Legs almost healed now…

This is my right leg and foot.

Leg on the mend  Click pic to view full size, Back button to return.

Everything you can see, except the small, reddish, slightly-indented areas just above the ankle (still swollen), can be ignored. Those tiny, and above all, clean lesions are all that remains of the suppurating, stinking, horror-show that has plagued me for most of this year. The rest of what you can see, though it looks horrible, is simply dead skin in various stages, and will soon be gone. As you can see, it fizzles out in the bottom left corner, whereas only a couple of weeks ago it extended almost to my knee.

As for my left leg, that’s fully healed and rapidly reverting to normal.

Perversely – and because lymphoedema is incurable – I still have a fair amount of pain, but even that is a shadow of its former self.

As I’ve said elsewhere, there has been a major disagreement with the nurses, who wanted to get me back into compression when it was obvious that the course of action recommended by APH was getting the job done (and previously, compression had done considerable damage, so I had no interest in it).

I put my foot down, insisted on doing what APH suggested, and the results – which no-one in their right mind can argue with – speak for themselves.

There is still a bone of contention. The nurses say that now I’m healing the dressings should be left as long as possible between changes – I say that’s a recipe for infection. For some reason I haven’t seen any of my regular nurses for some time, mostly getting bank staff when I really need to talk to the senior nurses about this.

However, since that’s apparently not going to happen, I’ve made an executive decision – my dressings will be changed every other day.

I’ve tried it their way and, after 4 days the dressing stuck to the wounds so viciously, and with such pain that I was convinced my leg was re-infected until I removed it today and found it was welded to my flesh. Pried painfully off, the wounds are clean, but I don’t believe what I’m being told, that removing such tightly stuck dressings does less damage than removing them when only slightly stuck after two days (nor do I think that soaking them off is helpful as it keeps the wounds wet when I need them to dry out), so I’m going with the latter even if I have to do it myself.

I’ve also found a small stock of the silver dressings recommended by APH , which I’ve stashed away in case I do get re-infected. It’s probably unlikely, but not impossible. The nurses don’t approve but guess what – I don’t care. My leg, my choice.

And if I don’t see a senior nurse this week, someone is going to get their arse in a sling. The auxiliary nurses do most of the work, but I’m told that I (and everyone else too), should be overseen by a fully qualified nurse once a week, and that simply isn’t happening.

And that, boys and girls, is not bloody good enough.

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5 thoughts on “Legs almost healed now…

  1. i am at the moment being attended by district nurses for a wound on my right arm after walking into the petgate (bought to keep visitors safe from my dog but obviously not safe for me,) so its been found a new home with someone whose skin isnt so thin that it tears so easily I have scars galore on my arms due to this. btw i actually walked into (caught my arm) on the small half inch protrusion that was smooth coated, part of the fastener that another part slides over to fasten the gate..i was half asleep having got up to go to the loo……… what i find weird and in my eyes unacceptable, as an ex nurse, is the tendency to use cold running water to cleanse wounds nowadays. seems all the Asepsis .barrier nursing etc we were taught has gone out of the window. they DO however wash their hands before and after doing the dressing. they were leaving it a week before changing it but this week ive got my favourite nurse and she knows me and my skin having dealt with a number of these injuries over the past 7 years. she came monday and is coming again on thursday.ok its still not daily or every other day. but as it is healing i wont grumble about that. but how come cold running water straight from tap into a sterilised dish is the norm now? its laughable. putting something unsterilised into a sterile container. you just dont do that. what a waste of money etc bothring to sterilse those dressing packs if they are going to do that.

    • District Nurses are supposed to carry either single use plastic containers, or multi-use aerosol cans of normal saline solution for wound washing, though for bigger jobs, like soaking my legs, they also use tap water – hot – which should be sterile, mixed with cold which, as it’s safe to drink should be fine. The big risk is actually the hot water supply – if the boiler falls below the minimum temperature required (60 degrees C at the tap, if memory serves), which it does every evening here, it can become infectious very quickly, esp with the likes of Legionnaire’s Disease, though that risk is greater with showers than taps.

      I’m getting up early in the morning and changing my own dressing as it’s getting painful again. Can’t see anything wrong, but I have some silver-impregnated dressings that the hospital recommended, so I’ll use one of those. Then, if the nurses do deign to phone, or turn up, they can sod off.

      They’re treating the guy upstairs the same way – as soon as he started to improve, they cut down on his visits and, like me, he now seems to be getting worse again. That’s happened to me several times – it is NOT going to be allowed to happen again. As far as I’m concerned, when the condition begins to improve, it should be treated as intensively as necessary to maintain the improvement and move it forward – not leave it to its own devices.

      In my view, and notwithstanding that, they are far too casual when it comes to infection control. Certainly, when I told them I had MRSA nobody was remotely concerned. Mind you, they probably gave it to me in the first place!

      • should think its a foregone conclusion that you got the MRSA from them or someone in same ward.
        as for me, its also a foregone conclusion that if it dont feel right i or my daughter changes it (or my wayward nephew if he should happen to call. as a dialysis patient he knows more than me on this subject).
        they are cheeky sods though.they use my dressings now if they get half a chance.next time i see my Dr i will be asking him for mepore (not piffling little ones) and inodine gauze (which will be just after Xmas. hes given me a months supply of ferusomide 40mg on the proviso i have a blood test done to see how much salt is in my blood.as i rarely use salt ,never have except usually on fish n chips. lettuce ,tomatoes. occasionally on a dinner (as in on the veggies (as these days salt not added to veg in cooking.) and i always check salt,fat.sugars. etc anyway.

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