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Have a lump? Get it checked!

Random Terrain


I have a little "apron" of belly fat (called the panniculus according to Google) and I developed a small lump under it about a year ago or maybe a year and a half ago. I hoped it would eventually go away by itself.


Around August 17, 2023, the lump started getting larger and very hot. As it grew, it got even hotter. It was so hot that it felt like it might burn my Nitrile glove covered hand if I left it on the lump for too long. I cleaned the area and put Neosporin on it a few times every day with a Nitrile glove on my hand. I also started eating a fresh clove of sliced raw garlic once a day beginning on August 20. I would eat a sliced clove of fresh garlic on steak or a hamburger once in a while at the last house I lived at in 2020/2021, but I kind of got out the habit after moving to the house I live in now. I don't know if it was the garlic or the Neosporin or both, but the lump got smaller each day. I thought I was getting better.


On Thursday (August 24), the lump started leaking reddish stuff that smelled like a rotten potato, so I went to urgent care to see if they would put me on antibiotics. The person I saw there squeezed out as much as they could from the lump, then said that I needed to go to the hospital and have intravenous antibiotics. He said I'd probably have to stay at the hospital for a couple of days.


After the usual long wait in the hospital waiting room and a scan of the general area (the kind where they inject contrast dye), I was put in a room and bag after bag of antibiotics were dripping into me until Sunday morning (August 27). The doctor walked into my room a little before 9 a.m. on Sunday and said that I could go home after the discharge papers were ready. That was good news because he told me on Saturday that I might have to stay until Monday or Tuesday.


Later that day a nurse brought the papers and took the PICC line out of my arm. Some hospitals I've been to made discharged patients ride in a wheelchair, but not this hospital. The nurse said I could just walk out, so that's what I did. Now I'm taking an antibiotic pill every 6 hours at home.


What did we learn? If you have a weird little lump in an embarrassing area somewhere below your belly button, even if you hate doctors messing around down there, get it checked out before it turns into something that could be deadly. 




Hospital Tidbits


They were surprised at the hospital that I didn't have a fever.


The quality of the nurses varied wildly. The nurses working at night were usually better than the ones working in the day.


My last nighttime nurse (Saturday night/Sunday morning) was kind of angry that they put the PICC line right in the bend of my arm instead of higher up or lower down. I had to keep my arm perfectly straight or the alarm would go off. Made it hard to sleep.


The PICC line in the wrong spot wasn't the only thing that made it hard to sleep. As you'd expect, there were people coming in and out of my room throughout the day and night. There were all kinds of random loud noises that would wake me up. Sometimes it sounded like two giants were playing catch with a dead body and they weren't very good at catching. I was right across from the nurses station and they'd be talking as loud as they could and laughing at the top of their lungs. Sounded like they were having a party day and night. One night it was as quiet as a library and I asked my nurse about it. She said the supervisor was there that night. It was nice to have a quiet nurse station for a while.


I heard one of the nurses at the nurses station talking as loud as she could about one of the other patients. They were all giggling and laughing as she talked about how gross a procedure was.


The Saturday daytime nurse looked at the IV stand like she was trying to solve a cosmic riddle. She had a look on her face like it was the first time she ever saw one. She was my daytime nurse Saturday and Sunday. The first morning, she shook up the antibiotic bag to get it ready, then she tried to hang it upside down and about a fourth of the bag squirted out all over her and the floor. She eventually figured out that the end with the long tube faces the floor since the patient isn't on the ceiling. She never called anyone to clean up the puddle. She just left it there for someone to possibly slip in. Next time, she ended up squirting some out of another antibiotic bag, but it wasn't as much as the first time. Watching her do anything was like watching a new feckless employee at McDonald's trying to use the register. Problem is, she wasn't new. I don't see how she hasn't been fired by now.


Speaking of trying to hang bags upside down, this happened on Friday. They were also giving me saline since I was slightly dehydrated and the big bag was hanging off a green plastic thing to make it lower and the bag eventually fell off. Scared the crap out of me. I pushed the button for the nurse and a baby-talking lispy girl came in who looked like she could have still been in high school or maybe even middle school. She picked up the big saline bag and tried to hang it upside down. It was just too hard of a puzzle for her. One end has a place for hanging and the other end has a long tube coming out of it that runs to the patient. A child could figure it out in seconds, but not her. She was standing there banging the tube end up there, totally mystified. My Friday daytime nurse walked in and took it away from her and hung it up the right way.


The hospital pharmacy was a complete joke. I have various important pills that my doctors have me take twice a day, but the hospital gave me something like one pill on Friday, a couple more on Saturday, and a little pile of pills Sunday morning. You're not allowed to take your own pills, but they won't give you the pills you're supposed to take twice a day. I ignored them and worked around the problem to keep myself alive. No wonder so many people die in hospitals.


What did we learn? Some nutty-ass low I.Q. people might be working at your local hospital. If you catch a problem early, you may not have to go to the hospital and that means some moron won't have a chance to "accidentally" kill you. I don't consider it an accident when a person is so stupid and incompetent that they clearly shouldn't have a job in health care.


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Just remember that the person who graduates nursing school with the lowest score is still a nurse and the same for doctors. Sounds like a rough ride. Glad you made it through. My girlfriend just had two of those addressed on her back. The dermatologist did it outpatient and put her on a course of broad-spectrum antibiotics.

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Hospitals are some of the scariest places now. You get better help at Walmart. There are some good doctors and nurses out there but there are many bad ones. You really need a 24-hour advocate with you when you have to go to the hospital. Someone who knows 'The System.'  Glad you are doing better, Random.

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