Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Woundless care

I confess. I was stupid. I'd taken a shower, saw a bit of loose skin on my foot, and thought it would come away easily if I gave it a gentle tug. I mean, my skin is so dry that removing a mere flake is common enough. This time, however, the tiny piece of skin decided to drag a much larger piece off with it. This probably occurred because the site is nothing but scar tissue. Diabetics scar easily and poorly, making the skin far more delicate.

As luck would have it, I had a week's worth of Bactrim and Levaquin on hand. Cuts on my feet get infected. They always do. So rather than waste time at the doctor, I started taking the meds immediately, as well as dressing the wound as I'd been taught during previous wound care.

There was just one thing missing from my wound care supplies. It's called "Adaptic." It's gauze with a Vaseline coating to keep it from sticking to the wound. I tried to dress the wound without it, using Silvasorb gel to draw impurities from the wound. Alas, Silvasorb can dry out and act like paste. It essentially "glued" the wound to the gauze, causing me to rip off the scab when I tried to change the dressing. Thus, I switched to Silvadene antibiotic cream, which would keep the wound moist, but also prevent it from sticking to the gauze.

The week of antibiotics was up last Wednesday, and there was still bad "stuff" coming from the wound. I decided that the time had come to have it examined by the wound care people. I made a few calls, got the referral I needed, and set up an appointment for today.

It should be known that I don't do mornings so well. I never have, and probably never will. I can recall family vacations, in which everyone was up and getting ready to leave the motel, and I was doing all I could to roll over and go back to sleep. In the last few years, I've come to realize that regardless of the hour, I need two hours to become a functioning human being. One hour for meds to kick in, and another to "become human." Knowing that I had a 9:00 AM appointment, I set my alarm to wake me at 6:30 so I could be ready to leave by 8:30.

This...didn't work out so well. I mean, I went to bed around 9:00 PM, but didn't actually fall asleep until almost 1:00 AM. When my alarm woke me, I was in no mood to move with any kind of speed. Bricks move faster than I did this morning. By the time 8:15 rolled around, I knew there'd be no shower for me. I cleaned myself up just a wee bit, tossed on some fresh clothes, and headed for wound care...

...without having examined the wound for a few days. "Why didn't you examine it, Rob?" Well, I was running low on wound care supplies. This was yet another reason why I needed to go see the specialist. When I last saw the wound, it was a dark hole in my foot that appeared not to be leaking pus, but it still seemed too big. It needed care.

Or so I thought. Once I was taken to the examination room and the dressing removed, I found myself wondering why I was there. I could easily have picked up prescriptions for the wound care supplies at the front desk without seeing anyone. Instead, I sat there, looking at the tiny pink hole in my foot, apparently having shrunk to half its size in only a few days. I was virtually woundless.

I got what I needed, with four refills waiting for me should I need them. One can always hope that I won't, but I seem to end up chasing one hole or another in my skin. Such is life as a brittle diabetic.

* * *
Aside from this typical adventure, I've heard from my old friend Bryan via Facebook. He's married and has two daughters, one of which was born only last May! G-d bless him. It would seem his life shaped up rather nicely after so many years of being in a kind of limbo. I had no idea what path lay before him, but I prayed it would be a fruitful one. As it happens, my prayers were answered, as he seems to be doing quite well. His sister is also married, with three kids of her own.

G-d...When did all of us become grownups? Oh well. It's probably for the best, as we're all too big to remain kids. Mind you, we can all maintain that youth still struggling to play with toys and other kids, but becoming responsible isn't such a bad thing.

1 comment:

WalkingTarget said...

Glad to hear about a medical issue that turned out to be less severe than you'd anticipated for once, Rob. Though the number of spoons that late night/early waking cost you probably isn't fun.