Despite dire prognostications from the staff nurse (I use that term as the post seems to be analogous to that in a hospital – I don’t know if it’s the correct title for a community nurse), that my lesions will never heal without compression, the evidence – in a mere four days – speaks for itself. The swelling continues to diminish, too – my right foot is now almost as small as my left. A few more days, and with appropriate wound protection, and socks, I might just be able to wear boots again.
This is the last pic, from last Thursday:-
And this is today’s:-
As you can see, the lesions have filled in and scabbed over. The dressing, rather than the blood-soaked mess it was last time, had just two small blood spots, as you can see:-
I might be pushing my luck saying this, but what the hell – I was right – it can be healed without the pain, the risk of infection, and massive inconvenience of compression! Did the staff nurse want to see this apparent miracle? No. She did bring me some Aquacel Ag dressings, though – 9 of them.
Anyway, I have a box of my own, so this week I’m going to change it every day. I’m convinced that will be beneficial.
The official line is that changing it every day disrupts the healing process (but as they didn’t believe I was going to heal anyway, there was nothing to lose, surely?), while my view is that changing every day, or even every other day, will stop it sticking so firmly, which is what does the damage. We’ll see.
Today, to remove the stuck dressing without damaging the scabs, I used a sterilised soft plastic wound wash ampoule as a squeegee, so the dressing wasn’t pulled off, which would have dislodged the scabs, but gently scraped off sideways. It still loosened the scabs a little on one edge, but left them in place with no bleeding.
It’s a method I devised while in APH, when faced with removing the first Aquacel Ag dressing, a huge one, from knee to ankle, that had been on for a week and was about as firmly stuck as it was possible to be (complicated by the fact that, when soaked to aid removal, these dressings turn to gel, so you can’t get a grip). Anyway, now, as then, it worked brilliantly, and as close to painlessly as I could reasonably expect.
Did I share this with the nurses? No. Why? Because they didn’t think of it, so it couldn’t possibly work! Yes, I know that seems cynical, but I also know, from experience, what their reaction would be.
If you fancy trying that, sterilise the ampoule with antibacterial gel before use, rinse well under the cold tap (you don’t want alcohol gel in a wound!), and if you can’t immerse the wound in warm water, at least keep it very wet.
Finally, as the lesions are drying out, the time has come to do things by the book, and apply the Aquacel Ag dressings wet (moistened with normal saline solution), covered by an impermeable membrane so they stay wet. This prevents sticking, which will otherwise get worse as things get drier. And what do you think the chances are of the nurses going along with this?
Yep, that’s what I thought too!