Sunday, October 14, 2018

Wound Care

My friend Webb Chiles is sailing down Chesapeake Bay on his world girdling 24 foot Gannet, I am in bed this Sunday morning with a view of the back courtyard bathed in Miami sunshine.  My wife who understands my needs even from afar sent me unsolicited pictures of her life outside, “in the world” doing banalities like walking Rusty and doing Spring Cleaning which I love as I enjoy an uncluttered home. 

Rusty keeps an eye on proceedings from the shade of our utility trailer. 

I awoke from a nap this morning clawing my way out of a suffocation nightmare. The details escape me fortunately as there is nothing so dull as recounting dreams but it reminded me of my mental stress since the accident six weeks ago.  At first I couldn’t sleep because I kept replaying my agony as I fell asleep. Now I can sleep but while awake I have discovered phobias that previously never bothered me...

When watching Netflix I cannot stand seeing death scenes. The sounds of bones crunching set my teeth on edge and I squirm in bed. The sounds of vehicle accidents leave me breathless. All too often I cover my telephone screen and look away. I never had these sensibilities before. I suppose they were inevitable now I have long numb gashes in my legs and across my pelvic area.  I have been broken after 60 years and the pain of being crunched does not need to be brought back to mind. 

I had nightmares about a return to the hospital last week when they told me one of my pelvic incisions had developed the fearsome MRSA bacterium. There was for a day a tussle over treatment but in the end Doxycycline won out and it is beating back the infection. A cream treatment is granulating the necrosis and the wound isn’t oozing particularly badly. Check it out, as this is no holds barred recovery and rehab remember? You’re in this journey with me. 

That’s where they sliced me open six weeks ago to insert a screw to hold the left side of my pelvis together. There are several more cuts where they bolted all sorts of ironmongery into me. The big screw at the top is where the incision got infected. 

I have lots of lumps and numbness I don’t particularly want to explore on my thigh where I broke the femur in two places but my pain comes from the injured leg roughed up during physical therapy. Pain decreases and mobility increases. Lucky me. Wound care happens once a day, the gauze is removed and the wound washed and treated with cream to break up the necrosis, the black dead tissue. Then Serret, the nurse with the gentlest hands covers it up. I enjoy the nurses with the gentlest dispositions and we end up chatting.  

He came to the US in 2006 after a career as a doctor in Cuba. There are nurses and aides all over the place who had full medical careers in Cuba and gave them up to cross the water. I’ve started to recognize their talent in the way they accomplish menial tasks they are allowed to do here. We talked emigration for a while. 

Wound re-covered for 24 hours. No oozing no danger. MRSA be gone. Time for a nap and then some Facebook to take my mind off it. Recovery seemed so uncertain last week dealing with this. This week is better.  Now I wait for Webb to land and send me dispatches from the edge of his experiences.