As big a wimp as I am about blood and guts, I have always managed to put that queasiness aside or at least manage it if I absolutely had to. This shower was definitely an exercise in managing my physical revulsion at my wounds. I had to focus on what I needed to do without dwelling on what I was seeing, nor particularly easy for me when I am well, let alone in this kind of condition.
The whole purpose of the plastic over the ostomy bag was to keep it and the surrounding skin dry so the bag would not loosen. The difficulty on that was its proximity to the wounds needing to be flushed. With a mere two inches between the incision and my ostomy there was little, if any chance, the wounds could be flushed without getting water all over the area of the ostomy and it sure didn't look to me like this makeshift barrier could possibly keep things dry.
The shower was fitted with one of those handheld shower heads but it did not have a choice of settings. There really wasn't much of an adjustment for pressure either. Flushing these wounds without getting water underneath the plastic protecting the ostomy didn't seem possible.
I really has gotten no more instruction than to flush with warm water for fifteen minutes. Now looking at the condition of the wounds I figured my best course of action would be to treat it the same way I had the hole in Lilly's chest.
I tried to keep the stream of water angled away from the location of the ostomy. I had to gauge how close I held the shower head based on how the water deflected so it wasn't splashing too forcefully onto the area that needed to be protected. At the same time I knew there needed to be enough pressure to remove all debris from both wounds.
It was an exercise in futility and in addition to that it was darn cold. Keeping the water on that small portion of my body left the rest of me exposed to the cool air of the room.
I had concerns about using the water to keep me warm because of the possibility of exposing my wounds to something far worse that could be hanging out on these hospital bathroom walls. That was the last thing I needed.
To remove everything that appeared to be abnormal from my wounds I had to abandon my plan of keeping the water turned away from the ostomy. It took turning that nozzle any and all directions to thoroughly cleanse both wounds, despite the fact I knew doing so was probably compromising the integrity of the seal on my ostomy bag.
This was the flaw in the surgeon's plan that no one noticed and I would be the one to pay for that oversight. I just didn't know it yet.
To be continued......