Leg ulcer update – Images included

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I’m feeling the pain of being an injured parent. 

Last Friday I went to my daughters school summer fayre with my mum. It was great. They had face painting, tattoos, bouncy castle, treasure hunt, tombola, cake sale and lots of transitional fayre games. Half way round I was starting to feel the strain on my leg and was so grateful that my mum was there to help me with the children and all the things they wanted to do.

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I knew I would be in pain by going but I really didn’t want my children to miss out.

The next day I was in an unbelievable amount of pain. I had done so much walking the ulcer had started weeping and now had got stuck to the dressings and as walked it was pulling at the surrounding skin. My tendons were completely shot, every step I was taking I had shooting pain going straight up my leg. All the muscles in my good leg were aching because I was limping so much and using that leg for support.

Normally my leg does not cause me this much pain, I have been to the childrens school event before and not had this much pain. I changed the dressing that night and instantly I knew something was not right . It was really weepy and hurt more than normal. As it was Friday I had to wait two days to get a doctor’s appointment. It felt like the longest weekend ever.

Monday came around, I went to the doctors and it was confirmed I did indeed have an infection.wp-image-95502347

When I get an infection it affects my whole body, the pain reaches level where the morphine doesn’t touch it, it makes me feel like I have been hit with the flu and ache all over.

I was given a 14 day course of antibiotics and I was really hoping they start working quickly. I hate feeling like I cant be a proper mum and because the hubby had to step up and take on all the parenting, our house ends up being a complete mess.

It’s now Wednesday and the antibiotics are starting to kick in, I don’t feel as achy and miserable today, im hoping they carry on doing their job because I really want to start getting back to normal.

At the moment it seems to be one step forward and two steps back. This is the picture I took this morning, It has stopped leaking so much and it’s not all over yellow now. The dressings you can see are two iodine patches( The orange squares) and a DryMax padding. These seem to be helping and they are not sticking to my leg either. wp-image-850800991

I’m hopeful that I will regain them two steps and maybe move forward another one but who knows what will happen, I can never predict how it will look or how I will be feeling when I wake up. some days are good and some are bad, I just take everyday as it come now.

Leg ulcer progress! (Images included)

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Around two weeks ago my husband saw a video about an amazing product. It’s was an Aloe Vera emergency spray.

The man in the video had a wound on his foot, he sprayed the Aloe Vera on it every day, let it dry and then redressed the wound. The progress was amazing. After 16 days of using this spray the wound had healed!!

On a whim, my husband brought some from eBay. It cost £20 for a 500ml bottle. A week later it had arrived!

I had nothing to lose. I’ve tried pretty much all other dressings and treatments.

I get really nervous about trying new things on my leg. It makes me feel quite vulnerable because I just don’t know how it will affect me or if it will make my leg worse. I was quite sceptical about the whole thing to be honest. If this was the miracle spray it has been made out to be, why has no-one every mentioned it before!

Day 1. Take all the old dressings off, give it a really good clean. Spray a generous amount Aloe Vera emergency spray  onto the ulcer… Shit! It stung like hell and felt like it was burning! At this point I started panicking thinking ‘OMG! What have I done? I’m gonna make this worse than it already is.’

Within a minute the stinging and burning stopped and my whole leg started to relax. It was a strange feeling. I hadn’t realised the muscles in my leg were so tense, the sensation of my whole leg relaxing was very new to me but it was a positive feeling so I knew straight away the spray had at least one benefit.

I had to leave my ulcer open in the air for 10 minutes but keep spraying it if it dried out. After 10 minutes I redressed it with a simple dressing and put my compression stockings back on over the top.

Day 2. It had started to work in just one day. The ulcer had started to level itself out and was slowing coming back up to normal skin level. It had gone a yellow colour but that was my bodies reaction to the spray, it was getting rid of all the old skin to make way for fresh new skin.

Day 3. My ulcer was looking better and better each day. I felt like I could cry as I could actually see progress happening. Pain wise the stinging and burning were the same when I first sprayed it on but I was starting to get used to the pain as I knew it would be over in a minute.

Day 4. I actually couldn’t believe how much progress and improvement I was seeing. It was changing so much over the days and I seriously couldn’t believe it was down to something so simple as Aloe Vera emergency spray. Nearly all of the yellow (old) skin had gone and I could start to see fresh new skin underneath also around the edges of the ulcer there was fresh pale (BRAND NEW) skin forming so this meant the edges were coming in and the ulcer was starting to get smaller.

I am feeling really optimistic about this product now and I’m looking forward to see more progress as the days go along. I am really hoping that is the miracle I’ve been looking to find for so long. I have to admit that all my worrying at the start was for nothing and I’m glad that I took that leap of faith and tried it.

The picture below is the most recent picture. This is day 7. There is not as much improvement as the first four days but it’s still looking good. The red skin on the outer edge is the blood coming back to the surface of the skin. The skin around the edges are still improving and slowly the edges are creeping inwards. Nearly all of the yellow skin has gone, however I have done quite a lot of walking over the past 2 days and gravity is not my friend. Even though I’ve change the dressings every day the fluid that my leg produces for protection has gathered at the bottom of the dressing and the bottom corner of the ulcer got deeper again due being too wet.

I have ordered my next bottle of the emergency spray, I know it’s a bit expensive but if I keep getting as much progress as I have already I am willing to pay that price over and over.

xx

Weekly leg ulcer update – Images of leg ulcer included.

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Regular feature #3

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WARNING!!

This week I’ve had some ups and downs. Its been quite a rough week as the weather has been so hot in the UK. Its been really nice having the warmer weather but we are just not used to it. Throughout all this heat I’ve still had to wear both layers of stocking. The underliner with enclosed toes and the main compression stocking on top. one day in to the hot weather, my leg decided it didn’t like it and would show me by swelling up twice its size. After speaking to a nurse, she suggested that I use a simple tubi grip with open toes instead of the underliner and keep the compression over the top. This seemed to help, the swelling went down and I could actually wear my flip-flops again.

I took this picture to show someone what it looked like with the tubi grip on. Before all of this I used to workout every day and have some nice shape to my legs but now they just look awful. The muscle on my good leg is twice the size and the muscle on my bad leg has just wasted away. Where I now walk with a limp even my ankles roll inwards.

 

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My legs with compression stocking on.

Now I have the tubi grip on it is less compression and it is actually a lot more comfortable as it’s not as tight. However now I have to change my dressings every few days.

Today is Wednesday, I changed my dressing on Monday and again tonight and I’m off to see the nurse on Friday.

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Mondays leg dressing change.

These images were taken under different lighting at different times of the day. The top one was late at night under my living room lights, the seconds was taken earlier under natural light.

This is the picture I took on monday when I changed the dressing. This was the second day without the underlining. I know this is still a horrid sight but for me this is great, this is the best it has looked in a long time. All of the red parts in and aroundthe edge of the ulcer is new skin growing.

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Wednesdays leg dressing change.

This is a picture of what it looks like tonight, fourth day without the underlining, I was really hoping to see great results and more improvement but it seems to have back tracked a bit. The build up of yellow is dead skin cells, so all that new skin has now gone. The skin around the edges are not as bright red as monday which means they have stopped producing new skin cells. I am in more pain tonight as well, normally the more intense pain from putting fresh dressing on goes away after about an hour with extra painkillers but tonight i’ve had all my painkillers and the intense pain is still there.

I’m at a loss of what I should be doing and it’s driving me crazy. I’ve tried nearly all dressings, I’ve been in 3 and 4 layer bandaging, I’ve been in the stocking with and without the underlining. one minute I can see really good results and then the next it backtracks.

I would love to go and see a private professional but they are just so expensive, we just can not afford it and we have been told that with some companies, you get better treatment from the NHS.

Leg ulcer prep and update

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Today I want to tell you the process I have to take when changing my leg dressings. Before I had the compression stockings I used to go and see the nurse twice a week and they would do it all, however now it’s all down to me and I only go once a week so they can keep an eye on the progress or lack of at the moment!

When I’m at the doctors everything is clean and has been cleaned to a clinical standard but when i’m at home I have to make sure that I anti-bac everything in the area that I will be doing the dressing change. I normally do my dressing change sat on my sofa because I have to soak my leg for 20 minutes in potassium permanganate, I forgot to take a picture of this process. It’s a purple liquid that help dry out the wound and help fight any bacteria that is on the surface of the skin.

Before I soak my leg i have to get all the other items I need ready. While the soak is on and after it comes off I can not walk around and expose the ulcer to the air for too long as this can cause an infection and when you have an infection it bloody hurts!

The above image is all the items I need when changing the leg dressings, I use

  • Latex free softswab gauze
  • Emolient spray (Vaseline spray)

I use these two items to clean the wound after the soak as leaving any of the purple liquid can burn my skin.

  • Clean gloves
  • Non adherent Inadine patches
  • Drymax extra pads

This is the next step. When using iodine I always wear gloves as it can stain everything, I have had many accidents where I’ve forgotten the gloves and iodine has got onto my pj bottoms. The Inadine patches are large gauze pads soaked in Iodine, They sting like hell! The Drymax is a thin super absorbent pad that soaks up and fluid that leaks from the ulcer.

  • Beige stocking
  • Black stocking

This is the last step. The beige stocking is the liner that goes over the top of the dressings to keep them in place. The black stocking is the compression stocking and this has to go over the top of the beige stocking, This is by far the worst part of the dressing change as once this goes on everything is squeezed closer onto my leg and I get a surge of pain going through my leg.

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This is how my leg is looking at the moment. There is no real change in the size of the wound but the brown/ deep red parts on top are where the wound is starting to dry and form a scab.

* Please let me know if there is anything you would like to know about my ulcer, I am happy to share with you all.

 

 

Update on my leg ulcer.

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This week has been half-term for my children and we have been quite active for change. Normally with my leg being bad and having the three layer bandage system on we would usually have 1 day out and spend most of our time doing activities at home. However now I have the much thinner compression stocking on I am able to get out more and actually wear proper shoes!

It has been great being able to more with my children and slowly getting back to the mum I used to be. we have been to a splash/water park. we have been for a picnic at our local park and I’ve even ventured out of the bus to see my nan.

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As great as all this has been, I have been paying for my adventures. I have been in a lot more pain, which in turn involves taking more medication ( I swear I’m going to rattle soon with the amount of tablets I take) and a few times at night I have had to take some morphine to help with the pain, I’ve also not been sleeping very well as when the painkillers wear off during the night, the pain wakes me up at stupid ‘O’clock in the morning.

Walking is good for my leg as it gets the blood pumping properly and help push the fluid back up my leg but I think I may have over done it a bit this week. The extensor tendinitis, which is the tendon that run along the top of my foot, has returned and my foot feels like its on fire most of the time. Also the more active I am the more the ulcer seems to weep and leak through the padding, the padding then gets stuck to the outside of my ulcer and as I walk it pulls at the skin and causes pain.

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However all this being said I was expecting the ulcer to have back tracked a little but when I changed the dressing last night I was pleasantly surprised. The ulcer didn’t look too bad, it was quite inflamed around the edges where the dressing had been pulling and it had gone a bit sloughy. ( which means that the top layer of skin had been damaged) On the up side It was a bit shallower and closer to getting back to normal skin level.

The time I’ve spent with my children, seeing them happy and gain some independence back completely out ways the bad stuff and it was all totally worth it!

If you would like to see the latest picture of my leg ulcer, please leave me a comment below. Thank you everyone that has shown an interest in my leg. It has taken me a long time to mentally and physically get to this point. x x

Leg ulcer explained 

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Good morning everyone, today is a beautiful day.

Below is a brief explanation of what I’ve got on my leg however all the treatment don’t seem to be working.

A leg ulcer is a long-lasting (chronic) sore that takes more than four to six weeks to heal. They usually develop on the inside of the leg, just above the ankle.

The symptoms of a venous leg ulcer include pain, itching and swelling in the affected leg. There may also be discoloured or hardened skin around the ulcer, and the sore may produce a foul-smelling discharge.Venous leg ulcers can develop after a minor injury, where persistently high pressure in the veins of the legs has damaged the skin.


Treatment usually involves:

  • cleaning and dressing the wound
  • using compression, such as bandages or stockings, to improve the flow of blood in the legs

However, unless the underlying cause of the ulcer is addressed, there’s a high risk of a venous leg ulcer recurring after treatment. Underlying causes could include immobility, obesity, previous DVT, or varicose veins. 

Today I have had my leg redressed and clean stockings put on. There is no real improvement so the nurse has changed which dressing I have on. She has taken the pb7 zinc bandages off and we are now using aquacel foam pads to try and dry it up.

** WARNING *** 

Image below is of my leg today and I hope those view this have a string stomach.