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granulomatous mastitis User Group
1st abscess burst
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This group is intended as a meeting place and forum for those who have been diagnosed with granulomatous mastitis ('GM') or idiopathic granulomatous mastitis ('IGM'). I think one of the greatest challenges with this disease is its rarity and the associated lack of understanding in the medical community. But we can share here - and hopefully make the healing process a little easier for each other.

Founded by JoJo45 on January 17, 2010
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1st abscess burst

Hi ladies I am freaking out. I was cooking breakfast this morning for my son when I suddenly noticed blood only shirt. I have had severe pain and trouble sleeping for a few days now and just had 3 places drained only 2 weeks ago. My doc and I had discussed the possibility of this happening since we have drained this one place for months now with not much success and the skin was very thin. I am now oozing thick bloody fluid and can't see my doc til later this afternoon because she is the OR all morning. I cleaned it and put gauze on it for now and some ice for the pain. I am so distraught and discouraged how did u deal with this? What should I expect ? Any tips for care and healing would be great. Thank you
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11 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh Red I'm feeling sorry you have to go through all this but I know its really scary seeing it burst open for the first time. I had my first on burst on its own while the shower and as you mentioned it was that thick clotty blood coming out ( sorry TMI). I was scared too but I called my doctor immediately as I didnt know what to do next. She asked me to clean ot with Betadine (antiseptic solution) which I kept handy ever since this abscess series. And then do the gauze dressing just like you did. Basically you just have to try and keep it infection free untill you see your doctor. I went to see her the next day and she cleaned everything out by expressing it (I still remember the pain while she was pressing I almost drove out some of her patients waiting outside bcoz of my oooo aaaaaass and ouch :)).
      Having said that please keep it clean and visit your surgeon or doctor for the next step incase you need any meds or pain killers or antibiotics. Btw you did a good job dressing it on your own :)) coz I faint everytime i clean my own wound :))) and then my poor 4 yr old daughter start running around the house untill I come back to my senses. Good luck and take care.. Hope you feel better soon dear.
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Avatar_f_tn
Sorry I forgot to mention she actually made a small cut there to drain out that thick clot because it wouldnt get aspirated with the fine needle.... Just been so many visits that i forgot why i screamt so much that day :)) it was that small scalpel cut she did . But many recommend not to do this cut business because of poor healing and scarring. But then for me it closed quickly without any anti biotics probably bcoz of my body. So you may expect this from your doctor too.. It will be your call eventually :) .. Tk care.
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1657910_tn?1302375661
Oh I am so sorry.  I hate it when they pop, but then it is almost a relief when they do because it helps take the pain away.  There is a lot of good info on here from other ladies about using pantiliners in your bra and non stick bandages for the leakage.  I like to "milk" mine to help express the fluid and assist with draining.  

I think I might be the odd one out, but I just handle mine on my own and just clean them and use antibiotic ointment.  I did learn though that if they are an open wound you really do need to go to the doctor to have them pack it and dress it.

Good luck, it will get easier as you go.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Red -

Sorry this happened - I still remembering waking up to a soaked T-shirt and just being horrified the first time this happened to me - and then the big hole in your breast and it is now all emptied out and draining pus...not nice - it does get easier after the first one as you know more what to expect...

My recommendations are take showers, not baths to avoid any material getting in to the wound.

DON'T use gauze - I have had it stuck in my wound - others too, and #^&**** to get that out.

I recommend non-stick wound bandages from the health store, but others have said breast-feeding pads are more economical and work great.  Same with period pads....

Wear a tight bra even to bed to keep the pressure on.

The most important is to keep clean and watch for signs of infection.

The intense pain a couple of days before was always my warning - at least like Mom says, it does give pain relief when it bursts.

There have been a few members who manage their abcesses on their own, they clean them and pack them and even lance them...not sure if that is recommended but I guess they just get tired off running back and forth when you are feeling so sick.

I fear infection too much to do this myself.

Sorry for the shock, hope you feel better and things improve for you soon.  Your breast sounds really active and painful now.

Jo
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1548207_tn?1303457780
I went to the doc this afternoon and she seems to think it my bodies way of getting the bad stuff out and this may be a good thing. The hole is pretty small about the size of a pen cap so no packing. She said to let it drain and just change the bandage twice a day and keep it clean. No antibiotics this time unless I develop a secondary infection. She did give me some pain meds thankfully. But I am on prednisone and methotrexate so she doesn't think it will really heal which doesn't make me feel very good. I have calmed a little from this morning but definitely a scary experience. I know its vanity but I hate what my boob has become and as a young unmarried mom I wonder what man will ever want to deal with this mess. It feels almost like an attack on my womanhood. Its just very discouraging. Sorry to ramble. Thank you for sharing your stories and for the tips I think I will be getting some breast pads tonight. I really appreciate u all its nice to have someone who realply knows what this disease is like.
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1548207_tn?1303457780
I went to the doc this afternoon and she seems to think it my bodies way of getting the bad stuff out and this may be a good thing. The hole is pretty small about the size of a pen cap so no packing. She said to let it drain and just change the bandage twice a day and keep it clean. No antibiotics this time unless I develop a secondary infection. She did give me some pain meds thankfully. But I am on prednisone and methotrexate so she doesn't think it will really heal which doesn't make me feel very good. I have calmed a little from this morning but definitely a scary experience. I know its vanity but I hate what my boob has become and as a young unmarried mom I wonder what man will ever want to deal with this mess. It feels almost like an attack on my womanhood. Its just very discouraging. Sorry to ramble. Thank you for sharing your stories and for the tips I think I will be getting some breast pads tonight. I really appreciate u all its nice to have someone who realply knows what this disease is like.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Red - glad you are feeling a bit better and were able to see the doctor.

I think one of the mysteries with GM is some women have little or no pain and others have it pretty bad.  I had pretty bad pain too.

Normally, when I had a spontaneous burst, it would stay open and drain for some weeks - I did not express it, just left it to do its thing.  Sometimes I would think - gee - no one has any idea what is going on with me, in my bra (other than good friends) - and what would they think?  I think because it is draining, and bloody and pus, it makes you feel unclean, like an outcast.  But lots of diseases have awful symptoms, we just don't think about it - that is how I look at it anyway.  It took me a long time to put my picture up here, to not be ashamed that I have this disease....that good, clean people get it.

I am single too and breasts are pretty feminine and sexual - I don't know but I have gone through this for 4 years now, and my perspective has slowly changed in that time.  I am still vain in many ways, but my breasts have become such agents of pain and suffering, that I don't look at them the same way anymore.  I have seen the scars of GM and of breast cancer and I think we all are just fierce warrior women and a real guy won't be scared away.  I wouldn't mind if a man I met was great but had scars from testicular cancer or something.  Lance Armstrong comes to mind. I feel just lucky to have my breasts...

Strength is sexy and we are all fighting this weird, screwed up disease with lots of courage and trying to make it easy on those around us - that is what it is about.

There are other women out here with draining  breasts - and scars - and maybe you can have some sort of reconstruction if things really bother you when this ends for you - which it will.

Thinking of you, Jo
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Avatar_f_tn
I freaked out after my incision opened up while driving home from work and had my whole shirt drenched in brown and red drainage. I went to the ER and was just told to keep a guaze over it and keep it really tight.

Now I pack and clean my own open wounds with gauze and have become comfortable doing it. I clean it twice a day with saline solution and pack it with gauze. Now that I'm taking probiotics and doing the anti inflammatory diet, I rarely have pain and my wound is closing, but I can feel and see another bump growing.
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Avatar_f_tn
Sorry I clean it with sodium chloride irrigation.
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Avatar_m_tn
I usually have relief after my abscess burst or are opened.  Ultrasound guided needle aspirations were so much cleaner and generally left no hole that had to be packed.   The first one that was incised was scarey as there was so much drainage.  They started to drain it at the hospital but, I guess it wasn't quite to a head because the dang thing decided to "burst" when I was returning to the hospital the next day for my second dose of IV antibitocs (I have since developed serious anaphlaxis(spelling), reactions to almost all antibiocs).   It ruined a perfectly good shirt too.  
   My wounds are now cleaned with aclyacidic acid (a vinagar solution), medihoney applied and packed with nugauze.
  
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1548207_tn?1303457780
Thanks ladies for all the advice and kind words. The draining has slowed and I got some breast pads because the tape from covering it was breaking me out and making the skin worse. I'm still having a lot of pain but I just seem to always have pain these days and unfortunately I'm about to start my cycle so that never helps. Mentally I'm feeling a bit better my breast doctor says I'm "grieving " my breast and my feeling are valid and normal so that is good to know I guess. Thank you again ladies for sharing and be so helpful.
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