Wound vacs are pretty small and light now, they fit in a small shoulder bag and not much weight - but they dangle around if carried that way and bump into stuff. Our solution was the walker with the basket... Mostly George hated to be tethered to it all the time. He is happy to be rid of it. It worked like a charm though.
We had 3 operations - two major - and 5 stays in ICU. First the removal of the bladder and prostate - and that was actually the easiest, the robotic, laprascopic operation left hardly a mark and he recouped very fast at first, was zooming around in the hospital halls after a couple days. But then he got very nauseous and they put a tube down his nose and had to try and try again because it wouldn't go down - so he ended up aspirating a ton of food and was in ICU with pneumonia for a few days. That almost killed him. Then they realized that nothing was going down to the colon and his belly swelled up like he was highly pregnant. Eventually they did the second major operation, which left him with the entire belly cut wide open. That was stapled shut at first, but got infected deep inside and so the third operation - removing bad tissue and closing the musculature up again. That's when they started the wound vac... And finally,when allowed to eat after weeks, he aspirated food again and had pneumonia again. Lots of ICU stays - and very scary, all of it.
When all physical issues were taken care of we left. He was simply too despondend to recover there. Thank god one of the surgeons agreed with me and issued walking papers - otherwise we would have been stuck there because the insurance would not have paid without walking papers.
But the nightmare is over, he is returning step by step to his normal life now. Answers the door, lets the dogs out, even did his laundry the other day. We go shopping together - I fetch a shopping cart and he gets out of the car and walks the cart into the store, then uses one of these scooters.
I am tickled pink everytime he does something new. We can both see normalcy returning, and it feels so good.
Glad to hear things are finally going well. I was in the hospital with my RC for 25 days and had 2 major surgeries, the second one was to fix the ureter that sprung a leak. I didn't think I would ever get better. I developed a fistula besides 3 spots on my incision that would not heal, I too had a wound vac which was a pain in the butt, they are heavy and when you have lost your muscle tone it is very tiring to carry them around. After almost 3 years I am back to my normal self and feeling great. I am sure things will be the same for you, Good luck and keep up the good work.
pT3a no mo
Rc with Ileal Conduit on 6-09-08
2nd surgery on 6-27-09 for ureter leak
Renal failure on 7-01-09 nephy tube and then stent on 7-09-09
so far so good
Yes, I think you are right to put that difficult hospital time behind you and face a more optimistic time ahead. There are still obstacles, yes, but they are smaller, more manageable, so one by one you and he will overcome them. I marvel at the strength you both have shown.
I'm 70, retired heat/air contractor. After 4 months of keymo ileal conduit (IC) surgery removed bladder & prostate May 2010
We finally got rid of the wound vac. We have two small wounds left - but they discontinue the machine when everything is up to skin level.
One wound is like half a match stick. Should close up in a couple days. The other is the size of a silver dollar - should close up in a week.
So he is a free man now, no hoses all day. He walks briskly, still is required to use the walker for another two weeks to ensure strong belly musculature. But he occasionally just forgets the walker - like when he goes to the kitchen to get something...
Strength - the type that creates endurance - still needs to be built up slowly. But we are right on target with that - the prediction was that he would be back to normal by May.
The only thing that is still an issue is swallowing. Not sure if his muscles are just still to weak - but he is still scared to swallow any solids. I can whip up just abouit anything in the Vitamix by now, and he is eating good real foods - but liquified. I am slowly increasing the thickness, but he will not eat any lumps.
So Thursday we get a speech therapist - these are the people who understand most about swallowing.
We are finally really able to distance ourselves from the experience. These 5 weeks in the hospital were pure torture for the both of us. Thankfully he has forgotten much of it...
So we are doing well and both very happy to be here.
Sorry I was so slow in responding --- your hospital journey was long but so glad you all are home --- things definately go better at home and I hope healing process continues --- I know it sounds trite but all he is going through is 'normal' so take care, hang in there --- been a 'bag man' since 9/11/10 and not bad at all especially the cancer free part
Age 72 had radical 9/11/10 have conduit everything is fine, grateful to be a cancer survivor. Lost Dad and Brother to Cancer both in their 50's.