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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Removed My Own Stitches

without Lidocaine
and almost passed out in the process.

I had five effing knots to remove altogether, which was imo five too many. Looked for "how to remove surgical stitches" on Youtube but had no luck. Used google and came up with some instructions on WikiHow. A much better reference would have been this one, which I stumbled upon only after the whole bloody ordeal.

Using a pair of scissors and a tweezer cleaned with alcohol, I snipped off the head of the knots as close to the skin as possible. The first one was difficult, it being anchored at two places. Was horrified to find that the scissors were blunt, so had to sorta saw my way through along the blades. Fresh blood oozed from a little gape. Felt sick.

Second one was a piece of cake. The thread came off easily, but I was beginning to feel pain and faint-hearted. Went to take Ponstan and took a break by lying flat on the bed to wait for the lightheadedness to pass. The pain-killer was taking effect, which was good. Went to clean up the bloody smear from the first knot coz I think it was getting gruesome. Crawled back to bed.

A minute later I was back at it, this time I decided to start from the other end. That end was well crusted - scabs are a good sign of healing. Indeed, the third one came out beautifully at one gentle tug. Fourth one I almost lost the suture after cutting off its head. Had to dig around the flesh a bit, trying to catch the stray strand while muttering "shit oh shit how am I gonna explain this to my doctor". Of course I got it out in the end.

Okay last one... I just went for it. Snip snip... pull. DONE!!! I go to the bathroom, irrigate the site with lots of saline water and hope that it won't get infected. Dried it with cotton and sealed it with a surgical plaster. Heaved a great sigh of relief then proceeded to retch into the toilet bowl. Cat was concerned, stood on hindlegs and peered into the toilet bowl. The nausea passed after a few dry heaves. Felt like a complete wuss. It's confirmed then... I would have made a lousy clinician.

And then it occured to me that today was only Day 9 since the biopsy. Doc had said to wait for 10 days before removing the stitches coz the wound was deep and she wanted to make sure it had time to close. So. Hm. It seems that I jumped the gun a bit. This experience was interesting and loads of fun though (in retrospect). My only regret was that I did not have antibiotic cream to cover the suture holes. Will let you know if I turn septic in a few days.

p/s Am too physically and mentally drained to post pictures. Not that I have any to show anyway.... I had both hands full during the entire time.

p/p/s OF COURSE you should NOT try this at home. I am a deviant patient, please don't follow my example.


Chiat Oon said...

deviant patient?? u're just IMpatient!!

Kutu Cat said...

Yeeeaaah... that too. :P