Oh what a difference a day makes. I visited with Dr. Bitar yesterday morning and detailed my new symptoms from the previous couple of days. I think my body was fighting the infection off somewhat competently even before I went in to see my surgeon, because my fever and body aches had decreased a bit, I was more energetic, and the output from my drain suddenly plummeted. But TAFKAMRB was still quite warm to the touch and very sensitive, though fortunately no longer throbbing.
Noting that the skin around the drain was reddish, bruised, and puffy and taking into account the mostly steady and dramatic drop in drainage, Dr. Bitar elected to remove my JP drain immediately and prescribe antibiotics. Fortunately, the drain removal involved minimal discomfort and was completed in under 2 minutes. A few hours later, my pain level had almost returned to its original numbness. Aaaaaaahhhhh.
Earl made sure to ask whether my infection might be related to my walking (answer: no). I also took the opportunity to inquire whether Dr. Bitar had an easy time finding my sentinel lymph nodes, since she ended up removing 8 instead of the expected 1-4. She wryly replied that in fact it was difficult to find them, and removed what she thought was 1 node plus maybe 1 more, where the 1 more ended up being a total of 7 (they can be pretty small). Of the 8 nodes, 4 were died blue (and therefore true sentinel nodes) and the remaining 4 were uncolored. My right arm has not a full but a respectable range of motion, considering the number of lymph nodes removed. Special exercises and, even better, swimming in a few weeks will help reduce these limitations. Anyway, I can’t complain since I’m thrilled to know that all 8 nodes were clear.
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