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February 01, 2013

TRAUMA RAMA

did you ever read 17 magazine? do you remember trauma rauma. it was a section in the back of the magazine where teen girls would write in about their most embarrassing moments EVER. it usually consisted of parents catching them making out or being on their first date and realizing they had pit stains...really embarrassing stuff.

well, i'm here to write a little about my trauma rauma. except it's less embarrassing and more so just pretty traumatic.

i thought long and hard and long and hard about whether or not it was even appropriate to write about my ta trauma. i never came to a conclusion. i think what it comes down to is making the people who know me and read the bloggy blog uncomfortable. that's the downside. the upside is getting this little ta trauma out and about on the world wide web and hopefully helping/commiserating/inspiring/entertaining someone(s) who has dealt or might deal with something similar. right? right.

you've been warned.

so...it all started when miss kaye was about four weeks old. i noticed this large lump in the side of my ta. i freaked. it was a decent size. i didn't freak out like it was cancer...i freaked out that it was a clogged milk duct and i was going to get an infection resulting in  mastitis. i'd heard nasty things about mastitis - fever, aches, chills, suckiness. no thank you.

i turned to the internet to figure out what to do to get this clogged duct unclogged: nurse in different positions, massage, warm compress, massage, massage, aggressive massage, more massage. and so i did. every spare moment i was rubbing that damn ta. to the point of bruising. not fun. i was practically nursing kaye while standing on my head. not fun. still nothing was working. the lump was getting bigger. like...larger than a golfball bigger.

luckily, i was due for my six week postpartum checkup. when i went to see my obgyn i was told i had something called a golactocele. i wrote about that here. basically it's a milk duct with no outlet so the milk just fills up and fills up and they are so rare that there is next to no information on how to resolve the issue. ESPECIALLY if you want to continue to nurse. anyway...

i was given the option to have it drained. i jumped on it because having something that large in your ta is not only uncomfortable but just weird, and gross, and foreign, and i hated it. so the general surgeon shoved a needle into the side of my ta and extracted the pooled milk. yuck. but at last, i had some relief. relief that lasted all of 20 minutes. that's when my milk let down for the next feeding. seriously? seriously.

so farmer and i went home. i continued to nurse. continued to think i could get something out of massaging it. continued to stress about it. that's when the next trauma-rauma hit. the skin had turned bright red around the area they had stabbed me with the needle to get the milk out. i had an infection.

i called the doctor and was prescribed some super-strength neosporin. "that will take care of it," said the doctor. that did NOT take care of it. it got worse. not only did the redness continue to spread but all of a sudden there was an exterior lump on top of the golactocele. what?! it looked like a large goose egg (the kind you would get on your head if you had bonked it.) except it was soft. i immediately called the doctor. they put me on some antibiotics and told me to continue the topical. so i did.

two days later...if you can believe it...it was worse. not only was it a scarlet shade of red. it was hot to the touch and the interior part of the lump was turning a grey-green. this was the saturday morning before christmas. i showed my farmer and he said, "babe, that's not good. call the doctor."

i called the doctor and she didn't like what i had to say. she was pretty confident it was an abscess. which from what i understand was created like this: basically some bacteria that lives on all of our skin entered the point where the needle had gone...this caused the infection which cased the abscess...or was it an abscess?

off to the ER we went to have the abscess lanced and drained. seven hours later, one ultrasound, multiple phone calls to surgeons, the doctor on my service wasn't positive if it was safe to lance the abscess to close to my golactocele. he wasn't willing to take the risk of doing something incorrectly. so instead of lancing it like you would any other abscess, he drained it, expecting to extract puss and infection. (sorry...that's real REAL disgusting.) upon the drainage with the needle he and his resident were surprised to find that they only extracted more milk. their advice? call my obgyn and the general surgeon who did the original drainage first thing wednesday morning. i had to wait two full days.

my thought on this? are. you. kidding. me? i was beyond frustrated. all i wanted to do was to NOT have a giant golfball in my ta. all i wanted was to NOT have an abscess on top of the giant golfball. and to add insult to injury...this left ta of mine was ridiculously painful. cherry on top? when you have an infection such as mine you feel sick all the time. my poor farmer was not only dealing with a newborn crying, but i was dishing out my fair share of tears as well.

so...first thing wednesday morning i called and made appointments with the obgyn who was on call and also managed to get squeezed into an appointment with the general surgeon. my farmer took miss kaye to the ski hill and my sister and i headed to the big city for answers and action. i was NOT leaving the big city without some ta relief.

at my appointment with the general surgeon, his reaction to the goose egg that had formed on top of the golfball was one of those looks people do when they see a bad ski wreck: scrunched face, head tilt, and an audible "oooo" sound. he took immediate action. not but five minutes later the following had happened:

1. my ta had been lanced. i now had a 2 1/2 inch deep x 1/4 inch wide hole. it reached all the way to the golactocele. he had successfully reached the infection and the milk.

2. i had relief. finally. the golfball and goose egg were gone.

3. now came the nasty part. yes. even nastier than draining infection and milk from my ta. the surgeon took a six inch long by 1/4 inch wide strip of gauze and gently began packing (folding) it into the hole with a long q-tip. i guess the idea was to let the wound heal from the inside out. the gauze would keep the hole from closing so that the healing would begin at the bottom and work its way to the surface of my skin.

4. once the hole was "packed" he looked at my sister and said, "you're going to need to pack this wound once but preferably twice a day. did you see what i did?" my sister wiped the disgusted look off her face and bravely nodded.

and that was that. one day after christmas i was on the mend. the hope was the golactocele would have scar tissue form so milk would no longer pool in that particular gland...thus eliminating the golactocele altogether.

i'm now five weeks out from my little procedure and well on the mend. the little wound no longer needs packed and is mostly healed. this is thrilling people. like...whoa. i'm happy to report that i think the golactocele is not going to return. either that or it's much slower to form than the first time. we shall see.

pardon my lack of pictures and the general hum-drumness of this little post but man...it was pretty all-consuming for the better part of two months.

and for my pain and suffering? i think we shall be rewarded with a trip to HAWAII!!!


yes. farmer, bebe kaye, amy, her farmer, mr. brody, and i all headed to the warmer weather.


it was brilliant.
it was beautiful.
it was relaxing.

and miss kaye? we can proudly report that she loved it and was an absolute dream on the plane.


can't wait to write all about the memories made, but for now? a few teasers:






oh, that's not all!

just have a looky-lou at what else the farmer thought would make me feel better:


pardon the stock photo - it's been far too cold to snap any shots of my own. but this is the new hoopty. love love. 
one. fortunate. gal. that's for sure.


8 comments on "TRAUMA RAMA"
  1. Oh. My. God. OUCH. Reading this made my knees tingle. I salute you for your bravery! If it had been me, I'd probably have been throwing sidelong glances at a meat cleaver. Who needs two boobs anyway?

    I'm glad you waited to write about this horrific experience until you had a happy ending. Whew!

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  2. I want pictures. You know the nurse in me can't even handle the idea that you had something lanced on your body and I didn't get to see this go down. Furthermore, there are few things I love more than packing a wound. Mama loves to get her hands on that thin gauze. Gimme gimme! Can't wait to hear all about Hawaii and the new wheels!

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  3. Eeek that does not sound fun at all!! I never realized how many complications can come along with breast feeding! Almost everyone I know had some sort of mishap, and none of them sound enjoyable!

    Glad you are on the mend!! :)

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  4. i could care less about your golactocele, you are spoiled;) jk i do care and i'm glad your ta is almost completely back to normal!!!

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  5. Ouch, ouch, ouch on the whole boobie trauma.

    Lucky, lucky lucky ducky on hawaii and the audi.

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  6. I just happened to one across our blog & got so excited when I saw that you posted pictures if Kauai- I actually live on Kauai :) what a small world!

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  8. Oh my goodness girl, what a story! I loved it! Thanks for sharing and thanks for swapping! :)

    ReplyDelete

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