of frozen peas is perfect. After an operation on a rather sensitive area, I used several bags of frozen petit peas to numb the area and control swelling.

    They conform beautifully to wherever you put them.

  16. When Himself had his hernia surgery, I was “fortunate” enough to be recovering from severe pneumonia and was home with him.

    Ice is fine, for the aforementioned 10 on, 10 off. He wore my skirts around, as they were more comfortable. The biggest thing was to get up and walk around. Yeah, it hurts like a sonofabitch, but it decreases the recovery time phenomenally.

    Unrelated, come to Phoenix soon. Got to hang out with you at Ubercon, which was great, and having someone to hang out and smoke with and greet at the elevator door to welcome to the floor is just fun. (I also still shamelessly tell your “Why did Jesus die on the cross?” joke. I do credit you every time. 🙂 )

  17. corwin

    Bellana: It seems I’m filk Guest of Honor (!) at a convention in Phoenix at the end of August. 🙂

  18. Is the punchline forthcoming?

  19. His jokes weren’t any good.

  20. Of course you should be using ice; ice is nature’s Motrin. Mexicans are very progressive, going GREEN even in the medical field. The alternative is refried beans, so count your blessings.

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