Friday, April 23, 2010

Today's Appointment.

Today did not go how I expected. On Wednesday, I was told that I'd be having all the dead flesh cut out today. Using only a local, and no sedation. This would be okay as far as pain goes - I can handle that. But it would have caused horrific flashbacks.

Today, w showed up and the surgeon informed us that the "line of demarcation" (which is the line where the dead flesh meets living flesh) hasn't clearly defined itself yet. So he put the wound vac on without removing any of the dead flesh. Meaning no pain for me! Well, some, but not much.

I'm a little confused by this, as it does say in the little instruction book that if there is necrotic tissue with an eschar present, the wound vac should not be used until the eschar has been completely removed. BUT... I will trust him on this one. His plan is to see me back in clinic on Tuesday, and if the necrosis (and the related eschar) have grown/spread, I'll have to go back into surgery. He wants to avoid that at all costs, so we will see how things go on that front.

Meanwhile, I did talk briefly with him about the reasons he cannot remove the dead flesh with a local or even spinal anesthetic, and he's agreed that if it comes down to removing things, I will be put under general anesthesia.

So I am very grateful for today's outcome.

The wound vac itself is silly - it's like having to carry around a purse. And it makes little gurgles and slurpy sounds. And there's almost no pain in the wound itself since the vac was applied. It fits perfectly inside my boot - I just leave the top a bit looser so the hose isn't digging into my leg at all. It's weird walking - I can feel the hose brushing my leg, and I'm just not used to having things like that hanging down inside my pants. :) The doctor was optimistic, I think, and I am going to choose to go with his optimism.

His one concern was the fact that there have been five cultures done on this wound (well, two on the original and three on the surgical one). The original cultures showed 5 kinds of bacteria, one exclusive to parrots and one "hospital bug." Obviously, someone doing my wound care didn't do a good job of washing his or her hands. Anyway... the post-surgical cultures have been growing only tiny quantities of unidentifiable organisms. In other words, no obvious infection. However, the surgeon agrees with me that it acts like infection and more importantly smells like infection. So I'm on some very high-dose antibiotics right now in an effort to stop the spread of tissue death. My God, He is God. I know I will be well and whole again. I know I will keep my leg. I know I will return to full health.

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