Weekly Update Number Two.

This past week was actually more painful than the previous week. The injuries themselves seem to be waking up from shock or regrowing nerves or just randomly deciding to hurt. There's a lot more ichiness, though, which indicates healing. And it's not bad pain--it feels like bruise pain for the most part. That, and very stiff muscles from holding myself funny for two weeks.


I keep calling them "wounds" but I know now it is essentially one big wound of varying ouchiness. It starts just above my right elbow on the back of my upper arm. From there it travels up the arm, around the outside of the shoulder, then down the side of my back, sort of following the "line", if one actually existed, separating my side from my back. It ends a few inches above the waist, about where the ribs end. Most of the shoulderblade and the bottom of my upper arm is involved, the rest is just little streamy trailoffs, maybe an inch or two wide. Those are the wounds that have persisted--I also had a few days of my underarm feeling very sunburned, but that is pretty much gone.

Essentially now it looks like I've leaned against a very hot wall with my upper arm and shoulder and took my time getting off of it. It also looks like what actually happened--that a pipe of scalding hot water shot off into my armpit, and I reflexively clamped my arm down and turned away from the blast.

I've been off oxycondone for the past day and a half. That seems to be going all right. Once a few years ago I had surgery and my withdrawal from oxyconTIN had me crying for a day, but I haven't been really taking it so much except at night to sleep. I still have the giant ibuprofen horse pills for nighttime, but I have been sleeping through the night on just one and not waking up at two in the morning wanting more drugs. During the day if I have to drive around I take naproxen sodium, and even that I have cut back substantially. It still hurts like a toothache, but it's bearable.

My Favorite Husband says my back is totally closed up now except for one small sore spot. My arm is still weepy and hurts like crazy when it is being dressed. It's going to take the longest. A five-year-old acquaintance has made me a little bracelet for my bad arm so he can remember which one is hurt. It is very cute. It has a little brachiosaurus drawn on it and a very carefully lettered "NO" so he knows not to grab it. (That was his idea. He wrote it himself.)

Despite all this rosy prognosis the other day I was hunting for the paper that came with the burn cream. When my Favorite Husband asked why, I explained that I wanted to see if it said how long I was to continue applying the cream before I should stop. He hemmed and hawed a second, and then laughed and said, "That's not going to happen for a while, yet." So I still have a ways to go.

I finally saw my back by accident on Wednesday, like I said, and it looks better than I expected. Before that I could only use my imagination. Once a few days before seeing it one of my non-stick pads came off and it had what appeared to be pieces of thin brown dead leaves on it. I vaguely wondered how dead leaves got into my clothing, since I have not done any rolling around in them lately. And then (Mojo is not the quickest of studies, is she?) I realized it was dead skin. I'm essentially shedding like a reptile right now.

Since we have well water--and I don't trust its bacterial content, since it's not chlorinated--when I wish to bathe my wounds this is what I do: I have a horse sprayer we used to use when we deluded ourselves into thinking we were training the cat that has never held anything but water. First I put an inch or so of bleach in it and spray the bleach out through the nozzle. Then I shake some bleach into my tea kettle, wash it out and fill it full of water to boil. Any remaining bleach will quickly dissipate in the heat. I pour said boiling water into the bleached-out sprayer and spray that through the nozzle to get rid of all the bleach. And then it sits until it's cool enough to use.

Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I'd rather not get an infection at this point. Of course I would rather NEVER get an infection, but especially now on top of everything else. Because everything is really getting tiresome. As fun as Mojo makes it sound, getting hurt and looking at a recovery in terms of months instead of days is rather draining, both literally and figuratively.

Oh, and the dressings. Here's what we use, twice a day.

Four non-stick pads, 8" X 3" (.99 each, or 3.96)
One non-stick pad, 3" X 4" (.79 each--can't seem to find them cheaper!)
Five surgical dressings, 5" X 9" (.69 each, or 3.45)
One roll of gauze mummy-wrap for my arm (1.00 each)
Enough paper tape to immobilize a small elephant

...So it's over $8.00 of supplies per dressing, twice a day. Over a hundred dollars a week. It takes my Favorite Husband at least a half hour per dressing to take off the old stuff, trim and tweak, recream the bad parts and repackage me for public consumption. He has the patience and gentleness of a saint. I have been rewarding him (or at least so I hope) by not looking quite so revolting as I initially did.

I suspect people are a tad disappointed when they see me that, except for holding my arm a bit funny, there's no real evidence of my injuries. I guess given all my complaining they want me dragging myself around like Igor. Me, I'm just grateful it wasn't anything worse...