Leg update – looking good . . .

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.

After wet dressing Feb 2 2014  As always click image to view full size, Back button to return.

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.

4 thoughts on “Leg update – looking good . . .

  1. Wow Ron – what a difference to a couple of months ago 🙂 Looking brilliant and hoping it stays that way for you.
    I know that it’s your work that’s done it, but the nurses will always take the credit whilst blaming you if it goes wrong!
    Once the legs are as good as they are going to get and don’t need dressing anymore, will you be able to get rid of the nurses for a good while? If so, we’ll all be glad to see the back of them due to the grief and the pain they have caused you!
    I know that your legs are always be susceptible but do you think there is a way to try and combat this occurring again, at least for a good couple of years or so? They really are going to have to be looked after from now on.
    Jay xx

    • Hi Jay,

      Better even than last Thursday! By then it had begun to eat into the flesh, and bleed – that’s been reversed simply by a splash of water. Can’t wait to see what the nurses’ response is to wet dressings – probably tell me I’m doing it wrong! Sod ’em – it’s working!

      Unfortunately there’s no way of stopping Lymphoedema recurring, but it should be possible, knowing what I know now, to stop it getting anywhere near as bad as it was. I hope so, anyway – I can’t go through that again.

      There’s another bonus with a wet dressing – much less pain. I’ve been back on Oramorph lately, but I don’t need it today (so far, anyway).

      I think I might join the Lymphoedema Support Network (http://www.lymphoedema.org/ ) in the hope that there’s more info available to members than is on their website (I had to check out US websites, for example, to find out just how serious lymphoedema is). The annoying thing is, I have to download a membership form and post it back with a cheque – how very last century!

      I don;t think I’ll ever get dispense with the nurses entirely – they don’t think so, anyway – even if it heals completely I think it’ll still need some degree of attention.

      We’ll see.


  2. Your last paragraph has jumped my suggestion! I was going to suggest that since you are having 100% success with your methods of getting the legs healing and staying healed, is there a chance you could stop the nurses and just get the practice to supply you with the dressings et al?

    Once you are back on your feet properly, you will enjoy the physiotheraputic effect of kicking the nurses up the arse and out the door.

    • That was my original plan, before I wrote to them, but I’m not always well enough so it wouldn’t work out long-term. Sometimes it’s a challenge just doing it twice a week.

      And I’ve still got to be civil to them as, inevitably, I’ll need them again at some point.

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