Thursday, November 6, 2014

Confessions of the Not So Perfect Patient

Day 16

  I did something bad.  Something that I was warned about so many times.  I got my cast wet.
  At my one week post-op, Martin, the casting technician, gave me a high five because when he removed my plaster cast, there was no evidence of it being soiled with water.  "What did you do to keep you cast dry?" he asked.  "I bought a special shower bag", I responded with content.  "Well, you did a really good job at keeping it dry, but I would recommend you take a sponge bath instead.  You don't want to have to come back in to get it changed or be out of luck on a weekend with a wet cast," he responded.  A sponge bath?  Out off the question, I thought.  I'm a two shower a day type of girl.  No joke, I shower before and after I workout.  A sponge bath was not happening. "How can you tell if someone got their cast wet?" I asked.  "You can just tell by looking at it", he said, " and it would smell like decay."
  The following Sunday, I got my cast a touch wet.  The water pooled on the shower bag so when I took it off, the water ran onto my cast.  No big deal, I was getting a new cast in two days time and it dried up in about 4-6 hours.
  Today, only two days after my new cast change, it's soaked.  I'm not sure how deep the water penetrated.  I hope I can survive with this one on for 12 more days.  This time, the water actually got inside the shower bag past the rubber bands that were supposed to seal it.  My leg has been itchy and I've been cold all day.  I ran a blow dryer down my cast on the cool setting several times but it doesn't seem to be much help.

  I'm a bit worried I'll have to return to Ottawa tomorrow to get a new cast.  I feel a little embarrassed, after all, the incident did happen on my second shower of the day after my workout.  What will Martin think?  Am I that thick headed non-compliant patient?  I ask my patients to follow specific instructions all the time to ensure their best healing following laser eye surgery.  When they don't listen, it's frustrating.  I am that patient.  Two showers a day Michelle? Come on!

  I guess I'll go out and buy a sponge, darn-it!

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