Cancer log 58: One…

Cancer log 58: One should perhaps not over-exert after getting a port placed. It's minor surgery, but it's still surgery. I came home and rested, I swear -- I napped for an hour, watched tv for a couple of hours, had dinner, lay down some more afterwards, did almost nothing. But even the little random things I did (picking up kids' clothes on the floor, helping Kevin clear the dishes, etc., you know, mom-stuff) started making the surgical sites ache after a while. I'd forgotten -- it's been so long since my c-sections, but really, anytime you're slicing into areas that move around a lot, it's going to ache, even if it's just a little cut. And they placed the port on the right, and I'm right-handed, and it's really hard switching to using my left hand for things! I am not very dextrous with it. Even things like taking off my shirt for bed require some arm and chest movement.

Anyway, the upshot was that I slept pretty poorly last night, waking periodically with the ache, and then today, I tried to take it easy for most of the day, but there was still getting the kids fed and dressed and to school, which involves some movement, and packing for the trip, also movement, and then actually going to the airport, pulling my little suitcase, etc, lots of movement. I tried to use my left arm as much as possible, but still -- achey. Not a big deal, but something to be aware of; if you can just take the day off after a surgery like this, you might want to. But if you can't, you'll probably be okay working too, assuming your work doesn't involve much physical labor.

Actually, what bothered me a lot more was the tape they used to hold down the gauze after surgery -- it was this strong cloth tape that was very sticky and INCREDIBLY itchy. Even after I replaced it at home with less gauze and a paper tape dressing this morning (thanks to the nurse who gave them to me, warning me about the likely itch), the whole area they taped stayed red and super-itchy all day. It's only now that I'm in the hotel room, have carefully rinsed it all again, and am letting the skin air out, with the wound just held closed with steri-strips, that the itching has finally eased up. I'll lightly tape a bit of gauze and put a shirt over it before I go to sleep; hopefully the itching will have eased up tomorrow.

I have a random medical question -- I don't usually have such a sensitive reaction to bandages / tape. It it at all possible that the surgery / foreign body activated my body's immune response somehow, so it's now over-reacting to the tape? Is that just nuts? Forgive me if so -- I haven't taken a biology class in twenty years, and honestly, I wasn't so good at them even back then. It was just a thought

Anyway, tv and bed now, and tomorrow, panels at the convention. I don't know if I'll have time / energy to see any of Denver, but if there's anything you particular recommend, now's your chance! I do want to spend some time outside if I can, because the weather is just gorgeous here -- 80 and sunny tomorrow.

5 thoughts on “Cancer log 58: One…”

  1. I had a similarly itchy reaction to bandages after a surgery. Everyone, including the doctor who had operated on me, attributed it to the bandages but it just did not get better; in fact, it got worse to the extent that it became unbearable. After two weeks, I went to the dermatalogist, who diagnosed it as a bacterial infection. If this itchiness does not clear out after a day or two, you might want to get checked out by a dermatalogist.

  2. Anecdotally only, but I can attest to knowledge of somebody having intermittent hives that flared up after surgery and during illness, as if connected to the immune system being in overdrive.

  3. i had a horrible allergic reaction to the super sticky sugical tape used in my epidurals when giving birth to both my kids. Itchy rash where the tape was – it’s technically something like contact dermatitis. For future procedures, let them know & they can use different tape.

  4. You can develop allergies at any time, so it could be an allergic reaction. My mom is allergic to every kind of bandage including the paper bandages. The nurses/docs always act like this is rare, but she knows 2 other people with the same problem.

    I’m not sure what you do about it – my Mom’s solution is always to tear off dressings very early and to have as little adhesive and bandage as possible – but tell the docs.

    I hope it is better now.

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