Monthly Archives: August 2016

Wound Vac Info

I’ve been asked a few times this week. It’s a vacuum applied to a wound area. The goal in my case is to drain away excess fluids and also to get the cells around the cavity to regrow.

After my c section I had a new kind of wound vac (pico dressing) instead of stitches or staples. It is like skin tape with a hose the diameter of a pencil leading to a power pack containing 4 AA batteries. For most people this is sufficient and considerably better than other methods. It helped 99% of my incision heal.

Because I was so swollen through pregnancy, my excess fluids sought a way out. Most of it left through normal means, but I had 4 little holes on the incision reopen themselves to release the fluid. When it wouldn’t shut, I ended up needing to be reopened 1/2 way.

The wound vac I now carry comes with more of everything. It’s 5lbs and carries like a purse, not like the pico I could stuff in my pocket. It’s tube is huge, and connects to a suction cup and lots and lots of medical grade Scotch tape over my incision. Inside the incision is foam packing much like craft sponge paint brushes. Every twist or time I move, I feel it in there jabbing me. Because the wound is on a crease or natural joint area, I feel it often. All this drains to a container that really smells awful.

Because it’s been on so long, my skin is raw. Because a nurse has been negligent, I have a suction area that’s a giant hickey. She forgot to put down tape first. Some nurses have overstuffed the wound causing it to stay open. Somehow last week I wasn’t sealed quite right so I was leaking.

At no point were my doctors erring in the choices made for me and I haven’t had any infections. The only thing wrong here was too many delays in the transfer of my care from each facility (OB that did the section, OB that removed pico, delay to get Asher discharged so I could se my home normal OB, and the wait for wound clinic to get me in).

Adding to the adventure, as my blood pressure gets lower because the swelling is leaving my body, I have moments that feel much like a diabetic when their sugars are too low. I nearly passed out this morning while bending over the tub to wash my hair (can’t take a full shower with this vac).

Around all this Asher is on a growth spurt. He wants to stay awake far to long. This evening was rather rough.

We are hanging in but I want to be healed and able to enjoy some of the newborn phase yet.

Wednesday might be the day I get this off…if I heal enough between now and then.

What is a Wound Vac?

A wound vac pump is necessary and miserable. For the past 2 weeks I’ve had this machine and tubing hooked up to my abdomen pumping away the pregnancy swelling fluids. I don’t have an end date on it…just…when I’m done.

It’s becoming unbearable. My skin is really raw under all the tape. This morning I managed to leak out through the bandaging. The smell is awful.

This week alone I have 7 medical appointments for me to get my wound and back in order plus a follow up with the OB.

But… For the other pics included…it is all worth it.

My body needs to release what it was never supposed to hold on to. I am choosing the long, lonely, and painful process of total healing all the way through because to drag this out later would be far worse.

I can barely walk and Matt is rather busy caring for Asher and I as soon as he gets home from work. It’s hard to spare even time for him to run errands at the store as I need someone on hand to help me and even to pick Asher up.

If you’d like to help us with a meal, see This is most appreciated and helpful for us. I have no clue when I can get back to cooking again. I’d say we’ve got food on hand half a week yet.

If you’d rather help by getting supplies for Asher, see

I’m also very open for help in the daytime driving me to appointments, being on hand at home to do simple things like bring me water or anything that involves walking. I can do this, but the vac makes it painful and I overdid myself this weekend.

what is a wound vac

After Another Day

And after another day of friends helping, the yard is caught up and the ripe tomatoes are now sauce.

I’m pushing myself today. I’ve been on bed rest for over a month. My back seizing is because I must be careful about a wound vac and all its bandaging. But letting my muscles atrophy and become unable to handle lifting Asher is awful. After 2 days of chiropractor appointments, once again I can stand up!

So this morning I stood and walked around a lot. Thankful for help getting sauce canned. I didn’t lift much but was able to stand for a little bit to chop herbs.

I’ve been off pain meds for 6 hours now for the first time since last Wednesday.

We are 6 weeks past my initial hospital check in. Make no mistake, this isn’t just normal pregnancy recovery. Continued prayers appreciated. We’ve gotta be done with setbacks and healing must come soon.

Back Seized

So thankful for the meals delivered and the crew of guys that came over last night to help Matt with yard work. Really it has meant so much to us. In just a few hours they got us mostly caught up.

My back seized up yesterday while I was changing Asher. It was meant to be my first day home (again) with him. I called my mom in tears of pain and frustration that I can’t hold my son. I think the pain of my wound has kept me too still in a recliner and now my core and back muscles are complaining about the month of laying the same way too long.

Having a 6 week early baby means we never got time to make ahead freezer meals and certainly weren’t planning on neglecting the garden for 2 months. We really hadn’t even organized all the stuff for the baby. We expected about 2 weeks of down time as most c sections go, and that to happen maybe a week before Asher’s due date.

This is a slow and long road for my recovery…but still so very worth it.

Back for Help

I woke up excited about my first day (again) home alone with Asher. I thought surely I can resume working on my laptop around his feedings. But then I went to change a diaper and ended up in tears. So much sitting in a way to help my incision has left my back super seized. I called my mom in for yet another day of help. She has an appointment this evening.

So for Matt to do much with the help coming for the yard, getting help for me would be huge. I’m basically barely able to walk at this point and can not bend over.

So hard not to get discouraged. Healing is happening despite the current perspective.

Pain and Packing

Wound care appointment today went better. The physical therapist did a few things to make changing the packing much more comfortable. Also, she said I had too much packing in last time which was causing irritation and making me uncomfortable. This time it’s already feeling easier to walk around and sit up.

Still slow going as far as healing. She said basically not to be discouraged because it seems very slow and suddenly it’ll jump into faster mode to heal completely. So…I wait. And attempt walking around.

The pain meds are particularly unpleasant. I only take them during the changings and nap them off afterward so I can get back to work and thinking clearly.

No medical appointments now until Friday afternoons changing. That’s a big big deal!