With the 1st vac change, it was now to become a part of my weekly routine. Every Wednesday was the vac change day.
I can not stress more the need for physiotherapy at a time like this. My knees and ankles had started to get stiffer, and working out was something I looked forward to.
Now here’s something I keep getting reminded of “The Qadr of Allah” ( loosely translated as Allah has willed or predestined things ) Before my accident, I was working full time. Taking online Animation sessions, freelancing, and working on landscaping. Yup! I kept myself busy and active. Sadly I was missing out on being with my parents and bro. I was also missing out on my workout routine which involved mostly cycling. I remember getting a call from my friend who wanted to check up on me. We hadn’t talked in a while. I told him ” Dude! I have been really busy, so busy that I don’t have time to stand!” Oh boy! the heavens heard me alright, now I got all the time and I don’t even need to stand!😂
Life works things out in a weird way!
I wanted to take a break in January, be at home, time with my parents. I had even started cycling and wanted to start a workout routine. But little did I know that my workout routine would be on a bed for the last few months working on physiotherapy!! 😁 Also, I got to stay with my parents and bro!! My new help Rajaettan seemed to enjoy physio more than I. He was very eager whenever it was time for physio and he did a pretty good job of it too. We did all the leg work out just as I practiced from the hospital. We also added a workout for the arms and shoulders using the Theraband, even for the back and stomach!! just as Febitha had suggested and advised!😊
The Vac Alerts start!
It was right after one of the workout sessions, that Rajettan and I heard a sound, a beeping sound that kept going on and on. Initially, we thought it was from either of our mobile phones. It took us a bit to realize that the sound was coming from the Vac Machine. It was a blockage alert. Anoop had mentioned that the Machine alarm would go off if there is a block in the tube or an air leak or even when the canister is full. The blockage alert warning sign flashed on the screen of the machine.
We called up Anoop and informed him of the alert. He said he would arrive by evening 6, in the meantime with the help of his colleague they directed us to an engineering mode on the machine, to keep the therapy running and to turn off the alarm.
At six 6 Anoop arrived. I wondered if he would have to reapply the foam. Luckily that was not needed. He started checking the tube and suction head. Then the foamed areas. He couldn’t find the problem on the outside. So he had to unwrap the gift wrappings a little and check things inside.
Anoop then removed the suction head and noticed that there was a very small exudate “gloop” that had blocked up the suction head. He got it out and attached the suction head back, with the block out the machine started to function as normal. Before wrapping things up he did a complete check for leaks or areas where the cellophane tape might have come off or become loose. Especially around the pin areas. With all things back to normal, we were done. I suppose when I was doing my leg physio work out the movement must have caused the gloop to get lodged at the suction head. I had about 2 more days to go for the next review. So I decided to cut down on the physio for the time being.
The Alert is back !!
The next day after I had just finished lunch I felt something wet below my right thigh. I have had the mishap of spilling water while washing after lunch in the past. But not now. Curiously I felt under my thigh, it was wet and so were the sheets and my dress under it!! Plus there was a weird stench too. On closer look, I found that the exudate had started to leak through the foam and tape. It was now oozing out from under my thigh!!!
Soon the Vac machine put out an air leak alert alarm. I texted Anoop, unfortunately, he was working out of town that day. We now knew what to do in case of the alarm. Dad managed to put it on engineering mode. But this time though the alarm did turn off, the machine wasn’t showing the required amount of pressure. There was variation in the wound pressure as well. I suppose it was due to the leaking area. I could also hear a slight leaking sound like the kind you hear if you have a pinhole puncture on your cycle’s tire or on a balloon.
By afternoon Anoop came and went to work. This time we had to undo all the gift wrapping. We had to find out where the leak was and clog it!!. This was the most difficult part. Anoop repositioned the suction head, by making a ‘ bridge ‘ (connecting with little bits of foam to direct the exudate towards the suction head- at least that’s what I understood from his explanations). He had applied a fresh stretch of the specialized cellotape on the oozing area under the thigh and restarted the Machine. The air leak alarm just wouldn’t stop.
Finally, in the last effort, we managed to cello tape up the entire area going all over the wound area and in between the pins. We couldn’t locate the leaking spot, but with the injured area now taped up completely, finally, it had stopped!
It was one huge effort, we were all tired and exhausted. Rajettan holding and lifting on the fixators, Anoop trying to find the leak, going over each and every inch applying and reapplying the tape. I was all the while managing my thighs on my own! I really missed having Dr. Askhar and Dr. Shahid around. I mean it wasn’t easy for all of us. Back at the hospital, we have at least 4 to 5 persons, to help with such a procedure, and at home, we managed it with 2! Couldn’t thank Rajettan and Anoop enough that evening. That night I was consciously making an effort ‘NOT’ to move my leg at all. Just in case! Can’t imagine having a situation break out like this late at night.
The next day was my review and vac change. As I mentioned earlier it was starting out to be a routine for me. The morning I was supposed to go to the hospital, the vac machine alerted us of a block again! This time we left it on the engineering mode, as Anoop would replace it at the hospital anyway in a few hours.
It’s always the scariest when things happen to you for the 1st time. If the same thing that scared or troubled you, keeps happening to you two things happen- you learn to avoid such things and if that doesn’t work, you learn to accept it and eventually get used to it. The panicky reaction subsides, and your faith in the Qadr of Allah takes over! 😊