A week ago was a pivotal point in this healing journey I'm on. I had another visit with
Dr. Hodgson in GR at the wound clinic. I had my vac off for the weekend and it felt so good to have the freedom to sit down, stand up, walk around my house, go places WITHOUT carrying around my black purse and 5 foot hose. It was AMAZING to not have to get out of bed, unplug the bag (had to be charged at bedtime each night), throw the bag over my shoulder, then the hose in order to get out of my room to get Keaton...then everything backwards in order to get back in bed. It's just amazing how many things I took for granted when hindered with this bag, but without it my healing would have taken so much longer and I knew that I was making good headway...so on to my visit.
I was fully prepared Tuesday to take all of my vac essentials with me to the doctor. I was expecting to have it back on, but Dr. H had other things to say. When he came in my room, he commented on how great it looked, asked me how it went over the weekend, I told him a few things that I wondered about, and he answered my questions. Then he poked and pushed around it a little, measured it, and said, "Well, I think it's time for you to send it back." WHAT?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I started to cry and said, exactly that, "Are you serious?" He put his hand on my arm and said, "Yes." Yipee!! The tissue has come up and filled in so that it's now flush with my skin, and all that it has left to do is for the skin to come together and voila...healed! Now at that point, he still measured it to be 3.5x12.5x.1. This is still a good sized wound, but because it was no longer deep, the vac had no purpose anymore. Wow. The end is now in site! He then proceeded to tell me that in the next 3-4 weeks, it should be almost completely closed. Seriously? I suppose I shouldn't doubt the wound man because he told me 3 weeks before that, that I would possibly have my vac off in 3 weeks...and he was right. Again, I say wow.
Now today, how big is it? I'm not 100% sure. My nurse is still coming, but now only twice a week and she measures it on Thursday. Last Thursday she said it was 2.5x12.5. So it continues to shrink, and it's shrinking more north and south, rather than east to west (sorry, but it's the best way for me to describe it!). She also told me Thursday, after she took the dressing off, that it's so cute! Ha! Seriously, not cute, BUT it's definitely smaller and I suppose to a nurse who sees a lot of wounds, she definitely has earned the right to call them cute!:) I just love her!:) Now I'm doing my own dressings twice a day. I have to rinse it, either in the shower or with a saline solution, then put a healing gel over the tissue, then put 4x4 sterile gauze pads over it and then an abdominal pad taped down over those. So it's pretty padded, yet if it gets bumped, like by one of my kids, I can definitely tell.
So here I am, still home, not allowed to work just yet due to the nature of my job, but I do have the freedom to drive and do light work as I'm able. For the most part I feel great. The pain is next to nothing, except for the occasional tenderness and stinging (and getting bumped), but I remember that I still have a 5 inch open wound on my stomach that's to be expected. If I do too much, I feel achy at night, almost like I have the flu, and just make sure that I lay down extra early.
I just have to say that I am so thankful for such an amazing husband. Kevin comes home from work, usually 11 hours that he's put in, then he pretty much takes over at home so that I can take it easy. He stays up late with Keaton (if he's up late), so that I can get to bed and get a little rest, then he heads to bed once Keaton seems settled in enough. I'm getting up in the middle of the night with Keaton, which is just fine because Kevin needs to rest too and I'm able to get a nap in if I really feel like I need it while the girls are at school and the sitter. Kevin, you are an amazing husband and daddy! I thank God every day for bringing us together. You are a constant reminder to me that God is in control and his will is perfect!
As far as when will this all be finished? Well, that's still to be determined. I see Dr. H again on January 25, but he commented that I could be ready to go back to school by the beginning of February. I'm just enjoying my time home with my son, watching him grow and change, while taking it easy and taking care of myself. I do look forward to going back to school to see my kids and school family too. Again, I just can't imagine how I could have gone through this without the support and prayers of so many people. What a gift to be part of the family of God. When we give each other our joys and burdens we can rejoice and lift each other up to our Maker. What can be better than that? Thank you for continuing on in this journey with us. We couldn't be happier to be nearing the end. Blessings!