This past week was … something. My wound has been healing very slowly. It drains a lot and the top dressing needs to be changed twice a day, as it will just weep and seep through the bandages and padding. Not only is that (hmm… not just gross) ooky, having a ginormous wad of gauze on my stomach has made wearing anything more than sweatpants extremely uncomfortable to say the least.
Enter the Wound Vacuum. I totally get the idea behind it, it makes sense. Pack the wadding with sponge. Seal the whole thing up. Apply some suction. Not only does that remove the ookiness, but it helps pull the skin and tissue together so that everything can heal. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this wonder piece of medical technology; you’re free to make the same mistake that we did and Google it. I’ll give you a minute to hit YouTube and check out some videos. Take your time.
Isn’t that fantastic? What a modern miracle of science and medicine. Now that we’ve marveled at what a … device this is, there are one or two downsides. These things are STUPID expensive. I mean. Government Acquisition expensive. I half expected to see a little star logo on the bottom next to a Made in Ft. Worth, TX line. See, I never forget who I’m picking on.
KCI (the real manufacturer) doesn’t allow the devices to be sold. They can only be rented. Rented at the tune of $40 per day. If you’re thinking, wow.. that’s a lot of money. I sure hope you have insurance. Um. We do have insurance. We’ve got pretty decent medical insurance through work. That $40 per day is how much we pay for this little darling. Yep. $1,200 per month. After insurance. That means, the total bill for this is, a whole lot more. If that’s not bad enough, these things are tied up in patent suits; companies will buy out other companies and then shut down their competing products.
The price isn’t the only detraction to this marvel. Let me take you through how this works. Instead of shoving a wad of soft, soaked gauze into my wound, a piece of sponge is cut and shoved inside. Not a soft, cushy, nice sponge, but one of those stiff, black, medical sponges. Then it’s all covered up in adhesive plastic. A hose is taped in place. Everything is covered up in adhesive plastic again. That’s when the wound vacuum is turned on and suction is applied. Imagine the exquisite feeling of your insides being pulled all together, at the same time. Yeah, it’s fantastic, but it’s not the best part.
This is the part that I’m really looking forward too. The vacuum helps promote healing, right? Brings the tissue together, so it can grow back. Guess what happens when the sponge needs to get changed? The three rolls of adhesive plastic get pulled off first, along with the first two layers of skin and all of my body hair. Then the sponge gets pulled out. The sponge that has been pulling all of my insides together promoting growth. Tissue that has been promoted to growth into the sponge. This is why I think the wound vacuum was dreamed up by a Surgical Harpy. And, I get to pay for this. Ya for me!
At least I don’t have a 5 lb boat anchor tethered to me that I have to haul around every where I go. Oh. Never mind. Something has to provide suction, and that suctioned goo has to go somewhere. I’m just glad that it comes in such a stylish bag to put over my shoulder. Sigh.
There is something good, though. I don’t have a big wad of gauze shoved in my pants anymore. Ok, typing that, it reads a lot worse. How about, pants almost fit better. I actually managed to wear a pair of jeans for a few hours on Saturday before they hurt too much. As long as this Harpy inspired wunderkind gets my wound healed faster, it’s probably worth it. The sooner my wound is healed, the sooner I can get back to my life.
I’ve got work to get back to, chemo to start, and Gilda to frame for it. Frankly, I’m swamped.