First post of 2018! In a wonderfully coincidental turn, my first wound checkup of the year showed me to be so healed that I shouldn’t need any more follow ups. After this week, I shouldn’t even need to wear a bandage covering. Which means I can take regular baths again! Yessss.
To catch you up, I had a pilonidal cyst surgically removed in July 2017. That’s a cyst on the tailbone, so it’s a pretty inconvenient spot. I was originally sutured post-surgery, but the deep tissue under the skin didn’t seal up, so they had to cut me back open and let it heal as an open, 6cm-deep wound. That took a lot longer than originally planned. After about five months post-ripping-open-the-healed-skin, the wound has finally finished filling in!
While I was in the office yesterday, the nurse practitioner chemically burnt the top layers of skin to give it another boost to completely heal those last layers. She warned me that it would be black when we changed the dressing, but to just give it a soft wash and it would be fine. I’m not certain if it’s supposed to form a scab, akin to a cut on your skin. That’s essentially what it feels like now. Having a large, itchy cut. That chemical burning, though. Whoo. They didn’t warn me before they started, so it was a bit of a shock. O.O
The nurse also warned me that my skin is going to be delicate for a while, and it will probably take another half year for the scar tissue to completely form. Total healing time approximately one year. At this point, I’m just glad the hardest part is behind me (no pun!).
I won’t lie; this has been difficult to deal with. At first there was the pain, the inconvenience of not being able to sit, the smelly wound vac, more pain. There was the ineffectiveness of opiod pain relievers and the side effects that came with them. I stopped using them after about a week because what little my dosage did wasn’t worth the complications. (Thankfully, my Lyrica for chronic pain helped.) Then the long-term inconveniences set in. I still sit on a coccyx cushion at work. My dressing isn’t waterproof, so for half a year I haven’t been able to just jump in the shower whenever I wanted. I’ve had to shower according to my wound change schedule. No one else home? Can’t take a shower. I did find that if I sat on a little stool in the shower and directed the shower hose only to my front that I could keep my dressing from getting wet. So you might try that if you’re in the same situation. For a while I had to keep my wound covered while I showered, so I finished with my absorbent dressing swollen into a soggy balloon clinging onto my butt. Charming. The day my wound was healed enough to shower without the dressing was a relief.
The beginning of this year has already been amazingly busy at work. But I feel uplifted that this will be one less thing controlling my time, one less thing that will weigh on my mind. Great timing, butt. I’m proud of you. Please stop hurting now.