Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How to Shower with an Extremity Line/Wound

Life Happens
People get stitches on their arms/legs/hands or they need to have an access line for medications such as a PICC line in their arm or a central line in their femoral artery for antibiotics or chemotherapy.
Again, life happens.
But Wounds and dressings must be kept clean and dry.
So what is a person to do to keep up your every day hygiene.

After years of trial and error, I have the answer:

platic bag, sandwich or gallon, depending on the size of the affected area
silk medical tape (available at pharmacies everywhere)
piece of absorbant cloth

1. Strip like you're getting ready to shower
2. cut a line in the bottom of the bag so you can now stick you hand or foot through the plastic
3. move the bag up the extremity to cover peripheral access site
--from here there are two options--
Alternate option 4- condensation will accumulate inside on the dressing if you take a hot shower, to avoid this cut a portion of a towel/washcloth, etc. to cover the bandage directly then take the silk tape and circle the area to keep the cloth in place, then tape each side of the plastic bag in a circular motion to keep water from leaking in and protect your wound. This is the method I prefer.


Alternate option 4- Take the silk tape and tape the plastic in place half on the bag and half on the skin and then reinforce it. Do this to both side.

5. Hop in and get clean.

MYTH- GLAAD Stick and Seal does not stick and seal an protect from water all by itself. You can wrap your site, but then you must cover the entirety of it with a good medical tape for it to be affective.

Paper tape is not effective. It will fall off and apart mid shower.

1 comment:

Cara said...

Hi Hillary. I just got done with treatment from Hodgkin's. I too had a PICC line and this is what I used when taken a shower. It worked really well and it is totally reusable.
I hope you are doing well and have a great Christmas!