Today Brett was released from the hospital. He really wanted to be back at home. I am now assuming roles as nurse, rehab therapist, and care giver. I’m not so sure I was ready to come home yet but here we are. Brett is still quite weak from the surgery and anesthesia so moving around with part of his brain unprotected by bone feels very precarious. I was expecting this. However, I was less prepared for my new wound care responsibilities.
Brett has three major wounds, each requiring their own special treatments. His thigh wound was the donor sight for his skin graft. It is still pretty bloody and needs a change of bandage twice a day. This involves unwrapping his current bandage - the worst part because it sticks to the wound and hurts as it is removed. Basically, he has a gauze wrapping that circles around the length of his thigh and this is covered by a loosely wrapped ace bandage. Under it all is a material that stays on the wound to be changed by the docs only (thank goodness). This job is pretty messy and the most time consuming of my wound care tasks. I’m understanding a bit more about hospital setups for performing these types of procedures.
Then there is his back wound. It is stapled closed and looks pretty good (although quite long) but there are two drains coming out of the base of the incision. I get to empty those drains twice daily and record the output. It is my science fair type of task since it encompasses the recording of data.
Finally, I address the head wound. I mix a solution of saline and hydrogen peroxide and q-tip around the edges of Brett’s skin graft. Then he gets a new dressing of zero form that is draped over his skin graft. All of this currently takes me about an hour to accomplish. I’m hoping to shave some time off of this tomorrow.
I’m also attempting to turn over some of my rehab therapy tasks. Today, Ron, our PT from Rehab Without Walls, did an evaluation of Brett. Hopefully, our insurance will cover some more at-home rehab since it has become nearly impossible to do outpatient rehabilitation at this time. If we get this approved, it will be a big relief.
In the meantime, Brett needs lots of rest. His body now has so much healing to do and I think it’s exhausting. We’re trying to feed him healthy foods and encourage lots of naps. He is still feeling a bit down because he feels like he is moving backward. I keep reassuring him that it’s just temporary.