Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hoo-WEE, feeling better today.

Okay, feeling loads better today, folks. Thank you all so incredibly much for the encouraging comments, you wouldn't believe how much they mean to me. God bless all of you, and hello to my new readers. Read back a little further, seriously, I'm WAY less whiny than this. I love y'all. Rock!

Let's play a good old fashioned game of wound-vac versus gauze packing, shall we? Who wants to play along? (By the way, these nurses can't get their doggone stories straight. One says I couldn't drive, one said I could. Who do you think I'll be listening to?)

Wound Vac Pros:
-Faster healing time
-Don't have to be home at certain times to meet the home nurse (and I'm not sure where in the hospital a home nurse would get me in adequate privacy to change my gauze... the incision's down in my nethers, you see)
-Cleaner healing environment... slightly lower risk of infection

Wound Vac Cons:
-This thing hurts. The sponge hurt with the fire of a thousand suns going in. It hurts when it does the suctioning. It hurts just sitting there. It hurts when I move. The tape hurts like you wouldn't believe coming off - the nurse had to re-adjust yesterday, and I know people pay good money to get brazilians, but I like my hair where it is, thankyouverymuch. Not to mention the tape moves slightly, leaving little goobers of tape behind, which sticks to everything - my underwear, the tube, HAIR. Um, it hurts. Oh, and I dropped the canister on my toe yesterday, and that hurt. Yes, I suppose that could be avoided, but the rest can't.
-It's very cumbersome. I have to carry it everywhere with me. I could technically disconnect myself from the thing, but when I reconnect, it has to do a big suction to make up for lost time, which hurts. If I want to get up to go to the bathroom, get up to put my milk in the freezer, go ANYWHERE, I have to unplug, untangle, then find the closest plug to where I want to be. Moving just isn't easy. Plus, I trip over the tube, which is hott.
-The tube. Oh, the tube. Absolutely the most humiliating thing about the Wound Vac. It's filled with... uh, whatever medical waste gets sucked out of a gaping wound. That's hott too. I definitely don't want to be around my friends or family, let alone anywhere in public. It's pretty much the equivalent of a colostomy bag hanging off of me. They could have at least made the stupid tube NOT CLEAR. Seriously. It gets pressed against my stomach by my underwear and pants, which hurts. It gets in the way when I go to the bathroom. It gets in the way a little when I'm sleeping, when it gets tangled in the electrical cord.
-The sponge - I fail to see how a sponge, which has recently been cut, therefore leaving little flecks of sponge all over the place (tiny chunks of sponge were all over my bed), which are now floating around in the wound itself, promotes a cleaner healing environment. I'm no doctor, but I thought foreign particles within a wound caused infection. Plus, why does a sponge the size of a baseball have to be stuffed in a wound the size of a quarter?
-Showering Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, ONLY.
-I'm not supposed to be bending over, but I don't exactly have a table to set this thing on every time I go to the bathroom. Or drop it.
-Let's talk about the suction noise it makes every couple of minutes. Schlurrrrp. Not good for the very little sleep I get, y'all.

I'll stop there, because I believe I've made my point.

Gauze packing Pros:
-Doesn't hurt nearly as much. There's a little part of my incision that, for some reason, isn't completely void of damaged nerve endings where I have feeling, and it hurts a little when the gauze is being packed in, but it doesn't hurt when it's not being packed.
-I am neither humiliated nor encumbered by gauze being in there with a pad over the top.
-Instead of a sponge the size of a baseball (stadium), there are two pieces of gauze that have to go in the wound.
-I can shower every day, provided the nurse calls at least 20 minutes before coming to my house. I know this sounds ridiculous, but to someone as obsessive about daily (sometimes twice daily) showering as I am, this is absolutely the biggest pro.
-No tubes, wires, or canisters dangling from my body.
-It's not a Wound Vac.

Gauze packing Cons:
-I have to be home twice a day for a nurse. Not a problem, as I don't have many places to go other than here and the NICU.
-My husband has to do the third packing of the day, because our insurance only pays for 2 home nurse visits a day. He says he doesn't mind, although I'm still not sure how he'll find me attractive, although he swears he will, and even calls me beautiful.
-It will take longer to heal.

Yeah, I think I've made my point. See, another thing where the nurses can't get their stories straight is healing time with the Wound Vac. One said a week and a half. One said 4 weeks. Now, if my doctor says that healing time is 90% faster with the Wound Vac and it'll only need to be in for a week, versus a year and a half with the gauze, sure, I'll stick with the Wound Vac. If we're talking a week's difference, no.

To be fair to the Wound Vac manufacturers, I can see where this would be useful if I had to work and couldn't be home 3 times a day to be packed. But, I can be home in 15 minutes, max, from the hospital. And if we can work out an exact schedule for the nurses to be here, even better!

Now, I'm going to go pump and call my doctor. I love her to pieces and normally trust her counsel in all things, but I think she got this one wrong. I think she was probably considering the fact that my baby's in the NICU and I wouldn't want to be home to meet a nurse, but that won't be a problem. I know he needs minimal stimulation, and me being there all the time doesn't really help that... but you just try to keep me from being there just to be by his side when I'm allowed to drive again.

Thank you all, once again, for all of your encouragement, prayer, and love. I couldn't appreciate it more. I just appreciate it so much, I can't even express it.


Melinda Barton said...

Pick which comment you prefer:
a. TM freaking I!
b. I'm going to get sterilized right freaking now! Yeah, can't have kids anyway, but just in case!
c. Two words. Ouch and Ich!
d. 42

Waterfall said...

Glad you're feeling better!

Surviving said...

From the sounds of it I think I would pass on the vac as well. It doesn't sound pleasant at all.

With my first the midwife wanted me to wait 6 weeks, due to the recovery from c-section, anemia, pre-eclampsia and HELLP, before driving. However I was driving less then a week later because my ex-husband was being a jerk and I didn't have anyone to drive me to the hospital. There was no way I was going to stay home and not see my baby. Recovery did take longer. With my second the doctor wanted me to wait 3 weeks before driving. Since I had another child at home I was limited in the amount time I could be at the hospital anyway. My husband would take me to the hospital in the mornings before work, he works in the afternoon, so I didn't drive at all during that time. Recovery was easier the second time.

I really think your being at the hospital does help the baby even if you aren't doing anything physically for him. With my oldest his heartrate and breathing were better when I was there. He also seemed to be calmer and more relaxed, even the nurse commented on it.

Heather said...

Sweetie-you really need to be in the hospital-with all of that-especially so you could be near Ace. My little man was born with jaundice so he was in the NICU, and my OB told me that my insurance would pay for pain management of my C-Section. So I said yes I am in pain-honestly I was-I could barely straighten up! So I was kept in the hospital as long as the baby was and we went home at the same time.
Also the new information about holding preemies is that they should be held as much as possible to help them grow and thrive. I firmly believe this is true-my cousin's little girl grew by leaps and bounds once the whole family could get their hands on her. So touch him as much as you can.
All of you are in my prayers!
God Bless!