I spent much of this beautiful day walking around downtown Chicago. I'm really starting to learn my way around the place. It was about 80 degrees outside, sunny, brisk southwest winds, lots of photo ops, what more could one ask for? Oh, I know, how about not having a piece of sterile plastic covering a patch of my chest. For those of you who have never experienced such a bandage, allow me, please, to share a few things. First of all, these coverings don't exactly "breathe." That would defeat their purpose, which is to keep air and dirt and other little bacteria floating around from reaching the hole where my catheter sticks out. Secondly, our bodies naturally perspire when we are hot. Sweat is our cooling mechanism. Now, I have already noted that it was hot here today, and I was doing a lot of walking. So naturally, I perspired some. Enough that I started having a small problem with my bandage. The sweat builds up with nowhere to go, which in turn causes a reaction on my part where my skin turns red and itchy. Worth noting, however, is that I have a reaction anyway to the bandages the hospital puts on. So I didn't pay much attention to the itching, as it has been itchy for the past few days. So blah blah blah, day goes on, more wandering around. Finally, I'm sitting in Union Station (the train station) waiting for my train home. I decide to take a peek at my happy little catheter site. And lo and behold, when I look down, the damn thing is oozing. "Oozing what?", you ask? I am afraid I don't know what; it just was. And it had oozed down the line and out my bandage. There was actually a very small amount of ooze on my shirt. Gross. And scary since ooze usually means there's an infection, which would pretty much be the absolute worst thing ever -- no hyperbole necessary. So it's oozy and itchy, and I'm freaking out because I don't know what to do. I call my home care nurse, the woman who usually comes to change the dressing for me, and tell her my predicament. Her advice to me is to change the dressing. Since I was perspiring and the hole was oozing, there is moisture underneath the bandage. With nowhere to go, that moisture can only do bad things to me. I needed to get rid of the moisture, as well as the dried ooze. Okay so long story short (hahahaha), I end up changing my own dressing. There were a few slight mishaps, but I think I did okay. My site still itches, but at least now it is disinfected. And hopefully my nurse will come tomorrow and tell me if I am going to die or not. Or at least whether or not I should call my doctor about this.
And that is today's -- very long -- story. I'm hoping everything will turn out alright, but I'm still a bit nervous. Other than that, though, today was great! I'll be putting up pictures soon of my jaunt through the city. Well, as they say in the Vatican, Pax. (insert Pope Benedict giving you the deuces. word.)