Thursday, January 20, 2011
The hose once it was connected to the sponge which was taped to me, was probably about 7 feet long. Long enough for me to lay the pack on the floor and give my shoulder a break while I moved around a room. Kinda weird being tethered to something 24/7.
The sponge was 3.3cm deep. My wound was 3 cm deep, so it fit perfectly inside.
12.5cm wide. My wound started out at 10cm wide. My nurse had to shave very little off the sides at first, but as it shrunk she would cut more and more off. That was probably the most fun to watch each time she visited.
18cm long. My wound was exactly 18 cm when they first cut it away.
This is the canister that attached to the side of the vac machine. The sponge was constantly sucking drainage (I couldn't really feel it, thank goodness!) which would collect in here. Yeah, kinda yucky. We would put a new canister on almost every time I had a sponge change (3 times a week).
This is the sponge, "tape" (there's a more official name for the tape, but I don't know how to spell it!), and disk with the hose. The sponge would be cut down to fit inside my wound, then taped down, yes, directly onto my skin...that's a lot of tape! Then my nurse would cut a very small hole through the tape on the top of the sponge and the disc was placed over the hole and taped down. This was where the suction entrance was. Then the machine was turned on, which was usually pretty painful. The sponge would shrink and I would be all set until the next vac change. I don't really miss this at all.:)
Sorry, but the pics loaded at the start of my post and I couldn't figure out for the life of me how to move it all around so here's the actual post:
Yes, that's how SMALL my wound is!
I am just in AWE of the human body. And even more, I'm in AWE of our Creator! It's just amazing to have witnessed the change in my body over the last 2 months. No wait, the last 10 months. First, being pregnant is always a reminder of how beautiful life and our bodies really are. How life can exist and grow inside of us, all from such small beginnings. We definitely have an almighty and creative God! Then, after the infections and presence of my wound, how the body has the ability to heal itself in just a matter of time. Now, even though I credit God with the healing of my body (thank you Lord!), I also give huge props to the medical community! Without the knowledge of doctors and nurses and all the other supportive staff out there, I may not be here today. Seriously. I don't say that lightly, but seriously. Even to this day, I sometimes think that I didn't understand the seriousness of the situation. If we talk about it, Kevin just looks at me like, "You still don't get it." I do believe that they kept things from me, and that's OK. I also believe that I was sick, I just down right didn't feel well, and that made things cloudy enough that I didn't understand...again, that's OK. That's where your prayers took over. When Kevin sat in the waiting room as I went through those 4 surgeries, he prayed, but he knew that you were praying too, and by that, we are blessed. What a gift to be part of the family of God! I know...repeat! But I just can't say it enough! I don't know what we would have done if we didn't have you walking beside us, so again, THANK YOU!
Back to the medical community. Whoever thought of a wound vac...another big THANK YOU! As my nurse reminded me 3 days a week, if I had to have this wound dressed with wet to dry dressings (basically damp gauze packed in the wound and then covered with loads of gauze and pads) I would be down a LOT longer than I have been, months, maybe even the rest of the school year, waiting for this wound to shrink. But because of the vac, it was 2 months today since my wound was first cut away, and tomorrow will be 2 months since the vac was put on. I wore it for 40 days and once it came off, my skin has just continued to fill in almost on a visibly daily basis. There have been days that I take the dressing off in the morning and then again at night and think, "Wow! It's smaller tonight than it was this morning!"
It's not completely filled in yet, and I'm not sure how much longer it will be until it does. It really doesn't have much further to go though. When I saw Dr. Hodgson on the 4th, he told me it would be almost closed in 3-4 weeks. Well, it's almost 3 weeks and he was right! I suppose I should trust the wound doctor whose job is specifically to care for wounds. I go back to see him on Tuesday, the 25th, to see what he thinks of it's progress. My energy level is definitely coming back, and I can do basically all of my activities around the house. I can still tell when I do too much though. I can't do too much bending and crazy moving around without feeling a little tender and sore in my wound area, and it may be like that for a while. It's all new tissue and skin and I suppose it will need some time to "toughen up". Just another thing to ask the doc.
I'm including some pics of some pieces of my vac. Of course when I was in the moment of having it on, I never thought of taking a picture of the whole thing. As soon as the vac was ordered to be off, I had to pack it up and send it back to the company the next week. But I did have some opened boxes of the canister that held the drainage and one last sponge pack, so I thought I would share what those pieces looked like to give you an idea of how this thing worked. I'm definitely going to spare you pictures of what my wound itself looked and looks like now. But honestly, if you're interested and have a strong stomach, I don't mind sharing. It's really an amazing transformation to see, but definitely not a pretty one.:)
Posted by Rosencrans Family at 6:22 PM