The plan was for Mom’s incision to be stapled yesterday before they released her from the hospital. After waiting all day for the doctor and the procedure, when he finally arrived my parents learned that her skin tissue was too thin for them to be able to staple after all. Somehow I don’t think my skin would have that problem but she is 77 years old and that probably was a factor.
Instead they’re doing a different thing this morning: a vacuum closure procedure that we’re all a little iffy about. If any of you know about it, please add a comment and I’ll share with my parents. Here’s what I know:
During the V.A.C. procedure, surgeons place a sponge into the wound and cover it with an occlusive dressing. A suction device is applied and removes fluid from the wound. This procedure reduces bacteria in the wound, draws out stagnant toxins and stimulates new blood flow, decreasing the wound healing time dramatically.
Source: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
The dressing has to be changed every three days for up to 2 months in her case, which brought home to us how long her recovery will actually be. The good news, though, is that she’s coming home today!
On Christmas Day her dinner was mashed potatoes, soup and jello. Yesterday it was chicken-fried steak (which I’ve never known Mom to eat but she was hungry), mashed potatoes, green beans, and pumpkin pie. I was reassured that her tummy was able to handle regular food, which will make it easier when she gets home. Of course, there is no fresh food in the house because Dad’s been eating out, mostly at the hospital. So I urged him to do a grocery run before he went to the hospital today.
My brother and sister in law are heading up again today and will stay until Monday. He has work that has to be finished by Monday but with a laptop and Internet connections, can work anywhere. They’ll help take down and store Christmas things, probably do some cooking and shopping, and mostly just visit and help with the transition. I’m very grateful that they’re able to do it, especially since we didn’t know for sure until yesterday that today was the day she was coming home.
I’m researching flights and trying to figure out when I can get there for a long weekend visit. Flying in winter is always a bit iffy but I think I’ve found some options. My next assignment is to find, interview and hire a cat sitter for Tessie. It costs the same to pay someone to come here and feed and play with her as it would to board her at the vet’s, where she would be in a cage. Staying at home is infinitely better. I’ve never had to worry about child care before and admit I’m fretting about leaving her — but being with my mom is worth it.
Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers. They mean the world and I know made a difference.