Posted by: jility | November 15, 2013


As if things weren’t bad enough.

On Wednesday, two weeks after my surgery, I began to feel like crap. It felt like I was getting the flu. My incision was very red and getting worse. It was quite hard to the touch and hot. IT HURT!

By Thursday, I felt even worse. I called the doctor in the morning. They said to watch it for a day and if it got worse to go in to see them. It got worse and worse by the hour. About four that afternoon, I called them back and told them I was getting worse. They said they would call in a prescription for antibiotics and see me the next day at 1:45. I told the assistant I didn’t want to die. She laughed and said I was not going to die but I sure felt like I was!

Mel drove the thirty minutes to town to get my prescription. He got home about six that evening. Besides the pills, he brought me a beautiful card and orchids for our anniversary, which was the next day.

I took my first pill. The pills they gave me are to be taken every six hours so I got up in the middle of the night to take my next pill.

By 8 o’clock that night I felt like I was going to die and that is no exaggeration.

By morning I felt a lot better but still felt like crap. I had to hold my stomach up with my hands to walk or it hurt too much. The incision was getting redder and redder. The dogs were very worried about me. They think they are being helpful but they are always in my way God bless them.

My stomach hurt so much I had to hold it up when I walked. It is still very swollen from the surgery. I am fat but not that fat! I have lost almost 60 pounds but am now holding steady. I want to lose another 40 but am not going to worry about it now. I need all the reserves I have to get through chemo.

So when we got to the doctor, his assistant took a look at my incision. She touched it and made a face. I thought that couldn’t be good.

The doctor came in and made the same face at my incision. He said he was sure there was an abscess in there. He injected some lidocaine around my incision and it burned like H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS!!!!

With Mel sitting next to me, the good doctor took a scalpel and cut open my incision. He got nothing. Then he said, “Just to humor myself and make sure I don’t miss anything, I am going to try to aspirate deeper to see what I get.”

Then he stuck a big A$$ needle in my belly (OUWIE!!!!) and he poked around until he said, “FOUND IT!” He extracted a bunch of puss. I know TMI, but it gets even better!

So, then he says that the abscess is very deep and he will have to cut deeply into my stomach fat to release the puss. He said that is the only way to heal it because there is very little blood supply in fat tissue to rid the body of infection. He injected more lidocaine which stung like H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS AGAIN. Then he cut into my stomach. Now, remember, I was WIDE AWAKE!!!! I had nothing but the lidocaine! He might as well have spit on my stomach. It would have been as effective as the lidocaine!

I grabbed Mel’s hand as he cut deeper and deeper. Then I smelled it. GROSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was the most vile and disgusting thing I have ever smelled in my life! Mel said that even with his lousy sense of smell, he thought it was disgusting! I couldn’t watch but I felt his every move. Mel told me later that the doctor stuck his entire finger into the abscess and wriggled it around to make sure it was completely open! Then he pushed and pushed to make sure he got it all out. Mel said he took about a CUP of that disgusting puss out of the abscess!

After that he flushed it with three or four HUGE syringes of saline solution. Then he took a cotton swab and reamed it around in there. It hurt so much, I involuntarily hit his arm! Thank GOD he was not holding a scalpel! I had no control over that reflex at all! I grabbed Mel’s hand with my right hand and my shirt with my left so I wouldn’t hit him again. I told him I hated him. He just said, “I know, but you will love me tomorrow because you will feel so much better.” I doubted that!

THEN!!!!!! He packed the HUGE hole in my gut with cotton gauze!!! He said it needed to stay open. IT HURT!!!! He went on to explain that I should remove the cotton packing in the morning. Then he said to take a handheld shower and blast the hole to keep it flushed and open and oh, “If you can,” he went on to say, “take your finger and stick it in the incision to opened it up.” WTF?????

I replied, “THAT AIN’T HAPPENING!” I could maybe do the flushing but ain’t no fingers going in the belly abscess hole!

I turned to Mel and said, “This is the most romantic anniversary we have ever had.” When the doctor left I said, “Didn’t that make you want to jump my bones?” We laughed. I STUNK! IT WAS DISGUSTING! Poor Mel, what an anniversary. Thirty-nine years together but this will be one of the most memorable anniversaries ever and even after all those years, Mel still laughs at my stupid and inappropriate jokes

The doctor explained that the abscess was in the fat and far from the muscle. I said, “Well, good thing I am fat huh.” The doctor said, “I have been around long enough to know not to comment on that.” We all laughed. It hurt.

He covered the cavern in my stomach with a large pad and told me to lie there for a few minutes until his assistant came in.

She came in and apologized for dismissing my fears the day before. I said not to worry. The torture was done and hopefully, the worst was behind me.

Finally I was allowed to sit up and a gush of icky, stinky stuff (mostly saline) came gushing out. OK MORE TMI?


Mel and I walked to the Stinkmobile. He opened the door for me and I climbed in slowly, still holding my swollen and very sore belly up with my hands.

After that we went out to eat. I am sure I stunk out the whole place but really didn’t care much.

It was quite a day. I do feel better now but my stomach hurts like H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS!

I smell like a pig farm.

I hope tomorrow is better.


  1. Beautiful bodies are overrated! Take care and if you need a hit woman for the nurse that ignored your pleas, let me know…I know a guy!

  2. Oh Helen, what an experience for you. And what a testament to Mel’s devotion to be by your side, and holding your hand! I’m looking forward to a little blog about “The 31 smells of Helen King”. (If you’re only up to 20 or so, I’m sure there will be more 😘). I’ve had some experience with very similar wound care. Unpleasant. I’m a terrible nurse, I can do it, but my knees tremble. Did your Dr. not inform you that there are people out there that will come to your home and assist you with wound care?
    Thinking of you daily and wishing you better days ahead.

    • Thanks Jill. He never said a word about somebody helping me :(. I am managing. Mel offered to do it but I respectfully declined LOL He has the finesse of Lenny from The Grapes of Wrath!

  3. Omg I hope you feel better today Helen.

  4. Thank goodness, I thought maybe you were pregnant!

    • OK, now THAT would be WAY worse than what we had gone through in the past year or so!!!!

  5. Hope you’re feeling better today. Hugs to you.

  6. Yikes, Helen!!! get better…..

  7. Well Helen – No “Holy Crap’s” from me …or any I’m sorry you’ve been having it so tough…..BUT, I just had to tell that, as happens frequently with your posts, that I laughed like hell to hear you tell your story in your own inimitable way!! Who would have ever known the lady with the “poodle” I met so long ago was such a comedienne and all in the midst of an incredibly “Holy Crap” year — Oops! Oh well, I meant well :0) Need anything – let me know and I’ll be there!! Oh yeah – Happy Anniversary!!!! One to never be forgotten, but knowing next year’s will be better!


    • Thank you Craig. I am glad you laughed. That is why I write 🙂

  8. Dear Helen, What a terrible experience. I am so sorry you have to deal with all that. I know a bit about what you are going through. My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer stage 3 in April 2005, and the doctor who did his colonoscopy had no empathy – he called me into a hallway and said, “Your husband has cancer and it’s really bad!” My husband found out when he overheard a nurse tell someone else he had cancer. Luckily I had insisted he have more tests. Doctors like his doctor kill people with their negligence. Before my husband’s surgery he wanted a terrier that didn’t shed. Who knows why as he wasn’t a dog person, but I found an IT (Irish Terrier) puppy and she stayed with him constantly from the age of 8 weeks until he was finished with his chemo. We both work, and when my husband, a lawyer and an ex Catholic – he has hilarious stories from his Catholic school days, went back to work the little IT was lonesome so I purchased a standard poodle for her. Now she has two males to love and protect her. The IT doesn’t travel well so she keeps my husband company when I’m at trials. When I call at night he will say, ” As we speak she has her head on your pillow.” Dogs are wonderful. We wish you a speedy recovery. Kay & Pat Acres, Max, the Standard Poodle, and Bridee, the IT.

    • Thank you for sharing that great story! Here’s hoping for lots of great things for you!

  9. Hi Mel & Helen, Man, you guys are definitely having more than your fair share of crap ! Believe me, I know the feeling ! Hang in there, Helen . . . hopefully, things will calm down for you guys ! Damn ! Sucks ! Ron

    • Thanks Ron. A rough time for many Kings.

  10. Gee, how scary! It should heal up pretty fast now. Leave it to Mel to tell you all the play by play details!

    • Mel didn’t bat an eye at all the gross stuff going on!

  11. I think they should have given you a little conscious sedation to clean that out. You shouldn’t have to hurt like that. I hope the doctor is right and you feel a whole lot better tomorrow.

    • He should have! I feel better today but the flushing is gross.

  12. SCORE!!! May you win in double overtime or a shoot out, Helen! Rest well, stay horizontal, and maybe sleep on a Wash n Zip while you drain! Oh, and you might wanna wear a funnel to make sure it stays open! TMI…Seriously, though, Helen, You are so brave!!! I hope you can rest well tonight, and feel better in the morning.

  13. Sending you a big hug. Sounds like a lousy day. A Holy Crap kinda day.

  14. Holy crap Helen, not fair having to go through this now. So glad the Doctor was able to figure out what was going on, hope you continue to feel better.

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