Days for Changing the Wound Vac Sponge

November 6, 2008 at 5:46 am Leave a comment

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday come around pretty often.  Those are the days that the sponge has to be removed from inside the wound in Dan’s pelvis, and a fresh one put in.  A different Home Health Nurse came today. She called to tell Dan, “Mr. Boyd, it is time to take your pain medication. I’ll be there in about an hour. That will give the meds time to decrease the pain when we change the sponge.”  Dan stopped what he was doing, took the meds, prepared the bed with a pad to catch any saline solution that may spill, and was ready before the hour was up.  (She arrived 2 hours later.)

But that’s okay because she caused very little pain removing the old sponge and inserting the new sponge. She used sterile saline solution to moisten the old sponge before she removed it. Then she measured the hole with a q-tip, and cut the new sponge just the size and shape to fit inside the wound. I am amazed at roughness of the charcoal grey sponge that is used.  Dan says it feels like rough sandpaper.  It is granular and encourages tissue to grow…into it.  That is one reason it hurts so much when it is removed. Only a fraction of tissue actually gets into the sponge because it is changed 3 times a week.  We are thankful that Dan’s wound is healing well.

The painful part came when she was applying huge strips of thin, clear tape.  Once she had the sponge taped to Dan’s body with the drain hose taped to the sponge, she turned the vac back on…and we heard a sound like a muffled popcorn machine.  That meant that there was a hole in the tape letting in some air.  (When the seal is complete, the machine makes no noise.) The nurse pressed on the tape trying to find the hole.  The pressing caused Dan enormous pain.  She never could find the hole. However, the alarm did not sound, so we know the machine is working correctly.

While she works on Dan, I gently hold his feet which helps him relax.  After 1.5 hours, all three of us were worn out.  We are so thankful that today Brenda bought groceries for us, and Jeannette brought lovely meals.  I did not have to chop veggies tonight, yet I was able to make a very tasty soup for Dan.  God is good! He said, “I am the high and holy God, who lives forever. I live in a high and holy place, but I also live with people who are humble and repentent, so that I can restore their confidence and hope.” (IS. 57:15) — Anne and Dan

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Entry filed under: Cancer's Dark Valley.

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