Posted by: thatjen | October 23, 2005


It’s disclaimer month here, so be warned: if you are medically squeamish, you might want to skip this one.

We’re all about the infections here at AddProb. We’ve got infected computers, Lyme infection, a sinus infection* and now… an infected IV line. Yup, the itchy IV went from bad to worse.

The effort of trying NOT to scratch the raw, inflamed skin around the IV site combined with the torment of constant, agonizing itching, was bad enough. Most of our time at home consisted of Cait’s deranged face pressed into mine muttering, “It iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitches!”** I was investigating home straightjacket sales and trying to determine if I could find somewhere to institutionalize her 9 pm – 5 am M-F and weekends.

Sadly, they are all out of beds at St. E’s, so we were resigned to a fun, scratchless weekend at home, when we noticed that the blisters were now, well, seeping. So we felt that her poor skin needed some tape-free time, and took the bandage off for a few hours (covering only the actual open wound but leaving the surrounding area untaped). At dinner yesterday, my dad’s wife, a nurse, took a look at it and agreed that we should let it air out a bit longer. She gave us some paper tape (as Anonymous had wisely suggested) to use when we got home.

Our plans went out the window when we got home and discovered that about three inches of the line had come out. This is officially Not Good, as the line belongs INSIDE her arm, inside her vein, and most importantly it needs to be STERILE. So we got out our kit, I put on my lovely latex gloves, and started swabbing with alcohol, iodine, and anything else antibacterial I could get my hands on. We called the home health nurse who proceeded to yell at Cait and provide no useful suggestions whatsoever. She said it would be ok to leave it out, but Cait was grossed out by this idea so we struggled to get it back in.

Unfortunately, this morning, we discovered that the site had indeed developed signs of infection (rather oogily) and we packed up and headed off to the emergency room. Good news: it was the shortest ER trip we’ve ever clocked (3 hours, if you want to know). Bad news: we managed to freak the ER doc, who kept saying, “I’m not sure what to do here. Your doctor should be the one to deal with this.” Umm, he’s in Baltimore, he doesn’t have an on-call service and he SENT HER HERE TO HAVE THE LINE PUT IN IN THE FIRST PLACE. In the end, he did remove the line and culture her arm for bad bugs. He sent us home with dire admonitions to watch for signs of further infection (but allowed that removal of the line was the standard treatment for this kind of problem and cures it in most cases).

So, what did YOU do this weekend?

*Yes, my three month long sinus headache has finally evolved into a sinus infection. But my allergist doesn’t want me to take oral antibiotics so she has me dissolving ointment in warm water and squirting it up my nose. Indeedy, we know how to have fun around here.
**with only very occasional biting.



  1. Oh, girls, what a bummer weekend! And, poor Cait!! Hope she gets some relief sooooooon!!! (and ps: infucktion is now officially my new favorite word….I just need a victim or two to try it out on!)

  2. Yummy…

    And I agree the infucktion is a fabulous word! I have a sinus infuckion myself, with a large order of asthma on the side.

  3. Oh you poor things!!
    Your weekend officially sucked. My measly little hurricane looks like a hoot compared to your trials.
    However, I do not think it was wise to spray lysol into an open wound 🙂 Just my opinion of course.
    Did you use Mountain Fresh or Summer Breeze scent?

  4. Fuck. I think that just about says it all. You’re both in my thoughts, mucus and all.


  5. Unscented, of course. We don’t do artificial scents at AddProb!

  6. Ug. That’s so bad. Sorry you had such a hard weekend. I really hope that Cait’s infucktion goes sweetly away and she stops biting you.

    And really, you probably know this already, but be so careful with the sinus infection. Kristin had pneumonia 3 times during her pregnancy because of sinus infections gone wild.

  7. oh man! Itchies, and pus and sinuses, oh my!

    I need to come down there and make you BOTH some vegetarian chicken soup!


  8. Shel, when I am sick, I cave, and I get the real thing. Thursday before I went to the doctor I stopped by the deli and got their FABULOUS matzoh ball soup. And ate it all up that night. And have been wanting more ever since….

  9. sorry for all the seepage. I agree: Infucktion IS the word of the day.
    Hope you are feeling well soon. Matzoh ball soup can cure everything.

  10. What kind of ER doc did you have that was freaked out by the need to remove the line? That doc needs to get out more. Or maybe it was the first day/hour/minute of the ER rotation? Did Cait get any antibiotics or are they waiting for the culture? Best luck to you both. Bummers.

  11. Terri, he was weird and we DID NOT LIKE HIM. He came in, looked at Cait’s arm, and got all flustered and disappeared. We looked at each other and were like, “Duh, REMOVE THE LINE! That’s why we came here.” Very weird.

  12. Wow, and I thought our CO alarm going off at 2 Friday night/Saturday morning and having to have the fire truck and ambulance come pay us a visit was bad!

  13. Wow, Brooke, that sucks. Did you guys have a CO leak or was the alarm malfunctioning? I think that’s a pretty lousy weekend, too.

  14. We had a fire in the fireplace. We closed the flue too soon. I’m sure Em will blog about it. She called the midwives before the fire department. It was an adventure, but nothing wrong.

  15. Feel better soon!!!!!

  16. I am sorry gross things are happening. I like a good gross story as much as the next guy, but this one is really quite… good and gross. I hope things are getting better for you.

  17. Oh my GOD! This is the WORST weekend!!

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