Monday, August 31, 2009

The Wound Vac... Or Why I'll NEVER be a nurse!!

Friday the new portable wound vac arrived at the Colstrip Clinic. That meant Laurence would have to have everything changed out. First they took off all the wrap. This takes you down to the airtight dressing. Now with the dressing off, you see the sponge that is in the wound soaking up the fluids to be vacuumed out.
Dr. Ortiz is Great! However, taking the sponge out really HURT! At first Laurence said he didn't need any pain meds (mister tough!), but eventually he cried Uncle and asked for some medication.
After taking out the old sponge Dr. Ortiz cut another sponge to fit in the space. (Hopefully each sponge will be smaller than the previous one!).
Then it gets all wrapped up again and we're ready to rock and roll!!
AND we got the new wound vac! Can you believe how much smaller it is than the other one?? It has a strap that goes over your shoulder and he can carry it himself. I no longer have to follow along behind him like a little puppy.:) To make it better yet, I no longer have to get up when he gets up in the night. YAHOO!! Tomorrow we go back in for another dressing change. They will change the dressing every three days until we no longer use the wound vac. Hopefully that will only be a couple of weeks. We leave for Boston Sept. 18 so here's hoping we get rid of this quickly!Aisling, note the Weber hat and the BYU shirt?? We cheerfully support/love them both!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Laurence's Knee..... the benefits of Graham Crackers

Considering the benefits of Honey Maid Graham Crackers in post-op.
In Post-op Laurence couldn't quit talking about how wonderful Graham crackers are and how he had never tasted anything so good! It made me laugh. The surgery took about 30 minutes. Not long at all. When they are planning to put in a wound vac they don't entirely close the wound, they put a sponge in it and then seal it up with an impermeable plastic with the vacuum tube coming out of it. They sent him home with a wound vacuum pump, that sucks out the fluids. Unfortunately, they sent us home with the wrong wound vac. Instead of the portable pump, they sent us with the one that is NEVER to leave the hospital and is supposed to hang on the side of the hospital bed. It weighs about 10 pounds. We had no idea it wasn't the right thing. Hey, they hand it to you, you take it..... However, I did wonder how in the world he was going to go to work etc. carrying this thing around. Below is a picture of it.
That night we stayed in a hotel in Billings. I had problems with the wound vac so we called the dr.'s office the next morning. They had us come in and that is when we found we had the wrong pump. Our Dr's nurse spent so much time trying to get us the proper wound vac. She was so GOOD! However, because of complications with our insurance, we were unable to get the portable one. So, after 3 1/2 hours in the Dr's office the nurse told us to take the hospital vac home. (The hospital was NOT happy about that!). It is a very expensive piece of equipment. But, at that point in the ball game, we HAD to have the wound vac, it was not optional. The company told us they would have a portable wound vac out to us within 24 hours. Well, 48 is pretty close to 24:)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Laurence's Knee.... the beginning

April 5th after watching General Conference Laurence and I were out walking in the yard, getting a bit of exercise. Unfortunately we had a cord in the garden that Laurence caught his foot on and DOWN he went. He landed with his knee right on the corner of a cement landscape brick. It was UGLY!! I thought I was going to have to call 911. After that, to make life more interesting he fell 2 more times. It would swell so much that Laurence felt like the skin was just going to tear open/explode. Finally the dr. said that they needed to do surgery and repair the bursa sack behind the knee cap.
August 25th he went into surgery at St. Vincents Surgery Plus, which is a surgical center for outpatient surgery. Here he is, ready to be wheeled into surgery.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Perfect Match!!

A few years ago when I was in Washington Uncle John let me pick out a table from the ones he made. It was such a HARD decision because they were all BEAUTIFUL!! Finally I settled on a gorgeous table Aunt Helen had in her living room. I love it and it has had a place of honor in our living room ever since. When Laurence was in Lander with Glenn this summer their sister Mila gave them each the lamps they had made in high school. (She had gotten both of them along with their brother Gary's from their mom.)
To be honest about it, they were in pretty bad shape. Laurence brought his home, and really worked on it. He sanded off all the old finish, really cleaned it up, smoothed it up etc. Then he refinished it, rewired it, and we bought a shade for it.
Who would have imagined that it would be a PERFECT match for the table Uncle John made. They look like they were made to go together. I am so happy!! I feel so blessed to have two wonderful pieces of history!!