Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Stupid chlorohexidine

Well, I've learned the reason for the insane itchiness in my arm. After physio yestersay (yes, I returned grudgingly to physio), I went to St. Mikes to get my PICC line dressing changed. I figured it would only take 10 minutes, 20 at the most. Two hours later, I left with a new dressing and a newly discovered allergy.

It turns out that the red bumps on my arm that were itching so much were caused by the chlorohexidine sterilising agent used to clean the PICC line site. I had the dressing changed over a week ago while I was still hospitalized and it was two days after when the bumps appeared so I assumed it was a reaction to the tape. It had started to look a little better over the past few days and I thought it was from the few antihistamines I took.

However, as soon as the nurse started cleaning the site with the chlorohex wipes, it instantly all reappeared. She immediately removed it with saline but my skin was still super inflamed. They take allergic reactions way more seriously than I do, instead of applying my 'if I ignore it, it will probably get better' approach, she called in the IV specialist nurse and the doctor to check it out.

By the time, they were tracked down and the all clear was given to put new dressings back on my arm, it was nearing 2pm and I was ready to slap the thing on myself so I could leave and get some lunch. It was all a giant hassle, made worse by the fact that I wasn't scheduled for an appointment and then ended up taking up an hour and half of that nurse's time. Oops! Sorry everyone in the waiting room!

While the doctor was in to inspect my arm, he also asked how I was doing on the meds. I told him that I have no energy or motivation to do anything and wondered if was a medical side effect or a sign of depression. He responded that it's possible it's the meds but he would not say definitely one way or the other. The nurse later suggested that it may just be because my lungs are shit so my body has no energy to do anything else than try to breathe (I may have misquoted her slightly).

I return next week for an actual clinic appointment so hopefully they can get everything sorted out then. At least the itchiness has subsided. 

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