10 April 2007: we can breathe again...

Category: General
Posted by: erin
I got in to see Dad right around 11 in the morning, when his first PT session on the rehab floor started. As he still had the incredibly smelly vac dressing on (w/ the suction hooked up to the wall), he was restricted to the bedside.

This session was a re-eval checking range of motion and strength in different muscle groups. Dad is still pretty strong, even after 4 weeks(!) in bed. He has the same thin stretched-out look to his muscles that he did when he finished the AT. He has mentioned several times that he thinks his time on the AT saved his life.. purged toxins, built up good (if well-padded) muscles, improved conditioning, etc.

The most painful part of PT was dealing with the donor-site bandages on his back. The zero-form was very stiff, and wanted to pull away from the healing skin when he sat up. Picture the itchy, crusty, partly healed scab you'd get on a skinned knee, reinforce it on the outside with something tape-like, and then picture that covering/stuck to most of your back and your butt. Then think about sitting up or moving to get out of bed. YEOW.

As the PT was working with Dad, I noticed that some of the assistants were busy with the Lysol out in the hallway--the dressing was that fragrant. At around 4:30, Tammy came in to change it (it had been on for 5 days). The improvement to air quality was noticeable immediately.

Tammy spent over an hour and a half with the bandaging. Things still look pretty good, but some of the graft regressed a little (which is not unusual for a wound of that size). She rigged his stump with a dry bandage, rather than another vac dressing, and removed almost all of the zero-form from his back. She further promised him a full scrub down on the spray table down in the burn unit tomorrow afternoon. Dad can't wait for that, especially as the zero-form on his right thigh should be coming off with the help of some water tools.

He is curious about how PT will go tomorrow sans crusty stiff stuff on his back. He is now off of the PT restrictions (previously a max of 2 hours sitting to avoid excess pressure on the graft) as well, which should make his life over the next few days even more interesting.

My understanding is that there will be daily bandage changes until Friday to keep an eye on the regressed area (2x2 patch). If it doesn't right itself over the course of the week, it will be back to the carrot peeler in the OR for a patch-up.
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ruthk wrote:

It's great to know that everything is moving right along. I image that Mike is feeling some sense of freedom by having the trapeze bar so he can reposition himself by himself. Yea, Mikie..!!!!
...and a spray table scrub down too..! At least part of that will feel good, won't it..? Does he still get big meds to do those kind of things..?
and, is he really free to do any of what PT wants him to do,now..?
I'm thinking of you...
Wish I was there...
Love RuthK
-- 11 April 2007 05:50:09

erin wrote:

Dad says he won't need meds for these little daily bandange changes, the maintenance meds are enough. And yes, no restrictions on PT.. though this new "dry" bandage leaks like a runny nose.
-- 11 April 2007 11:40:20
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