Saturday, January 28, 2006

Back Home Again

Well, I now have my vacuum dressing in place after an interesting trip to hospital.
After the ambulance didn't appear on Monday it was arranged for early on Tuesday when, fortunately, it turned up. I arrived on the Ward at a busy time and it took a while to get organised by which time the Consultant was on the phone from Theatre wondering where I was! I was rushed down to theatre and given a general anaesthetic so they could scrub the wound clean before fitting the dressing.
I thought a before and after view might be interesting.

When I awoke I found myself attached to a small plastic brick which makes some very unpleasant noises all the time. Well, no more trips to the library for me - Sshh! In order to get an airtight seal they have had to apply a lot of tape to my leg which impinges on about 10 of my pin sites (with 28 sites there are plenty to go around). Since the dressing requires changing every week it looks like I will need a good long book to read while they apply the tape. I suspect that I get a free leg-wax into the bargain.
After a decent nights sleep I was told by the Dr's that I could go home. Sadly there appears to be an ambulance shortage and they couldn't find one to take me home on Wednesday. Thursday arrived and still no ambulance. I was about to get a friend to come and spring me from my jail cell but following discussions with the ward sister and the occupational therapist we decided that I could go home by medicar. I think that has now set a precedent as I now have a car booked to take me back for the dressing clinic on Monday morning.
I have become accustomed to the noise of the suction when I am sleeping, but it irritates the heck out of me when I am listening to quiet music or speech on the radio. It is a pain to carry around and the tube between the pump and my leg must be 8 foot long. If I trip over the tube and break another bone I shall be very unhappy.
That said, I am much happier with this set up than the open wound leaking blood when I walk. It also protects the wound and promotes healing so infection risks are reduced and that has to be good. Apparantly most of the wound was forming new skin and it was only a small hole that was still open so that too is positive.
As for the heel pain, the antibiotics seem to be working and I am pretty much back to normal levels of discomfort now.

6:30 pm Saturday - Vacuum machine broken "Internal Device Error".
Suppliers suggest removal of sponge dressing and return of unit for fixing. They will supply a replacement, hopefully for Monday.
District nurses (Chris and Diane) hack off the sealing film around the wound site, and replace sponge with another temporary dressing - good photo-op! They leave just after midnight.

Having removed the black foam the main wound looks reasonably OK and the hole which goes down to the bone is packed with white foam which the hospital (night staff nurse on the ward where I spent by internment) suggests we leave in place (Thank You!)
District nurse (Marilyn) comes Sunday morning to check. There has been some leakage so she adds a bit more dressing.
Here's hoping that the new unit makes it to Sheffield for Monday so I can be plugged in again.


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