Saturday, July 31, 2010

First In-Home Nurse Visit

VNACJ Nurses of the 1930s

The Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey (VNACJ) began with a meeting of volunteers on June 24, 1912 at Brookdale Farm, and has since evolved into one of the premier providers of community health care services.

Madeline, our VNACJ nurse, arrived today around 11:00 am. She was absolutely terrific, and couldn't have been nicer. In addition to redressing the wound, she answered some of our questions:

Q: If my wound was infected, why wasn't I prescribed antibiotics?
A: I did not have a fever which meant that the infection was most likely localized, and therefore the entire body did not need to be treated with antibiotics.

Q: What is the purpose of reopening the wound?
A: Usually wounds heal from the inside out, but in my case the wound healed in reverse: basically the top external portion healed over before I was internally healed - creating a "pocket" where infections can occur. The point of the packing is to keep the wound open so that the inside can heal fully.

Q: How will this wound eventually close - do they just sew it up?
A: It's unlikely that I will need stitches. Most likely, as the wound heals, the doctor will decrease the amount of packing, until eventually all of the packing will be removed. The entire wound will then be covered by a bandage, and the body should naturally heal the wound close.

Since Gary did such a great job redressing the wound, she feels that a nurse is not needed every day (and we agree). I am scheduled to receive two more in-home visits next week: Monday and Friday. She really provided some peace of mind, and Gary and I are much more confident that we can tackle this latest hurdle.

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