It’s been a worrisome day. My graft is all scabbed over, and when I changed the bandage this morning, it smelled foul. To me, that says infection. I’m on antibiotics, so it’s not likely, but still, I’m concerned. I took photos of it last night and again this morning.
My patient instructions said to call Dr. M. on his cell if I had any concerns, so I did. I immediately sensed that he didn’t like being called on Sunday morning. I told him about the foul odor, and he asked if I was taking my antibiotics. Then he asked when my next follow up visit was (in almost two weeks). I told him I had taken some close up photos of the graft and asked if I could send them to him so he could take a look. He said no. I’m guessing it has to do with liability, but I could be wrong. He said if I was that concerned about it, I should call his office in the morning and schedule a visit. Alrighty then. That didn’t make me feel any less worried.
8 Days Post-Op. My Face Is Still Swollen.
After scouring the internet for hours looking for images of skin grafts, I finally gave up. Skin graft photos are almost all before-and-after shots, nothing in-between. I decided I’ll start including them in my blog, not only for my own reference, but for other skin graft recipients with the same concerns I have.
Medical articles I found on skin grafts had conflicting info. Some said an odor was to be expected during bandage changes while others said to call my doctor. I visited various skin cancer discussion forums but still couldn’t find a definitive answer. I guess my definitive answer will come in the form of a visit to my surgeon’s office.
9 Days Post-Op
On the bright side, if you can call it that, I’ve discovered Nexcare Absolute Waterproof Tape doesn’t tear off my skin. This morning I cut a gallon Ziploc freezer bag to fit my face, then applied the tape around the edges before I stuck it to my face. There were no leaks when I took my shower and washed my hair. I stood under the shower for a few extra minutes, letting the water rain down on my body. I miss my daily showers and hair washing.
A note about my drug stash. More than one reader has commented on it, so I feel the need to explain where they’re coming from. I’ve had numerous surgeries the past few years, including hip replacements and shoulder arthroscopies. My doctors have commented on how high my pain tolerance is, and that’s why I don’t use many of the pills I’m prescribed. I don’t throw away any prescription drugs after I’m healed because there will always be times when I’ll need them for something else—like now. Y’all can rest assured I’m not out prowling the streets looking for a drug dealer.:-)
Later this evening, my worries were alleviated when I did my nightly bandage change. The Aquaphor keeps the graft site soft, and with a wet Q-tip, a lot of the dead tissue rolls right off. Enough came off tonight that I was able to see the bright pink skin underneath. I won’t be visiting my doctor tomorrow, after all, and that’s a good thing.:-)