Today was my first visit to nurse M since going out on disability. It was neat to see the new office building the professional offices were moved to. (Note to USF: everything is very BLAH, let them put up some touches of personality)
M looked at my wound and wondered if it'd been getting any better. It's not infected and I'm able to debride it fairly easily, though this week has been a bear in the RSD department. I've been experiencing a ton of constant stinging and episodes of sharp stabbing pains. Lots of fun.
Last night, we took a dip in the gulf (blog entry to appear later), and I decided not to put a new dressing on the leg if it was only going to be taken off today. As a result, it scabbed up. M was wondering if the wound bed was healthy enough for a new treatment, a skin graft dressing. It was my opinion that it was fine underneath.
She got a bath out for me to soak, and while I waited (Ed with me today), I commented to him that I felt like I was getting a pedicure and I should ask her what color I get to choose from for the polish! As is typical, we got some humor out of my pain.
Once the wound was soaked and debrided (lots of fun, let me tell you), I was up on the exam table and under the spotlight-literally. M told me that there were two reps of the company that makes the graft dressing (Oasis?-have to check this one) outside the exam room. She'd told them about my case and wanted to know if they could come in and see. If my case can help them learn, certainly.
The dressing went on and another boot, similar to the Unna Boot went on my leg. M asked if the Unna Boots hurt, I think for the benefit of those two reps. I explained that the first day was difficult, because the flexion of the foot made the dressing rub against the wound. I also commented that now that I was not at work, we could be more aggressive with the treatments.
I explained that I have been on painkillers since December, and normally I don't need them more than 48 hours post op, figuring they need to hear what an average patient's situation may be like.
I asked Nurse M what timetable she had for my disability, since we never established one. She was frank in telling me "with you, I can never figure things out." My allergies and other complications have definitely thrown her some curve balls. Now that I am out, I know that I must wait and see.
Something else popped into my head, though. Ed was looking at the lonely poster in the exam room about the V-nex procedure, a method used to close off veins. The 'before' pictures look like my leg NOW, however, I've had my saphenous vein stripped. This procedure is supposed to be the alternative to a vein stripping.
This made me think of the valve replacement we've discussed. Should I do this now that I am already out on disability? I will probably be doing some research and asking Dr. J some questions about it. Why not kill two birds with one stone while I'm on medical leave, as I've been told it has to be done eventually.
Time (and internet research) will tell...