Friday, March 13, 2015


As many of you who follow my Blog know, I have an area along my Lung Transplant incision that has not healed - or as the doctors like to say: "non-healing posterior right thoracotomy incision; wound is stagnant and has not changed in dimensions in 2 months". The wound measures 4cm (L) X 1.25cm (W) X 1cm (D).

We've tried all the standard treatments up until now, including wet to dry dressings along with a special ointment. It's just not healing (thank you Prednisone).

So the next recommendation was to introduce the use of a Wound Vac. Oh that sounds like lots of fun; yes, let's do that! Well, if it heals this wound, it will be worth it, but I was not looking forward to my appointment today with the Wound Care Nurse. As it turns out, in my humble opinion, for good reason. 

Now, I've been through worse. Heck, I got through a Lung Transplant, so if I can do that, then I figure I can do just about anything they throw at me. But this wound is painful, and the nurse had to scrub it - yes, you heard right - she had to SCRUB it before putting the Wound Vac on. That was not a pleasant experience. The wound is 1cm deep (nearly .4 inches) and the nurse is in there scrubbing away. 

So then we get to the part where she attaches the Wound Vac. First of all, this thing must weight close to five pounds (realistically probably more like 2 or 3), but when you have to WEAR it 24/7 it weighs a ton and feels more like 15. 

Then the nurse tells us the Visiting Nurse will come to the house 3 days a week to change the bandage (Mon/Wed/Fri), but I'm still supposed to go all the way to Loyola every week for them to look at it!!! WHAT!!! When am I supposed to fit that in? Well, next week I have to be down there for another appointment anyway, so I'll see the Loyola Nurse that same day on Wed. and the Visiting Nurse will only come on Monday and Friday. After that, Loyola agreed to every other week. We are so far away, it's still rough on me on days I have to go down there. They were very agreeable so we were pleased they agreed to every other week.

This is challenging but if it heals the wound it will be worth it. We just have no idea how long it will take and it's tough being tied to this machine. I am sore tonight because of the scrubbing, but the device is not painful, although it's quite uncomfortable to lean back against it when I'm sitting in my chair. I have to figure out how to carry this contraption around the house. I can wear it like a fanny pack like in the first photo, or I can carry it like a should bag which sometimes is more convenient. I guess I'll get the hang of it as time goes on. 

Well, at this point, I figure the best way to explain what this is like, is just to show you. So, without further ado, meet my Wound Vac.

The Wound Vac as "Fanny Pack"

The Wound Vac "Taking a Break"
The Tubing is Attached to Me

Carrying It Around

The Wound Vac Doing Its Job on my Wound

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