Unna Boot from Hell...
I had my follow up with Dr. J yesterday morning to have the Unna boot reapplied after he looked at the progress with my wounds. Unfortunately, he did not get to see them immediately after the first boot was taken off-they were dry and looked good. The six days in the boot made them noticeably shallower. Dr. K's nurse dressed the wounds in Xeroform, a moist dressing I'd been using. It made the wounds look 'soupy', as Dr. J so aptly described it.
Fortunately, he listened to my description of what my ankle looked like upon removal of the boot. We discussed the visit with Dr. K and decided to go with another Unna Boot, with a change in two weeks. It was also decided that I'd be given dressings to reapply them myself (with some assistance) once I have the opportunity to get into a warm pool and/or Watsu massage.
In the past, removal of the Unna Boot was followed by a bath in Hibbaclens and a new boot would be applied. However, we think I'm allergic to the Hibbaclens and that's noted in my file. Instead, Nurse D slathered my leg in Hydrocortisone cream and applied the boot. She did not wrap it as high as the other nurse, nor as tight, as she knows that many patients have issues with the leg swelling after the wrap. She also suggests I take some Benedryl if the leg feels itchy-this is also common.
I head to work (5 minutes away) and things seem okay. I'm itchy, but nothing horrible at this point. Once home, I took a Benedryl and actually got sleepy pretty quick. Six hours of sleep ensued and I got up, got the kids ready for school and took more painkillers and Benedryl.
The Benedryl must have really packed a wallop, because after it should have worn off, I became itchy again, but was extremely tired. This led me to think that taking some at work would be a BAD idea. At work, I am itchy, itchy, itchy. It was rather annoying. The dressing is not too tight, but I'm doing everything I can to scratch or manipulate the boot. At one point, I decide to cut the boot down two inches-still covering the part of the leg that is atrophied and well above the ankle wounds. Relief did not come from this alteration.
Once home, I take my painkillers and Lyrica and feeling slightly sleepy, try go get to sleep at 11:45. Nope, I now have shooting and stabbing pains like before I'd been given the gabapentin or lyrica (which makes me realize that I forgot my lunch dose today-aha, they ARE doing something). I ask Ed to do some nerve distraction by rubbing on my leg and foot and this makes things worse.
I decide that I'm cutting the boot off. Nurse D had said to call if I need a boot change, heck, just COME IN and they'd squeeze me in w/o an appointment. I decide that this itching is out of hand and I'll head over there on my way into work. As I don't have any moist dressing, I opt to cut around the zinc gauze and I'd tape that to the wounds.
My lovely leg is covered in hives. These didn't show up at first and Ed didn't even feel them, but I said give it a couple of minutes as the leg had been wrapped snugly. Yep, two minutes later and he could feel them. A few more and they could be seen.
So, here I sit, waiting for the Benedryl to bring sleep and take away the itchiness. I also took some pictures to show how unlikely it is that I'll ever get a job as a leg model.
The plans for the morning prior to work are now scrubbed. I was headed over to the tax collector's office with the form that Dr. J gave me for a handicapped placard. I asked him if I should consider one, seeing as this leg isn't healing all that quick-seems he kept meaning to mention it, too. Once I bring that to them, I'll have a temporary hang tag and if when it expires, I'm not any better, I get a permanent one. I'm not proud anymore.
UPDATE-since this is the post that gets all the Google hits for "Unna Boot picture", I've added the picture from another post to this one, so that you can see what one looks like right after it is applied