Last night it hit me how serious J.J.'s tape allergy is. Before last night he would tell me his site itched, and I'd look at it, and see that it was red and tell him not to itch it. You know, the typical...."Yeah, yeah you'll be fine" response. I even knew he was itching to the point of breaking his skin. I should've been more attentive and aware of REALLY how bad he must be suffering.
J.J. knew I had gotten a kit from Medtronic to help relieve the itching. What he didn't realize is that to relieve his itching I needed to find the right barrier and or infusion set that won't irritate his skin...BEFORE the site goes on...not after it's taken off. He was thinking I would take off the site, apply some magical cream and it would all go away.
So last night he told me it was itching. I tried hydrocortisone cream per the CDE's recommendation. He comes to me within 5 minutes....."That didn't work, Mama." Hmmmm.....so I take a look at the site. It's now red, puffy and reminds me of when I get a mosquito bite....except this "mosquito bite" is about an inch and a half in diameter.....perfect circle by the way...right where the tape is on his skin.
My Mama heart was sick. I thought of how itchy one mosquito bite can be, but such a large area. I tried another anti-itch cream I had. A few minutes later...he's chanting, "That didn't work, that didn't work!" He told me to get the stuff from the "kit". When I explained to him what the stuff in the kit was for, his face looked like he was in a horror film. My heart sank. I couldn't relieve his pain. I began praying and hoping the "hives"...."rash"... whatever you want to call it, would subside enough so he could get to sleep.
So now I'm a little fearful that he may be allergic to all medical tapes. I know that may be irrational, and I have yet to put to use the supplies Medtronic gave me, but it isn't uncommon for a person that has one allergy to tapes to be allergic to all tapes. So pray with me we can find a barrier tape that he isn't allergic to.
I also realized that I HAVE to change his site every 2 days. I was reluctant to do it. The CDE told me I had to. But honestly I didn't think it was all that bad. I was hoping he would just NOT itch. So....why would I be reluctant to change the site, if it means he'll have better numbers and be less likely to be irritate by the tapes? Ahhh.....the almighty dollor. Site changes are spendy when you're paying out of pocket for the supplies.....about $15/site. So costs also cause me to be fearful. But if it's what he needs, it's what I need to do.
As I was typing this, J.J. came up for breakfast. I asked him to show me his old site. NOTHING!! The site looked fine.....healthy. He didn't itch it last night, so it's not raw broken skin. I've read that some people use a Benadryl spray after they change out a site. Maybe that's what will work on the "back side". Of course I'll try the other barrier methods BEFORE I put on his site and see if any of them relieve the pain and itching, but maybe if I can find something that inhibits his desire to itch. Hmmmmm.....
And thus the problem solving continues.