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. 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.