well i was right about bursting open anytime i had 2 small holes open up tonight and begin draining ugh. just very upset and frustrating.
I have to preface this with the comment that what I am about to say is just my personal opinion (you asked for opinion, so here it is : ) )...from the things I have read in a lot of the posts here, I think that a lot of the women would disagree with me. I also doubt that most medical professionals would agree. That said, what has worked best for me is letting the abscesses open on their own (yes, it is painful while they grow until they burst open). Then I just keep the area clean. I use the clay. I don't think it matters what brand, it is just calcium bentonite clay. I have also used green clay powder - that's exactly what it was called. You can find both at health food stores. Usually the staff is pretty knowledgable, so you could ask someone if you can't find it. I think the green clay powder is more soothing than the calcium bentonite for putting directly in a wound, but either will work. Just mix the clay into a paste with water and put it directly on the wound. During times when I have an open abscess, I put a wet washcloth on top of the wound covered with clay paste, then cover that with a heating pad, then just let it be warm and soak for 20 min to half an hour. Then I take the washcloth and heating pad off and let it all dry for a little while - maybe 10-15 more min. Once it is dry I rinse it all off and let it be. Other than just keeping the area clean, and covering with tissue or gauze, I don't do anything else for it. I don't take any medications or antibiotics. I don't put any ointments on it. I just leave it alone.
Like I said, this is all just my opinion. I know that some of the women have had a good outcome from having the abscesses drained. I think draining would help with the pain a lot. Initially, there is definitely more scarring with allowing an abscess to open on it's own. My biggest abscess left a HUGE scar - larger than a golf ball, and about an inch deep of just complete mush - of damaged tissue. That one burst open in January. It is amazing, though...all of that has healed up pretty good. It is slightly discolored compared to the rest of my breast tissue, but it is soft, normal breast tissue now. It isn't even tough like scar tissue normally is. The lumps that I have now are in a completely different area of my breast, and the areas where I have had abscesses previously is pretty nice tissue now.
Obviously, none of us know very much about this disease...and it seems to have a lot of variables for each person, not to mention from woman to woman. So...I can't say for sure why I have had improvement, or what has caused any part of this. I CAN say that I have opinions about what has helped or not helped me...
Things that I think made my condition worse: not sleeping enough, having wounds from the biopsies, taking antibiotics. I wish that I had never had any biopsies or tried the antibiotics. I understand why both were necessary steps in the progression of treatment, but, hindsight being 20/20 and all, if I could do it again, I would skip those steps. Maybe also using tea tree oil shampoo.
Things that I think have helped: Eating better, sleeping a LOT, not allowing any more punctures, surgery, etc., taking probiotics, taking Vitamin D, using the clay. Just allowing my body to heal on it's own.
I think that it is natural for us to feel betrayed by our own bodies. I certainly do. If this is truly an autoimmune disease, it IS kind of like our bodies have betrayed us. So, it is easy to feel like we need to do something to FIX this problem, and to doubt that our bodies will be able to fix it without help. I have also been amazed, though, at my body's ability to heal itself. So I think that being kind to my body, doing healthy things, keeping a good outlook, and then trying to have some confidence in my body's ability to heal...those are all things that have been helpful.
I can't say what will work for any of you. I wish I knew, because if I did, I would spare you all what you are going through. I know that having all of you to talk with, and being able to read what works for you helps me. So maybe some of my thoughts will help you.
Red, I am so sorry that you have wounds that are draining right now : ( I know that it is so upsetting and frustrating... AND scary! I wish I could make it better.
Sorry to hear you have been struggling lately.
I am pro having draining done in a sterile environment, by needle only.
But I did not have financial considerations for these procedures as I am in Canada,
I also believe, as Jennifer has stated, we are all different, our disease states and stages are all different, and so there is no one optimal treatment.
I don't think you can heal working 40 hours a week, I tried - terrible, had to shut down every other aspect of my life just to survive, not LIVE, survive.
I am glad you have family support.
Thank you for the advice and kind words.
I know i should be kinder to my body especially with working so much and i try not to overdo it but i have to work. I am very lucky to have my parents help though.
Your support means the world to me though. My attitude is much better today despite the pain and mess but I know being upset wont make it better so i am trying to be optimistic that maybe after it drains this may be the last one for a lil while.
Hi. I wear the clay almost all the time, night and day. I buy from www.specialclay.com. Click "healing clays." I buy the 5 pound bag of calcium bentonite clay for 30 bucks. It lasts forever. I mix 2 parts water with one part clay in a plastic cup with a plastic knife. I spread it on a 4x4 gauze sponge and press against the breast, covering it quickly with a sports bra. I can leave on for six hours or even more and it won't dry. It shouldn't dry. It just hardens slightly. It can irritate the skin a bit if the edges of the poultice start to dry. I used to need to wear the clay all the time. Now I can go for a day without wearing it and without pain. My three doctors are amazed at my improvement. My rheumatologist recently threw up his hands and said: well, I am not sure you need me at this point!
Sometimes I add to the mixture ginger and curcumin and I also take these orally (in addition to quite a lot of other supplements).
I have currently two remaining areas of concern on the GM breast, One is an indented scar from my last abscess. When I started using the clay, it was raised and there would always be a little drainage into the clay. Now there is no drainage. The other area is the original hard cyst that was born in the very beginning of my disease (summer 2009) and never grew into a fluid-filled cyst. I sometimes wonder if that one will ever go away.
I read that farmers who have cows with mastitis do pretty much the same thing as I am doing. They leave the clay on for hours, changing the clay before it starts to harden.
If you decide to try this, good luck! I think it is very low risk and it is cheap.