Eleven months ago I switched from nasogastric tube feeding to gastrostomy tube. After a lengthy stay and several other stays in hospital with complications, sepsis and months of continual leakage. It is apparent that the surrounding area is never going to totally heal. The health professionals have tried their best. I am lucky to have such a dedicated team. We have tried many different creams, ointments and dressings. My tummy at times resembles an active volcano and erupts a molten lava of gastric fluid leaving my skin red raw, blistered and very sore. After the trial and error of creams the best one and the one to stay is the cavilon lollipops. They act as a barrier, and its a wonderful life saver I can tell you. As for the dressings, well many have been tried and tested. At one point I looked like I had been shot. I was covered from my breasts to my waist. The nurse on the ward thought it best to keep it all sealed. This didn’t work, after several dressings later, we realised I am allergic to micropore, elastoplast, dressings, and good old fashioned crepe bandage. The dressing that worked was the foam dressing. A hole was cut in the dressing and it was wrapped round my peg. The only trouble with this is the amount I leak out. The dressing takes the leakage but after a time it starts to sit on the dressing and then build up on my tummy.
My nurse, Evelyn, that comes in and changes my dressing at home noticed this. Evelyn is a dog with a bone. One day she came in with a booklet and a different dressing.
Do you fancy giving this a go? She asked me. Can only give it a try was my answer.
So she sat me down and we went through the booklet together, she demonstrated how she was folding the dressing and how she was going to apply it. This dressing is designed to absorb the leakage. And guess what – it does it so well 🙂 I have even noticed a reduction in the odour. The combination of the barrier and the new dressings, my skin is much improved. Its far from perfect and it will always leak. But with the perseverance of Evelyn on the look out for a more suitable dressing life has become more bearable and a tad less painful. Cant see me shifting from the Keramax dressings in a hurry. And as for my nurse well she is a star.