Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Back to the Sutures II

So it turns out that writing is therapeutic, just in a different way than I thought. Shortly after writing about my newly painful experience with the sutures, I remembered that two of the questions I would get asked every few days in hospital were "Any pain around the Broviac?" and "Any redness around the line?" (Broviac is the brand name of my catheter.) The act of writing the message made me realize that—duh!—it hurt and it was red.

So it was back to the hospital the following morning, hoping I didn't have some kind of infection. After a few pressure tests ("Does it hurt when I press here?" "No." "Does it hurt when I press here?" "No." "Does it hurt when I press—" "OW!" "Okay.") the dressing was carefully peeled back and we got a good look at the entry point. It turned out that all the sutures had worked themselves out before; what was bugging me was crusty dried skin, some of which had broken off and was irritating the skin. (This goes back to the whole thing about not being able to properly clean the area around the catheter.) The area was cleaned, and the relief was almost instant. The new dressing was applied, the redness has diminished (though not entirely), and everything's cool.

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