Updating me and asking about Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (Wound VAC)

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

educ8athome
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 9/5/2011 1:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Whew, it is hard to believe that 2 weeks ago the extreme pain started and a week ago I finally took myself to the E.R.  I am coping alright with the post-surgical pain, but have some questions and am hoping someone has the answers.
 
I have a Wound Vac in place.  It is a device that is suppose to draw out remaining infection and start drawing in the edges of the wounds to seal them without disfiguring my body.  This was thrown out at me without any real explanation that I could understand.  I was on very high levels/doses of morphine and pretty much went with anything thrown at me.  In hindsight, I need to question the surgical procedure on my abdomen, because I am pretty certain that I only authorized the one on my backside.  But, anyway, this wound vac...
 
I am not appreciative of it at all.  I am reading some risks associated with it, and me having a compromised immune system anyway, well, I am thinking about discontinuing use tomorrow when I go in for a dressing change.  It is restrictive, it is painful, there is a significantly increased risk of infection with its use...I just feel like I'd be more human if I could bathe (shower) daily, change the dressings daily and move about, increasing circulation instead of laying in this bed on my right side.  I've increased my protein intake to help increase my bodys ability to heal...feedback PLEASE!
 
Thanks.

Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 9/5/2011 3:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello again and congratulations on your improvement.

I have not personally had any experience with the wound vac, but I know someone who did. Her foot/leg were virtualy destroyed in a wreck and the infection was eating away at her bones. It was a horrible wound and simply would not heal....until they started the wound vac system. I was amazed that she did finally heal and is able to walk normally again. That's been a few years ago (before I left work) and things have probably changed since then, but I do know that she was facing amputation at the least and is able to walk now.

Either way you decide, I wanted to share the story with you to let you know the frustration is not in vain.

All my best.
TLIF L5-S1/failed, Pituatary disorder w/HGH deficiency, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery & Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, Pre-glaucomic, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (surgery related trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendionitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet & much more.....

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16779
   Posted 9/5/2011 4:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I hear your frustration in your post and I am sorry that it is getting to you so badly. I don't know a thing about a wound vac, will look it up a little later and see what I can learn about them.

My only thoughts about this is, I have to think the drs would not put such a device in you or anyone, if they were going to cause more harm than good. I know when you read the fine print with all of the potential problems listed that could potentially happen it scares us to death. But, you have to keep in mind if one person had a negative thing happen when this was in the trial phase and after it was approved by the FDA, it has to be listed as a potential problem but that does not mean it will happen to you. Its no different with our medications we take, if you read about all the possible side effects it makes you wonder, do I really need to take this medication.

I think maybe you should discuss this in more depth with the dr that is taking care of you. With the improvements you have made at this point I would hate to see the wrong decision made and you end up in really bad shape again.

Take care of yourself.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

educ8athome
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 9/5/2011 4:35 PM (GMT -6)   
For tonight, here's what I've done:

First of all, my husband does NOT like it in the least, but I have to think about my mental health in addition to my physical health.

Tomorrow morning, I would have been allowed to shower, removing all dressings and vac tubes, then cover my wounds and go to the clinic for re-dressing. So, for tonight, I have gone ahead and removed the dressings, showered (MY GOSH DID IT FEEL AMAZING), packed the wounds and gotten dressed. My mental status has gone from crap to "I can do anything!" For me, mental status is a HUGE part of healing, my doctor will hear more about that tomorrow. Tomorrow, there'll be no vac put on my abdomen. We'll discuss my backside. I may be willing to "vac" during the week and no vac on weekends. See how they feel about that. I'm only looking at having it a couple of weeks, but my skin is already raw in one area and I can't keep this up.

I'll let y'all know how tomorrow goes.

~Cathy

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 9/5/2011 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
What about Hyperbaric treatments??? they use it for divers that get the bends...but
they also use it for healing wounds, that might help...or is that what your talking about???
well wishes and many of them
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

educ8athome
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 9/5/2011 10:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't know that they will go that far, and I will probably do the wound vac AS LONG AS I can have a reprieve from it over next weekend. I have a wedding that I have got to shoot. (It's family, I have to attend, I have to shoot it!) I'm willing to see how long this is going to have to go on. They talked like up to 5 weeks, but hopefully no more than 3. If that is the case, I have 2 more to go. With dressing changes every other day, I might just make it.

I went nearly 7 hours without ANY pain meds after taking that contraption off. If that doesn't tell them something about the level of pain it causes me, nothing will. I walked around quite a bit (just in the house) and I even folded a load of laundry. Without that thing, I can function. I don't want it if I can help it.

rjbeck
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 255
   Posted 9/7/2011 3:39 AM (GMT -6)   
During my 30 day stay in the hosp for a thoracotomy my roommate of 2-1/2 weeks had a large abdominal wound from previous surgery to resect his bowels. He was in his 40's and the wound on his stomach was at least 10inx8in very large and the wound care RN that treated him with the wound vac made a remarkable difference in his recovery in the time that I spent with him. Before using the vac he had a large hole in his stomach that required daily saline washes and dressing changes. It seemed to me that the vac made a big difference on his way to recovery. Hope this helps a little feel better..Beck
AVASCULAR-NECROSIS (AVN) in 6 joints. HIPS,KNEE'S and SHOULDERS-Replaced 1 shoulder. replacing left hip 9/8/11 then left shoulder.
Bilateral Empyema with Thoracotomy with Decordication.(Removed the Lining of left lung)

educ8athome
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 9/7/2011 3:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, looks like I am on my way back to the wound vac. My dressing is saturated and has fallen off due to drainage, so they want to look at putting it back in place for a week or so to get the drainage back down.

Ugh...
I am unable to come up with a clever signature. I don't even really have a true diagnosis. I am on percocet and robaxin for chronic hand pain. So, in lieu of a dx and all, I'll just say that I am the daughter of an awesome and mighty KING, THE King of Kings and it is only through Him that I am allowed to live each day.

tmjpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 9/7/2011 8:13 PM (GMT -6)   
So sorry about that Cathy. I am sure you are very disappointed. How is the pain right now?

Did they put the wound vac back in today? What will happen now though as you mentioned the skin was

so raw? I have not heard of the wound vac doing that to a wound. Was it on intermittent suction? was the suction

maybe too high. I have looked after children with the wound vac, mostly from an infected spinal fusion surgery,

and they all did well. It did take time but the wound did close. And I am talking big wounds and deep from a spinal

instrumentation for scoliosis.

Please let us know how you get along the next few days. I sure hope your pain does not return to such

high levels as last week.

Take care
Suzane

educ8athome
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 9/7/2011 10:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, my wound vac never made it out of my car before it left for Cincinatti, OH, so I won't be having it put back on tomorrow. I look at that as it giving my skin time to continue to calm down from being so raw. The speculation as I was trouble shooting with the nurse is that maybe the suction was too high, and in addition that maybe they'd try gauze packing instead of the foam. I am sure we will change the dressings daily through the weekend and the WV will be put back in place on Monday.

I hate it, but if my skin heals where it doesn't hurt, I am willing to try it one more time.
I am unable to come up with a clever signature. I don't even really have a true diagnosis. I am on percocet and robaxin for chronic hand pain. So, in lieu of a dx and all, I'll just say that I am the daughter of an awesome and mighty KING, THE King of Kings and it is only through Him that I am allowed to live each day.

educ8athome
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 9/7/2011 10:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Let me add that the location of the wound is probably an issue. It isn't flat on my stomach, back, leg or arm. It is literally where your butt cheek and leg meet, in the crease. So, that makes this a particularly difficult situation without any extra issues.
I am unable to come up with a clever signature. I don't even really have a true diagnosis. I am on percocet and robaxin for chronic hand pain. So, in lieu of a dx and all, I'll just say that I am the daughter of an awesome and mighty KING, THE King of Kings and it is only through Him that I am allowed to live each day.

tmjpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 9/8/2011 11:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I was wondering that the suction may have been too high. Also it should probably be on intermittent suction and not continuous.Which were they using. How is your pain today?

I hope just having the dressing changes over the weekend helps your skin to heal

a bit before you get the wound vac back in. Poor you. Hang in there Cathy.

Post over the weekend to let us know how you are doing ok.

Hugs
Suzane

educ8athome
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 9/8/2011 9:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, my pain has been on the increase, and this morning I found out why: The antibiotic I am on is not responding to the infection. I am now on TWO antibiotics, but they both respond, praise God! So, maybe in a couple of days, I'll be back on the upswing.

This is a busy weekend with a wedding to attend (and to shoot, it's my niece, the photography is her gift) and my brother will be in from Jacksonville since it is his daughter that is getting married. But, I willl take time out to post and let you know how I am doing. For the interim, I plan on resting all day long tomorrow and recovering from a busy day today.
I am unable to come up with a clever signature. I don't even really have a true diagnosis. I am on percocet and robaxin for chronic hand pain. So, in lieu of a dx and all, I'll just say that I am the daughter of an awesome and mighty KING, THE King of Kings and it is only through Him that I am allowed to live each day.

tmjpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 9/11/2011 1:54 PM (GMT -6)   
How are things going for you Cathy? how did you manage with the wedding?

Is it tomorrow that you get the wound vac again?

Sure hope your pain has lessened over the weekend.

Suzane

tmjpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 9/14/2011 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Cathy, I hope you are doing ok. We haven't heard from you in a bit.

Thinking of you
Suzane

damouthy1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 663
   Posted 9/14/2011 10:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Cathy, just wanted to jump on and see how things are going for you. Like Suzane said we haven't heard from you in awhile.

Hopefully you can update us soon and that things are going good for you...Take care.
Gentle Hugs,
Shannon

Fibromyalgia, Chronic daily headaches, Migraines, Undetermined Auto-Immune Dysfunction (probable MCTD, sero-negative RA and ?), Trigger finger, Carpal Tunnel, Cubital Tunnel, GERD, High blood pressure, Depression and Anxiety

Oxycontin, Percocet, Lopressor, Lexapro, Celebrex, Omeprazole, Promethazine as needed for nausea, Ventolin inhaler and Vitamin D3

momtofourangels
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2265
   Posted 9/14/2011 11:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Cathy Let us know how you're doing. I hope you're feeling better.

love and hugs
Loretta
Dx: osteoarthritis, bursitis in left hip, Osteoarthrits in right hip, compression fracture in thoracic spine due to falling on frozen ground March 2001 , ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, osteoarthritis in spine, osteoarthritis in both knees
Meds: Fentanyl patch, oxycodone, otc: BenGay, Tylenol Arthritis on occasion

educ8athome
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 9/15/2011 1:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone. Thanks for checking on me, I've just been resting. I did have the vac put back in place on Monday and the pain is unreal. However, I am just taking the Oxycontin when the pain gets too high, the Percocet the other times. I go for a dressing change tomorrow and hope to hear that there has been great improvement and I won't need it more than another week.

My PM doc has given me another month of meds despite the fact that it's been more than 2 months than I have seen him to keep me from having to uncomfortably travel to see him. I love my PM doc!

I'll try not to wait so long to check back in. Sleep is my friend right now.
I am unable to come up with a clever signature. I don't even really have a true diagnosis. I am on percocet and robaxin for chronic hand pain. So, in lieu of a dx and all, I'll just say that I am the daughter of an awesome and mighty KING, THE King of Kings and it is only through Him that I am allowed to live each day.

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 9/15/2011 4:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Cathy! Thank you so much for the update…we all have been wondering how you were doing. Well…at least you have a good PM, but what were really waiting on is the good news on the healing process you are going through at the moment. I hope the infection is gone for good! Will you know that for sure anytime soon?

Now…don't forget, we really do care, and hope to hear from you again soon.

Take care,

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together"

tmjpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 9/17/2011 1:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Cathy, well i am glad to see you getting some sleep but sorry you are still having a fair bit of pain.
Hope your meds will work for you. Maybe take them regularly for a couple days so you get the full benefit of relief
and then you back off of them. How did your appt go yesterday?

Sending you some quick healing vibes, Take care
Suzane

educ8athome
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 9/18/2011 4:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Sleep is still my friend...but I am on the mend.

When I went back for a dressing change, the doctor was back from his trip to Germany (I had been seeing the NP). He took one look at my skin from where the wound vac had irritated it again and proclaimed that I was done with it for good, that he can not do that to me any longer. Since he's done that, my life is becoming a little more normal...well, as normal as it gets with daily dressing changes and the sort. LOL!

Updating backwards: The MRSA infection: I am almost done with my antibiotic regimine. They will culture again on Thursday or Friday and see what the culture says. Please pray that the infection is indeed gone. The "rear" wound is still giving me quite a bit of pain, but I am also actually sitting now, and that is to be expected. I am only to "sit" about 3 hours a day, lay the rest of the time, but that is SO hard with so much that needs to be done. I just take my percocet and keep on keeping on, resting when my body tells me to.

Tennessee nights have started cooling off drastically. Thanks to the cooler weather, the pain has started up in my right limb, fingertips to shoulder. Unfortunately the percocet/robaxin combination is not doing much for me, so I am looking forward to October 13, when I see my PM doc again and we get ready to head into "winter" mode. I don't want to do it, but I have no choice if I am going to survive. My left hand has not caught on to the weather change yet, and I am thankful for that.

I'll keep y'all updated as things progress. Wishing everyone here better pain days (since we all know that true pain-free days are limited, if we get them at all.).
I am unable to come up with a clever signature. I don't even really have a true diagnosis. I am on percocet and robaxin for chronic hand pain. So, in lieu of a dx and all, I'll just say that I am the daughter of an awesome and mighty KING, THE King of Kings and it is only through Him that I am allowed to live each day.

tmjpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 9/25/2011 12:43 PM (GMT -6)   
How are things going for you now Cathy? Have your wounds healed now?

Sure hope you are having some low pain days now.

Take care
Suzane
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Friday, September 21, 2018 7:04 AM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 3,005,371 posts in 329,222 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 161773 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Audreyli.
227 Guest(s), 2 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
BBN!!, Lanie G