Unforeseen Complications.

No, not bad things. Just things you don't think about until it happens to you.

My dressings are slowly getting bigger and bigger. Not because the wounds are getting all that bigger, although they sort of are as the dead stuff starts coming off. No, the dressings are getting bigger because we are running out of new places to tape them onto my body.


When I first injured myself the nurses used cloth-based surgical tape, which really stuck. Too well. In fact when the doctor first saw me he ended up just ripping all of a sudden to get it off my underarm, which I'm sure was the humane way to do it but uncomfortable nonetheless. He then clued us onto paper tape, which sticks just fine but comes off easier. It's been a true blessing.

Problem is, no matter how easily it comes off, when you are taping to your skin and ripping it off twice a day, it adds up. So an unforeseen consequence of needing bandages on you and needing the bandages to be changed frequently is, the areas you are taping to get very very sore. So we are now on a quest to find new ways of taping my dressing to me without causing more damage.

Except for the tape part I am actually somewhat enjoying the dressing change. We have these huge nonstick pads to keep things from sticking to my wounds, and then sponge dressings over them, and then tape and/or mummy wrap to hold them in place. My husband does everything since I can't reach or even see things. He is taking his responsibilities very seriously and tends to be critical when I get dressed by others at the doctor's office. They don't CARE as much as he does, and it's decidedly more slapdash, which irritates the professional in him.

We have it down to a science, but it still takes over a half hour for every dressing. He takes his time and makes sure he is doing a good job. He is an engineer so I have no say in the matter; I just let him work for I know he will be excruciatingly thorough and not cut corners. So essentially I just sit there and get very gently petted for a half hour. I pretend it is affection instead of necessity, so I find myself actually looking forward to it. He takes off the old stuff, does his inspection, gives his professional report, and then starts with the cream. At first the cream was just cold, then it started to tickle. Now it sort of hurts a little, deep inside, like when you press on a bruise. But he pets me all over applying burn cream, and then puts on new nonstick pads and pets those into place. And then the surgical dressings, which are taped and/or mummy-wrapped into position.

The laying on of hands cannot be stressed too much when one is healing. It is oddly comforting despite the pain. And it is that much more comforting when it is someone you love instead of just whoever is on duty that moment. I've nursed my husband through some illnesses and always felt it was a privilege to thus care for him. Now apparently it is my turn to just sit back and be cared for. I am not used to it, but I guess I should not deny him the privilege...