Friday, July 3, 2009

I'm Sooooo Itchy

New Allergy: Surgical Tape

I have been breaking out in hives everywhere - in my ears, in my nose, everywhere every one of my many bandages is and all the skin in between. Bought some expensive hypoallergenic tape and have been replacing all my tape as I can stand to peel it off. Have three quarters of it replaced by today, and the hives are starting to back off a little. I have been taking 25 mg Benedryl every 4 hours, with 50 mg every 8 hours and the hives still kept popping up. That's a lot of Benedryl but don't think steroids are going to be an option with so many open wounds. There are huge welts everywhere the old tape was. Thank heavens I don't seem to be allergic to the new tape. I can't win for losing...***sigh***

No lifting, bending, or pushing is harder to do than I thought. I just never realized how many times I day I bend over and pick something up. If I have to do this for awhile (the surgery team said it could be up to three months) I'm gonna have to get myself a mechanical arm to pick stuff up! I can't take a bath, shower, or wash my hair until I go back next week to have the stitches taken out, and that is making me feel grungy on top of everything else. Yes, sponge baths are OK, but not the same as a hot shower or a long soak.

The neck collar was creating a ring of hives around my neck, not sure if I was having a reaction to the collar or it was just an extension of the tape problem. I covered the neck collar with a section of pantyhose and it isn't itchy anymore, so it must've been the collar itself.

The Headache seems better today, but I'm still taking some pain meds. Placebo reactions can be as powerful as real reactions, so I just may be on the downside of a headache cycle.

My face is swollen a bit. If I don't get the hives under control, by past experience I will probably get angioedema, if it hasn't already started. Then the real problems start when my vocal cords swell. Hoping to get it fixed before then. I'm very red and very bumpy and very antsy and verrrry itchy. Since I already had hives before I went to Cleveland, hard to tell if the overall hives are still from that or from the tape problem.

Worked a little yesterday, and my noggin seems to be operating better. Only took a couple of hours to interface my program with another and to do a test "print" of the results. I only program when forced to by circumstances. It's something I can do, but not something I want to do everyday. There are plenty of people who love to program, and they are the ones who should be programming, not me. I like to problem solve, but after I figure something out I'm not interested anymore, and have no desire to repeat the process over and over and over again. Just not my cup of tea.

Saw a urologist yesterday that my PCP recommended. My PCP thought I could get a sacral spine stimulator to help with my pain and continence issues from the radiation therapy. At least this doctor didn't say, oh no - radiation couldn't do that!!! He confirmed what I already knew, the radiation damage can't be fixed by medication or surgery or nerve stimulators or physical therapy. It's permanent and probably progressive. My bladder is damaged and most probably all adjacent parts are also. I am sure it was the HDR vaginal brachytherapy that did it.

I go Monday to check with my colorectal surgeon about my test results from last week. I know my external sphincter is severed and partially replaced with fibrotic tissue, not sure about the nerves. The sacral MRI I had showed facet joint degeneration in the radiation field area, but there was no nerve compression to account for the symptoms I am having. From the literature, reconstructive surgery doesn't help if the nerves to that area are damaged.

I guess I'll get the top part of me fixed, and then the rest of me will fall apart!

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