The new treatment for my leg is going well…

The new treatment for my leg is going well…

I know some of the following has already been said, but not everyone reads every post so some repetition is necessary for clarity.

As you can see from the following pics, my use of wet dressings over the weekend (Aquacel Ag plus sterile normal saline solution, as recommended in the PIL), is having a beneficial effect on my lesions. The first pic is last Monday’s, the other is from this morning, after a weekend of wet dressings.

Lesions in close up   After wet dressing, Feb 3 2014 Click images to view full size, Back button to return.

You’ve probably seen this pic from November which, by the turn of the year had come down to just a group of 4 small lesions. Two tiny ones, which have pretty much healed, and two larger ones, which are proving a little recalcitrant.

The big problem was that leaving the dressings in place for up to 4 days, caused them to stick so tightly that they couldn’t be removed, even after soaking in a bucket of warm water, without causing damage and, basically, stopping the healing process in its tracks. Even reversing it at times. I was going nowhere, despite trying to remain upbeat in my Leg Reports (and this is not just me gratuitously posting gross pictures – there are people who do actually care).

So, anyway, as I’ve said, I decided to go with the wet dressings, and the results have been impressive.

Today was a nurse day, and I was expecting resistance to my idea. The staff nurse, though she later introduced some unfounded objections, was good – in the face of the evidence of healing I would have expected no less.

She was accompanied by an auxiliary whom, in the past, I’ve described as too pushy by half, and as soon as I saw her come through the door I knew she’d be trouble. She’s one of those people who, in the face of someone else’s good idea, invariably wants to do something different. Today was no exception!

So I slapped her down** (metaphorically, despite the temptation). We were, I said, going with what I’d just spent 10 minutes describing, and she could see the results for her self .

**No discussion, no wiggle room, no hint of compromise – I knew what I needed and I intended to have it.

She got down on her knees, peered closely at the lesions, looking for problems, and found none.

The staff nurse, though, had had time to think of some objections of her own, pointing out a patch of skin and telling me it was “maceration” which is the softening and breaking down of living skin due to excessive moisture. In this case, however, she was wrong. It’s a thick layer of dead skin (the light-coloured area surrounding the lesions in the second pic, above) which has built up due to the difficulty of removing it with it being so close to an open wound. I have, though, been treating it with Eumovate Ointment (prescribed by the Dermatology Unit), which as well as clearing up the eczema that’s causing the build-up of dead skin, by its greasy nature it binds the dead skin and stops it flaking into the wound. It can then be removed as it comes loose. I removed a lot today, but the patch the nurse spotted wasn’t quite ready. Pull it off too soon and it’ll leave a bleeding wound behind; most of the time this will heal without problems, but the location militates against creating another lesion, no matter how small, so it can wait until it’s ready to come off naturally, which will be in a day or two.

So, objections dealt with, and a pointless alternative brushed aside, we finally got on with the job of redressing.

In addition to the above, I’m also washing both legs with Octenisan, an antibacterial wash prescribed when I had MRSA, before each dressing change. This, I hope, will help prevent any further infections. Once my legs are dry, Eumovate is applied to treat the eczema. Progress is slow, though at least it keeps the flaky skin in check.


7 thoughts on “The new treatment for my leg is going well…

  1. You really are looking after your skin Ron – and even the nurses can’t argue with that! I wish they would give credit when it’s due, after all, you have saved them a lot of time and a hell of a lot of money! You could still have all that trouble with your legs, that, you had in the beginning of the whole thing – with probably many more ulcers and weeping sores than you have now.
    Keep on with it Ron – and if any of the nurses try to cause any upset then ban that particular nurse/auxiliary from visiting you at your home 🙂
    Oh my hand would have been itching to slap that one down – I don’t know how you controlled yourself, I really don’t!
    Jay xx

    • The same aux, a few months back, told the staff nurse she’d just discharged two of the staff nurse’s patients. She’s an auxiliary, she shouldn’t have that authority – I’d have fired her on the spot! She’s always the same – she’s got to be the star of the show and know better than everyone else. I’ve had a go at her in the past over that – clearly she didn’t learn. Maybe she has now.

      You saw the pic of my leg in November – the nurses hadn’t improved it in 6 months. They admitted as much – they were frustrated that they couldn’t make any improvement, just change the dressings. The hospital found a way forward, and I did the rest. But If I hadn’t made them follow the hospital’s plan, my leg would still be as bad as it was – and probably in compression, which it obviously doesn’t need now.

      And yet, despite the evidence, it’s not occurred to any of them that there’s another way besides compression. I don’t think it ever will, not even when my leg heals completely (assuming it does!).


  2. An auxiliary nurse acts as a healthcare assistant, whose main duties are; washing and dressing, helping people to mobilise, toileting, generally assisting with patients overall comfort monitoring patients conditions by taking temperatures, pulse, respiration’s and weight,…. that staff nurse isnt doing HER duty to her patients either. the assistant nurse is overstepping her duties in more than one way. plus she should not be coming on her own (on the occasions she has done so, to deal with your dressings and voice her opinion or change what dressings are used. thats not her job at all.0000 i feel so incensed…… though in my day auxilliaries often got above their station it wsa more either doing nothing while appearing to do something (we often sotly sang that song “i’m busy doing nothing working the whole day through” in one such persons hearing. she was a dab hand at that .. .lol. or, telling very young probationers/pupil nurses what to do when they, poor souls, didnt know better.(soon found out though).they often became sisters pets by ingratiating themselves with her. we hated them for their supercilious ways. most anyway., though WHEN you could find them, and they worked, they were invaluable at getting beds made, bed baths and washes done etc.

    • Ah – not quite. You’re confusing Nursing Auxiliaries, who carry out the non-nursing tasks in hospital, with Auxiliary Nurses who are somewhat less qualified than SRNs but are still qualified as nurses. The old SEN rank is my guess.

      The Auxiliary Nurses do have the opportunity to study for the higher qualification – most choose not to as the Auxiliary post is more flexible in terms of hours. The downside of that is that the District Nurses are short of the higher-grade staff. Also, because no recently-trained SRNs are coming into the system, long-established ideas, like the obsession with compression, will never change.

      However, some Auxiliary Nurses would fail even as Nursing Auxiliaries!

  3. It must be bloody exhausting having to verbally wrangle with these nurses every time that you have the dressings changed.

    I’ve been through a few episodes of arming myself for war with nurses and docs over the years and when you are very ill, just the effort and process of avoiding conflict but getting what you need nearly finishes you off.

    • One thing I can’t understand. When I attend to my own dressings, the result is painless (give or take – there’s always some pain and always will be), but if the nurse does exactly the same thing, under my very close supervision these days, the end result is more painful.

      Probably just Sod’s Law – still don’t need it though.

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