The incision started oozing very slowly and all the nurses attributed it to the Lasix and general drainage. In fact, when I told one of the nurses it turned into an infection, she looked personally offended. As though it could never be infected because otherwise she would have caught it. I don't think anyone would have caught it as there were zero indicators until it was too late. Thankfully, all the cultures have so far come back negative for a bacterial infection so they think it may have been a fungal thing.
How the vacuum dressing works, or at least for me (or from what I've been able to gleen from this process), is that they start by placing a small barrier pad on any exposed bones (for me, that is a small bit of the sternum), pack the wound with black foam (not the white kind as it sticks more, very important!), and tape it up with whatever the medical equivalent of packing tape over everything to make sure no air gets out. Add a suction device to the tape and attach that to a machine and voila! One vac-pac dressing done.
|The machine to which I'm now perma-attached.|
|Watching the blood-goo go through the line. It's a great way to pass the time.|
As the wound gets smaller, and the amount of black foam I watch them pack into my wound shrinks (it seemed like a lot of foam), I'm sure it will be easier. Having it done three times a week will also get me use to the process. I will most likely go home with this dressing and machine and either followed up by home care or come into the hospital for the change. I shudder at the thought of all that tape being ripped off my skin. Someone needs to invent tape that only sticks when necessary and then a button is pushed and it falls off. I feel as though we have the technology for this, why hasn't it happened yet!?