Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Brain's in Pain

Penny, so glad you are coming along and my not need a graft-BUT is you do there is a product that was used on a friend's wound that wouldn't heal. It is called something like epilgraf or apelgraf--it is made from newborn foreskins. It was just amazing--she had her wound for over a year and had all sorts of treatments for it and nothing worked till that. Tiny little dots are taken from the foreskin and placed in the wound and it starts healing all around. IF you need a graft ask about it!! Barb
Comment from bvaneps834 - 7/14/06 1:26 AM

Barb left the above comment on the first entry I did about the wound on my leg. John and I talked about it for days, marveling at the amazing healing processes that are available and wondering just how the skin transfer was accomplished. Of course we laughed and shuddered a bit too.

I am here to tell you that I now have attained full knowledge, and wished I hadn’t!!!!

My leg has been so painful and uncomfortable, coupled with the fact that sitting here trying to get into a position where I can see the computer and use the keyboard both at the same time is tantamount to twisting my body into a contortionists exhibition. Those “disgusting developments” paired with the horribly hot summer and myriad layers of heat producing dressings on my leg have nudged me into a catatonic state. There’s also the twice weekly 45 minute trips to the doctor’s office, and the clothes I cant wear because my leg has to be free for the daily dressing change, and the hurt feelings of the beagle because he can’t go to the doctor with Scott and I, and the sleepless nights because the rest of my body is upset that I have to sit with my legs elevated for 80% of the time, and the places I wanted to go and the things I wanted to do this summer, and, and, and, ... other then that I’m doing just fine.

Now that I’ve told you why I haven’t written for the past few weeks I’ll tell you about the procedure that Barb talked about in the comment she left me.

The process she mentioned is called ’Apligraf’. It is the skin that a newborn has no use for after he has had a circumcision. My wound is very large and there are places that are very deep. The healing process can be expedited with the use of Apligraf. And since it has already been six weeks or more since I damaged my leg I am all for expedition of the healing. In other words, I want this fricken thing healed and the sooner the better. Besides I am going to have one of the ugliest scars this side of Bakersfield and I want the bragging rights that gives me.

When the doctor took the small piece of skin out of the container and placed it on my leg she said, “It looks exactly like skin doesn’t it?” And it did. The amazing thing about it was that the piece she placed on my leg was relatively small but she was able to stretch and mold it into a much bigger and broader area. Then she took tape and taped that donor skin to the healthy skin surrounding my wound. If the donor skin moves the process will be damaged. The doctor explained to me that the donor skin deposits the growth properties that it contains into my wound and my body takes that donation and promptly begins to create new skin. The donor skin does it’s job and then it eventually dissapates. It was fascinating to watch. It is not so fascinating having to live with it.

Four layers of dressing, including what they call fluff directly over the wound site, pulled snugly around my leg from the knee to the toes is very uncomfortable. It is hot, tight, and very similar to a cast, except it is hot and tight. And just in case you didn’t get the full meaning of my words I’ll repeat them ... hot and tight. I keep telling myself that every day is one less day that I will have to deal with this hot and tight un-cast cast like thing on my leg. "Get through today and that’ll be one less day that you have to deal with it" used to be how I convinced myself to get through the things they did to me when I was younger. But either I am smarter, or maybe not quite as smart, as I was then, because that little bit of psychology isn’t working as well as it once did. Now I find myself popping a pain pill in my mouth and hoping the day and the ’hot and tight‘ will disappear. Aw well, I was told that some people with ulcers on their legs have to wear this ’hot and tight’ all the time so who am I to complain about a few weeks. But forgive me if every once in a while I yell, because I personally think this thing is MISERABLE. Maybe it’s time to pop another pill.

One nice thing that has come out of this disaster is I have read 20 books. That part of my recovery has been wonderful. I have read some great, some not so great, some funny, some sad, and some absolutely soenthralling that I read them straight through. I’ve read so many books that I think I have outworn my glasses. The lens popped out of one side the other day. Thank goodness I knew where the tiny screwdriver was hidden ... at Scott’s house! He ran right over and fixed my lens with the handy dandy miniature screwdriver that was in the right hand corner of the left-hand kitchen drawer.

And what has John been doing all this time I have been suffering. Well, he grabs his rollator and scoots out the patio door and does this

Anybody want to take on a contract to dis-assemble a rollator?

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