Archive of ‘dressing change’ category

Clean, Cleaner, Cleanest


Finally my dressing was cleaned up yesterday. Its so nice to not have to feel faint and nausea every time I look at my left arm. The lovely office manager used to be a PICC line nurse, so she has been wonderful. A record fast dressing change this afternoon.

Its not that long of a drive to the office in New Port Beach. The traffic isn’t even that bad. The view is beautiful…the highway follows the coast all the way, so the views are spectacular. Ever few miles, we seem to hit a town center, but the rest is houses, tucked into planted lush oasis’. Elaborate sprinkler systems snake through tangles of exotic plants, bringing a welcome drink to the thirsty foreigners. I’m sure the local fancy cacti snub such plants, looking down on the vegetation that can’t survive without water from their masters, the gardeners.

freeway-side beaches

Waiting in many doctors offices in states and provinces is the perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation with other patients who understand what you are going through. In the earlier days, we had many questions for the veterans of Chronic Lyme, trying to use as much of the hard-earned information as we can. I kind of consider myself a Lyme-life warrior, not yet home from the war, but battle-fatigued, in a Babesia-induced sweat, ready to bare my teeth again at the sign of another Herx, or some other fresh terror Lyme is ready to offer. I met a lovely young woman in the Synergy Health waiting room. She was from Windsor, Ontario, of all places, suffering from what was diagnosed as MS. Aiisha is her mid-twenties. We struck up a conversation, and instantly connected because I had had the CCSVI (and she was hoping to have it), we were both young and in a wheelchairs. Her speech and movement was shaky, and reminded my mum of how I sounded at my worst. After meeting so many people sick with Lyme disease, it becomes easier to spot people who could have Lyme disease. The way someone holds themselves, the lines in their face, tensions in their hands, a haggard look in their eyes, their story that begins with confusion and a long illness and many doctors visits until the MD’s pull a diagnosis out of the pocket of their white coats. I hope this procedure (CCSVI) helps her. Hopefully they can look into whether she has Lyme disease. Wouldn’t it be nice to have something treatable like Lyme, versus MS?

Shortly after leaving the doctors office, I noticed my arm was wet. There was yellowish fluid leaking out of the dressing (presumably from the site). It even got all over my new knitted armband!! If there could be anything worse than blood, it would be icky fluid (hmm…perhaps this is a close second). We tried calling the office, but, just as our luck would have it, they had just closed. After some debating, we went to the ER at a nearby hospital, where we waited for a long while, before getting a call from the clinic’s office, advising us to go home. I wasn’t looking forward to having a very expensive ER visit for a problem that could probably be fixed at the doctors office.

The dressing was just disgusting by this afternoon, but I wasn’t terribly worried. I mean, it was all covered up with a foamy wrap, putting pressure on the site. So I couldn’t see it, which to my very irrational brain meant everything was fine, fine enough to go to a used store in Laguna Beach and browse the racks. ‘Looking gross’ isn’t really a medical problem, and besides, I figured shopping would be a welcome distraction. I was just trying on some clothes when I became aware of the wetness of my arm. It was a very unnatural feeling, and when I removed my armband, I realized with a trill of terror that my arm was covered in blood. WHY does this sort of thing happen to me? It was all I could do not to scream right there in the crowded store. Paper-towels, rolling to the car, pressure on the site. It is difficult to breath or think when there is blood anywhere near me, least of all coming out of me, smelling of dirty pennies and heat.

We went back to the ER (did they miss me? clearly I was missing their company ūüėõ ) and had a doctor check out my arm. It is easier for me to remain rational in such a clean space as a hospital, surrounded by cleaning supplies, a pleasant distraction from the mess. It was strange, but the site of the incision, where I had the CCSVI procedure and then the PICC line inserted, was clean, and the blood was down my arm, caught in the gauze ring of my dressing. It was as though it leaked from no where. This is preposterous, but still, we couldn’t figure it out. So now I have a moderately sterile dressing on my arm, awaiting another dressing change tomorrow. Missing the beach right now.

Happy Canada Day!!

Hope you are all having a real good day, and wearing your countries colors with pride! I always liked Canada Day and Independence Day celebrations…it makes me feel uber patriotic and happy, waving my flag and the energy of the crowd. All very exciting, but this year not so much.

I did something very productive today, probably about the only thing I have to show for these many months (scarfs don’t count now cause I can’t wear them…). Mama, Nancy and I cut out a pattern for a dress I am going to make! Its the most beautiful Sea Blue/Green (there has been a heated discussion as to the true color of this material…my vote is blue!!) with dainty little flowers embroidered into the material (of which I cannot take credit). It was fun cutting out, but hard, because I have trouble with picking up little things like pins, and using my hands, but I managed it…and I’m feeling pretty proud of myself to be honest…I like being productive.

It is very frustrating having all these goals and ideas, and yet thinking about the idea alone tires me out. I wish I had more energy, like a computer, you could just plug me in and charge my batteries right back up again. I guess that’s kind of what my PICCline is, a battery charger port, except that the stuff that they put in me makes me more tired in the moment, but will help me later I suppose. I do call it ‘plugging in’ though, when I do my IV. One must have a bit of fun!!

Mo’ Drugs

I feel VERY strange today.¬†I haven’t actually given that much thought to the feeling, but I suppose it feels like¬†somebody pumped a whole shitload of drugs into me and then spun me around ten times like they do at birthday parties before a pinata ¬†and then asked me a bunch of really brain-hurting questions.¬†

I changed my own dressing today again. And I’m quite proud of myself¬†actually! Its really hard to do one handed- I can attest to that. I feel strongly about doing the things that are remotely possible to do alone, alone. I¬†apparently¬†all the time say ‘I can do it myself’ which, annoys some people *cough* *mama* *cough*, but you couldn’t understand the crazy need to do some things for myself, until you cannot walk.¬†
I started on another antibiotic ¬†drug a few days ago called ‘Doxycycline’ or something that sounds an¬†awful¬†lot like that. It is working, no let me rephrase that, its getting where it needs to get because I feel so UBERLY shitty that it only means that I could have pissed off the Lyme bugs, which hurts now alot! Short term loss, long term gain don’t they say? It makes me feel like somebody put a few weights on top of my head (I should add that to my list of metaphors for how I feel today – please see above)
I feel like I’m getting sick, which is quite ironic cause usually all the times I say that nowadays I mean like I’m getting sick-er, from the Lyme. In this case, I actually mean I feel like I’m getting a cold. I forgot what it feels like to get cold-like-sick. It seems laughable that I used to complain about getting a cold. I still hate colds. They are annoying in the way that Lyme hurts.
We went out for Thai food tonight, which is obviously like the BEST kind of food ever. Especially curries! I love curry! It’s like the only thing I can taste. And spicy food is supposed to be good for pain. Thats what they say!¬†

Why’d the tomato blush? ‘Cause he saw the salad dressing!!

I changed my own dressing yesterday on my PICC line and I am proud as punch about it! I was told by *cough* people that I could not change it one handed, which obviously made me all that much more determined to do so. Mom helped a little, I conceed, by holding things (mainly the line itself so it wouldn’t fall out or be pulled out- an important task, not gonna lie) and taping some things but apart from that it was all me. Took a while but it was ‘fun’, sorta. After people basically helping me with everything because of how much Lyme has taken from me, its nice to do something for myself, and something hard at that! Almost makes up for not walking, but that was a big almost.¬†

A La Mode

Today was¬†averagely¬†cold and wintery, but I feel quite sure that spring is on the way, at least by the calendar it is! I still have a hell of a time getting up in the morning, which kind of throws my whole day off. It makes the mornings really tough, I guess because I’m semi-conscious…anyways. I had my PICC line dressing changed today which is always oodles and oodles of fun! NOT! I mean it beats it getting all horridly icky and disgusting and infected, but still not as much fun as eating ice cream on a beach. But we’re getting there!! We bought some of this skin protectant stuff, which goes under the big, clear¬†band-aide¬†to kind of heal and (as the name suggests) ‘protect’ the skin from the horrible icky tape! Pretty sweet and exciting, which gives you a pretty good idea how interesting life is these days. And yet, I digress…

We went to Target, which is like a really colorful everything store in the States (for you Canadians, eh) and we went around and I ran my hands through a hole bunch of racks which is so relaxing and normal, so much for. I bought the movie, ‘Get Smart’ which¬†apparently¬†I found hilarious when I watched it the first time. I can’t actually comment on whether or not the movie was funny, because I don’t remember even though I watched it last night, but Steve Carrel is in it, so it’s bound to be pretty sweet!¬†
My auntie Nancy is coming for a visit tomorrow aparently which is way exciting! She was in Victoria house sitting somewhere which is nice. I’m kinda stoked to be honest. It’s nice to have people visit, but it’s hard cause I know that they get to go home, and I don’t, which is actually quite childish I know, but I’m gonna play the ‘I’m sick’ card, which makes a pretty good get-out-of-jail-free doesn’t it.
Ta ta for now! I miss you all so much!

A Summation of a few (more) Boring Days

A few days ago I had an ultrasound, which isn’t the worst test to have, but it still is kinda uncomfy…you know with all that hot icky gunk they spread on your tummy and them having to push hard into your stomach and back to take the¬†pictures. I know they say everyone is beautiful on the inside, but that is like complete bullshit. I’ve seen my insides, on that flat plasma screen at the doctor, and let me tell you my¬†appendix¬†and¬†spleen¬†are butt ugly! Completely disgusting! Eww…internal organs!! But on the plus side I’m pretty sure that they are doing okay, which is a bonus really! I can forgive them for being ugly as long as they keep doing their job!

Yesterday, I got my hair cut, which is always a sure way to perk up my day! My hair still fall out a whole hell of a lot, like I’m losing my winter coat before spring has even arrived, and I guess it’s a combination of thyroid ‘issues’ and pills. I used to have really thick curly hair and now it’s just a shadow of its former self.¬†
Today was pretty dull. Had my dressing changed, and had blood taken and the usual shit. We went to the library and picked up a whole wack of movies which will be fun. It’s funny when I first started¬†getting¬†sick, I would watch movies all day, and even though I felt so shitty, it was really fun. The novelty of getting to watch daytime movies wares off very quickly I can tell you! Very very very quickly.
Yawn. I’m still so tired. It’s like I never get enough sleep (which is probably true) and I’m not up long enough to fully wake up (again probably true). I’m going to play Scrabble now, which I really look forward too. It’s fun, honest!
%d bloggers like this: