Feeling very pleased with myself as this week I succesfully cleaned and dressed the wound myself. I waited until everybody was out, then just got on with it! It was the first time I saw it in the mirror, up until now I only saw the pictures as my head is down whilst my wife / mother cleans the wound. Surprised how much smaller it looks in the flesh. It took me around 30mins to clean as I kept looking at the wound to make sure I hadn't damaged anything (and to admire my own handy work). lol - Straight forward enough, although I managed to get Iodene all over my hands, down my back and on the brand new flooring that was laid just last week, other than that, PERFECT!!! :-)
The itching is now almost (but not quite) unbarable. For the last few days I was using a different brand of pressure bandage which seemed to breath less. I think it may also have contributed to a slight rash that came up 2 days ago, just below my lower scar line on the left. After thorough cleaning and change of bandage brand, it has dramatically reduced this evening and seems settled, so hopefully no issues. Anyways, I informed Dr. Umar and will see what his view of it is. One other point to note is that Dr. Umar advised I stop using the Bacitracin ointment last week. My GP (General Practitioner - basically a UK term for your regular/generalist doctor) questioned the use of this drug for more than the first 7 days as it is an antibiotic. She advised that after 7 days the effects would be null as my body's defences would become immune to it. I put it to Dr. Umar and he mentioned that the Bacitracin was also important as a lubricant during the early stages to prevent the guaze sticking to the wound (well he is the expert). I informed my GP, who then prescribed me the required repeat prescription (UK equivalent called - Polyfax Ointment 20g). To my surprise, when I stopped using the Polyfax ointment, the Iodene soaked guaze does 'not' stick to the wound at all, very impressed! Whilst I'm on the subject of UK equivalent drugs, we (in the UK) do not have Betadine, so my Pharmacist and my GP prescribed Viodene Antiseptic Solution - 10% w/w Cutaneous Solution - Iodinated Povidone). Looks, feels and smells exactly the same as Betadine and seems to work a treat - Both are Iodene based and used for cleaning!
Dr. Umar's update from last week was that I am likely to have my sutures removed the follwoing week (e.g. this week). Can't wait, I appreciate the good they have done, but I just want them gone as I feel I have to be extra cautious with them.
So, below are this week's photos after 4x weeks, after being cleaned but prior to being dressed and msot likely the last set of pictures before the sutures are removed (hopefully tomorrow). The sutures are quite embedded and some are barely visible:
This last picture shows the rash (although it's now hardly visible). It was really itching so I was keen to be sure it's nothing serious, will report more on this next time:
Notice also the little bumps below the scar line, I think they are heat-related due to the different brand of pressure bandages that didn't seem to breath as well as the usual ones. Whatever the cause, those bandages are long gone! Will see what Dr. Umar says and how this progresses and report more next time.
Until next time...