Friday, September 21, 2007

The Pictures Are Here!

I know this saga of my wound has everyone on the edge of their seats. Well, maybe not now that you know the wound isn't going to kill me and I've graduated from the wound center.

I seem to have a narrow view on life, not being able to see farther than my leg. Really I think about other things and have very strong opinions on a number of subjects. Maybe now that I have some closure on this part of my life I can get on with the rest of it.

While I'm still harping on it, I want to tell you I've had lots of hits from far flung places. The search strings are very interesting. Some people are looking for cures for scabs on their rabbits. I want to tell those people right now that I have no idea what is wrong with their rabbits or how to make those scabs go away. But I've had more many more hits for salt in the wound. I can't figure out if those people want to inflict more pain or cleanse wounds.

If it is the latter, I will give you my recipe for saline: Boil 3 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and let cool and pour into sterile containers. If it is the former: Just knock it off. Think happy thoughts. Go for a walk. Volunteer at a shelter. Just do something nice.

And now (drum roll please) here is what you've all been waiting for... (Well, Hannita has and that's enough for me)


Hannita said...

It's very cool? informative? interesting? fascinating in the way of a car wreck? to see them all in a sequence like that. Thanks for sharing. And very glad you no longer have that rather large hole in your leg.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your wound story. My students and I were looking for Before and After pictures to use as a basis for a writing assignment, and I stumbled upon your website. It was a creative writing assignment - you should have seen some of the brainstorming. One person said that you obtained the wound by getting into a fight with a construction worker. Very interesting. I know that this happened because you somehow got entangled with a concrete brick - but exactly how did it happen? Did it just fall on you?

Anyway, thanks again for sharing. The pics are great (in a bad kind of way), and your blog is interesting. I'm glad to know you're all better now. Congrats on both diplomas!

pj said...

Thank you for your kind comments.

My great fear is that these students are not college students. In re-reading some of my posts I see my language is not suitable for all audiences. Woops.

How it happened
Killer block

I've noticed that pictures of my wound draw more traffic to my site than anything else. So happy to help!

Scott said...

Hi, great blog. I too have questions about your recovery from your wound... because unfortunately I'm in a similar situation, though without the wound center people. Did you get a referral from your doctor? What did they do to get it to heal so well? Having a "hole" in your leg (or arm in my case) is pretty distressing... Thanks!

pj said...

Scott-- yes, my doctor referred me to the wound center. She tried to get the wound to the "hamburger" stage with the enzyme cream but it required more aggressive treatment.

So on to the wound center where the wound was turned into a gaping hole by debridement. The dead tissue was cut away.

For several weeks (until the "hamburger" filled in all the way to the surface) I had to dress my wound every day. The most important components were the enzyme cream (prescribed and I can't remember what it was), the "very special fabric" (available over the counter and very, very expensive - also can't remember what it's called) and holding it all together with pressure (the padding and ace bandage).

description here

What I remember:
The wound needs to be cleaned with saline before treatment. The parts around the wound have to be protected with vaseline. The fabric (man, I probably shouldn't even call it that but I CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT IT'S CALLED) is soaked in the enzyme cream, then is stuffed into the wound. I found out later that the special vaseline covered gauze is for the last stages (skin development) so after stuffing the wound, covering it with sterile gauze would suffice. Tape it down. Then wrap with cast padding -- good luck finding THAT. I ended up getting cotton batting at a craft store and cutting it in 4 inch strips. Then wrap with the ace bandage.

If your wound is anything like mine, I can't imagine going through this rigmarole without the guidance of a doctor. Where is your wound? Some places would be hard to wrap!

Scott said...

Thank you PJ! Your response gives me a little perspective - several WEEKS of dressings?? Wow. I guess I'm about 4 weeks out now, and actually at the stage of complete hamburger. I did see my surgeon about 3 weeks ago (I had a birthmark removed from my upper arm - it got infected and opened up, and here I am...) and she looks at this gross hole in my arm and goes, "looks great!" Hmmm...rapidly losing faith in surgeon. Then she recommends "wet to dry" dressings for debridement. Now I don't know much about the Spanish Inquisition, but I'm pretty sure they used wet to dry dressings on their victims. I did that for about a week, and after some research on my own, I started covering it in something called duoderm (wow, expensive), then wrapping it with an ACE. I guess this is working since it looks like "wonderful" granulation tissue. So I was wondering, what now? But after reading your blog, I actually found a wound center here in the city, and made an appointment next week! So thank you. I'm serious, it seems dumb, but it's kind of reassuring to know that I'm not some kind of freak that this thing did not just heal up in a week (which is what I thought would happen). Okay, thanks again!

pj said...

I tried the wet to dry first before the doctor sent me to the wound center. It didn't work. It was (and may still be) a treatment for burn wounds that my husband used while a medic in the service many years ago. There just wasn't enough oomph in the process to get to the meat of my problem.

I felt like a big dork going to the wound center in the first place. I used to make fun of the wound center commercials on tv. I could not imagine a situation that would require anyone to go there. Until I was stupid and hurt my leg.

Glad you are making lots of good hamburger in your wound! It's gross, but always makes the doctors happy to see it.

It sounds like you won't be making as many visits to the wound center as I did since with all the granulation tissue, it's well on its way to healing.

Good luck!