RA body
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Death by a thousand cuts

A few years ago I had a severe breast infection caused by a combination of breast cancer radiation and methotrexate. It took ten months of extensive therapy including one surgery to heal. Last year I had wounds in both legs that took nine weeks of treatment at the wound clinic to heal. This year it was a freak accident with a stool that caused an extensive open wound. Each incident was different.

Each incident required extensive wound care at the clinic and at home by me.

I have completed six weeks at the wound clinic  including three weeks attached to a negative pressure machine complete with a long drainage tube.

Today at the wound clinic my nurses were shaking their heads at my wound. Progress had hit a glitch. Their solution was to add a collagen powder to the wound. I am so glad they are finished with debriding the wound. It was extremely painful. .  My nurse carefully cuts a V.A.C. granufoam dressing that looks like a sponge into the shape of my wound. Then she covers it with a V.A.C. drape and applies a pressure sensing pad attached to a drainage tube.

My leg is wrapped in a soft felt like fabric. Then all is sealed in with an adhesive wrap that looks like a modern-day ace bandage sticky on one side. The tubing is attached to the canister of a portable negative pressure machine.  

My raw wound  always hurts until the dressing settles on top of the wound.  Again I leave the clinic feeling depleted.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like not to have trailing tubing and a purring machine to carry around every where I go. Will it be Halloween or Thanksgiving before I am done? Hopefully it isn’t Christmas.

I have never been more than a borderline type two diabetic. My A1C has never made it up to seven. Diabetics who have unstable blood sugars have a serious time with infection and wound healing even with modern medicine. My wounds are leaky, big and slow to heal. The last two were not infected.

After treatment for three different cancers and a long list of RA drugs, my body is just rebelling. My illnesses have never been fatal, so it seems I am destined to live a death by a thousand cuts.

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