My big problem, with the nurses coming only twice a week now, is that the dressings weld themselves to the lesions so tightly that, when they are removed, the healing process is massively disrupted. Even soaking in warm water isn’t a total solution (no pun intended).
However, when I bought my own supply of Aquacel Ag dressings, I finally got a copy of the Patient Information Leaflet.
The PIL clearly states that when wounds are drying out, as mine are, applying the dressing wet, using Normal Saline solution, is appropriate. Which poses a question – why aren’t the nurses doing this? Don’t they know about it? Don’t they care? Damn sure it’s one or the other.
Yesterday, in pretty serious pain, I had a look at the dressing and, true enough, blood – just a little, it doesn’t take much – had welded it to my flesh and soaking it off would have opened up the wound as it always does.
And despite my telling the nurses repeatedly to apply the absorbent pad so it’s loose at the ankle, last time it was way too tight and has chafed the ankle bone. You know, I really should not have to ride herd on every fucking aspect of this. I should be able to say, do it thus, and so, and it’ll be done. Not the case though.
So I wetted the dressing in situ, covered it with a piece of unused plastic bag (the inside of which is close to sterile from the heat of manufacture), replaced the absorbent pad. And waited.
This morning – I’m in the middle of it now, in fact – the dressing had turned to gel (normal when it’s wet), and after immersing in a bucket of warm water, floated free, leaving the lesions clean and untraumatised – and clearly healing, as you can see.
I think this might actually be more effective than applying a wet dressing daily, as it allows maximum time for healing undisturbed, with minimum disruption when removed
So in future, the day before the dressing is due to be changed, I’ll wet it, cover it with plastic then, the next day, it’ll come off with no grief at all.
It can then be washed with the antibacterial solution, and the eczema ointment applied (working well, by the way), both by me. Then the nurses can come and re-dress it while telling me what a great job they’re doing when (for months now), I’ve done about 80% of what needs to be done! Ah well!
Today, though, I’ll apply a wet dressing, as it’s due to be changed tomorrow.