Posted by: Kate | April 26, 2010

Fingers, Toes, Arms, Legs, Eyes…

This morning, I posted a couple of messages, on Facebook and a message board I frequent, asking people to cross their fingers for me. I had a 1:40 appointment with the surgeon who performed my hysterectomy, as a general follow-up and to decide whether I need to continue using the VAC on my two surgical wounds, or if it’s time to kiss it good-bye.

I was fairly certain she would approve the discontinuation of the smaller VAC site, because it was so shallow and because the VNA nurses said so at every single dressing change. But the other site was uncertain; one nurse was positive it would go, another was doubtful, and I knew that it had been less than a week since I’d had an open hole in my abdominal wall. Somehow it seemed inappropriate to me to move to a lighter form of wound-healing when you could, with the aid of a flashlight alone, take a gander at my spleen, or whatever is over there since my appendix has taken leave of my body (This is an assumption; I had neither the flexibility nor the desire to actually lean around that way to peer in.). Once the hole had closed and seemed willing to stay that way, I was less freaked out at the idea of moving to something less intensive.

And my God, was I tired of that VAC. Lugging it around, dealing with tubes and wires every time I wanted to move more than four feet in any direction, remembering to plug it in and charge it every time I would be sitting still a while (which is a lot, because my mother and Willem, bless their hearts, won’t let me lift a finger around the house, and the edema that leaves my ankles spilling out over the tops of my shoes tends to make my mother very nervous, so I’m bullied gently persuaded to remain seated almost all the time when I’m home)… it just got old, long ago, and I was so very ready to be done with it.

So I asked for a few spare vibes and well-wishes, or just a simple crossing of fingers (or, really, any available pair of body parts) for luck.Β  Lo and behold, whether they worked or whether it’s just a case of my body chugging along and doing its thing… it worked.

Ding, dong… the VAC is gone.

I still have big dressings over each wound, and will continue to have thrice-weekly nursing visits to change said dressings, for at least another week or three. But no wires, no nasty tubes displaying precisely what the Vacuum Assisted Closure device is vacuuming out of my body. No constant, beyond-annoying slurping, gurgling noises while it sucked away, 24 hours a day.

It’s one more step toward normal. Which is a place I really am very interested in revisiting.


  1. I am so happy for you!!!! HUGS

  2. Hooray! That must feel so, so good!

  3. Congratulations!

  4. I’m so happy for you Kate! Glad to hear that you are healing up well and continuing on your path toward “normal.” πŸ˜‰

  5. Yay! Yay! Yay!

  6. All good news…thanks for sharing…and keep healing!


    Behold the power of the knittyvibes!

    Well, that and the power of your tough self. πŸ™‚

  8. Oh wow! Kate I’m so happy for you!! You’re getting better every day! *hugs*

  9. Yay! Will write more when I get the chance, but I was praying for this.

    One comment — some of the edema may come from being so sedentary. At what point can you start with some physical therapy to build up stamina again?

    Once again, though, the most important thing: HOORAY!!!

  10. Yay! I am so happy for you. Keep on going.

  11. Woot! Hooray for recovery!

  12. YAY!!!!!

  13. WAHOOOO!! I am so happy that you are able to take another step back to “normal”
    That is awesome!

  14. YAY!!! Thats fantastic!! Another little bit closer to being all good/normal/all you again!

  15. One more thing ticked off that pesky to-do list. Are congratulations in order here or would that just be too weird? At any rate, HUZZAH!!

  16. This is wonderful news!!! And I have to admit, the idea of being able to literally PEER INSIDE of another person’s body is a little bit fascinating. I’m sure it’s less appealing when you’re the one with the gaping hole in your body, but if I’d been there in MA with you, I’d have been asking to look at it. (I also love watching operation shows on TV … or at least, I did when we had cable.) Am I weird?? Better you know now, I guess …


    Still, SO SO excited for you!

  17. I am so happy for you! still sending fast healing vibes πŸ™‚

  18. […] than to rely on it.Β  I’ve definitely made some physical advances in recent weeks: I’m off the VAC, and I’m able to navigate the stairs without it being an all-day sort of event, complete with […]

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