I am not a nurse or have anything to do with the medical field – although I have a son who is a paramedic, who clearly, did not get his calling from me – but being a mom and granny I’ve dressed and bandaged many, many wounds with the variety of ordinary bandages and plasters I’ve had in my first aid box. I’ve never needed anything else but the basics, except for now. I must add here that I am squeamish … extremely so!!! I can handle a bleeding wound to a point. If it’s ‘pouring’ blood, I do what I can to stop the bleeding and take child to the doctor. Once I hand child over, I collapse! My job is done. Child is in good hands now!
My son Carl – yes, the paramedic – was always in the wars, as most boys are, but there is one incident I will never forget. He was in his early teens and took a tumble… a super duper side-ways slide actually .. off his bike around the sharp corner on the road where we live .. said corner is always covered in parts, with sand. In those days, I was lucky enough to spend a few minutes on the bed in the afternoon, (something I very seldom to now). I could have a 5 minute nap. Exactly 5 minutes! My body knew when 5 minutes was up :) Anyway .. there I was in my deep 5 minute snooze when a voice came from afar “Mom I’ve had an accident”. This was repeated until I woke.
There he was, standing in the bedroom doorway, arms and legs slightly astride, with blood about to drip on the carpet from knees, elbows and chin. Grabbing a towel for him to lie on, I proceeded to wash and patch him up. I can do all that. But the chin was tricky. It wouldn’t stop bleeding from a zigzag cut, probably a couple of centimetres long. I bundled him in the car to our GP which is far quicker than the emergency room at our local hospital. Once I handed him over, I didn’t have to be brave anymore. I didn’t let him (my son) see me collapse in heap, white faced and shaking, needing my own assistance from the nursing sister !!
So yes, I am squeamish !!
Now, recently I have had to do more wound cleaning and dressings, this time for my hubby.
Hubby has had melanomas removed. The first one was a biggie because the initial removal was done in the dermatologist’s rooms with a local anaesthetic, which was diagnosed cancerous, hence a second removal by a plastic surgeon resulting in quite a chunk being cut away to ensure all the cancer was removed. This was then, thankfully, diagnosed clear. When he was released from hospital I went with my hubby to the plastic surgeon to find out how to dress with wound, which I might had, was pretty large but very neatly done, with a flap of skin pulled across the wound and there was drain to release unwanted build up of liquid. Plastic surgeon saw, and heard my reaction when I saw this neat patchwork skin in the groin area (a difficult spot as it was) and said something nursing was definitely not my passion or calling. He was so right !!
Anyway, I managed. All was well and healing began.
Another trip to the dermatologist revealed four more melanomas needing removal, also in the rooms with local anaesthetic and the same procedure followed. Hospital, general anaesthetic and plastic surgeon. These were not as deep and all came back negative after testing – thankfully yet again :) The shoulder wound is quite long, with dissolvable stitches – easy on the eye (my eye and level of squeamish!) but the wound on the back … in the waist region .. is long and deepish. A cluster of three melanomas were removed, hence a longer and deeper cut. Definitely NOT easy on the eye and level of squeamishness hits the high notes every single time I change the dressing !!!!
But I must say, using the correct dressings for these wounds have made it easy, even though my blood runs cold every time I change the lower back dressing.
My nurses station and equipment: Sanitary pads, I hear to say? Marvellous for soaking up gunge that oozes. All First Aid kits need a packet panty liners !!
I love these (for the shoulder wound). Dressings for dummies !!! Sooo easy to use, without getting your fingers stuck on the sticky stuff, hence keeping them super hygienic. You unwrap by numbers. 1 and 2 reveal the gauze, on which you smear antibiotic cream. There are two ‘finger’ places on either side that you hold while you place dressing, gauze side down on wound. Press sticky stuff area
This is what it looks like on the wound. Rip 3 off …
… then 4. Voilà !! Dressing is on! Sticks like crazy, hygienic and waterproof
Dressing for longer wound on lower back doesn’t have as many steps but works the same way. Once step 1 is complete, I cut the sanitary pad (panty liner) the same size as the gauze and stick it down. Antibiotic cream is smeared on SP …
Holding on either end you pop dressing over wound, firmly press sticky stuff and peel off top (step 2) ..
And there you have it !! Both wounds dressed and out of sight !!
Let the healing continue