September 30, 2007

The Things We Do For Kids . . .

This week it was R's turn to suffer for the cause.

Actually, the poor guy spent about 10 days suffering. It began with an itchy rash (an allergic reaction) and ended with getting his arm hair ripped off in an experience I imagine is rather akin to a woman having her leg waxed.

I imagine you're wondering how, exactly, does all of this relate to having kids?

As I mentioned in the Next Steps post, our next move was to undergo high-dose antibiotic therapy with a doctor we met in May. Part of that involved 10 days of IV antibiotics. I did fine and didn't have any issues with it, but R wasn't so lucky.

About 16 hours after he got his IV, he began having an allergic reaction to the medication. The poor guy was covered in a rash, and he began to swell a little bit too. (Fortunately, his reaction wasn't severe enough to make his throat swell and close or anything like that.) He had to go on prednisone and switch medications in the IV. It took a couple days, but the itching calmed down and the rash faded.

Then came the worst part of all - getting the IV out. Actually, it wasn't removing the IV itself that was the issue. Instead, it was removing all of the bandages that were holding the IV and the IV tube in place.

The thing is, R is blond and very fair skinned, so his arm hair isn't particularly visible. The morning he was having the IV put in, the medical assistant forgot to shave his arm. She didn't realize it until his arm was swabbed with generous amounts of iodine, at which point the arm hair became more obvious. But at that point, it was also too late.

When the IV was inserted, she covered his arms with clear, very sticky bandages from about 5 inches above his elbow (which is where the IV went in) to about 7 inches below his elbow, then wrapped the whole thing in an Ace bandage.

My IV was in the top of my hand, because I have no good arm veins left after 5 years of blood draws. So I was fortunate in that 1) there isn't a lot of hair on the top of my hand and 2) there wasn't nearly so much bandaging involved. But still, when my IV was taken out, ripping the bandages off of the few hairs there were definitely was the most painful part.

Being the kind, supportive, smart wife that I am, I opted to stay far, far away when R had his IV taken out. (Meaning, I stayed home.) The nurses used alcohol and a couple of other sprays and liquids in an attempt to loosen the adhesive, but no such luck. Then they decided to cut the IV tube so they could get the IV out and then concentrate on the rest of the bandages.

Unfortunately, they didn't think that plan all the way through. When you cut an IV tube and it is no longer hooked up to a pump and IV bag, it starts to backflow. And R does not do well with the sight of anyone's blood, much less his own. So at that point, they had to lay him down on the exam table and then just rip the bandages off so that they could get the IV tube out and stop the bleeding.

He's usually pretty staid and goes right back to work after medical procedures, but he decided he'd had enough trauma for the day and headed home from there. His skin is still peeling.

All I can say is, when we finally get them - regardless of how we get them - these better be some darn perfect kids!


Rachel Inbar said...

OMG, that does not sound fun. I hope that in a few years he'll be able to laughs when he thinks about it...

Good luck with the treatment!

JJ said...

Oooo...not fun. Darn perfect kids indeed! They will have to make some $ back for you--summers of mowing the lawn and selling lemonade=)

Beagle said...

sounds awful! I hope this earns you well-behaved teenagers one day.

Nico said...

Oh, poor guy! This really is a team effort!

Grad3 said...

Yikes!!! Bless your husband...

Sorry he had such a tough day but great that he took one for the team!