This is my right leg and foot.
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.