Ugh...I'm allergic to tape :(

I am allergic to tape. This is a fact plain and simple. I have been this way as long as I can know tender skinned. My mother tells me that they have known it almost my whole life. Apparently when I had my umbilical hernia repaired back when I was 18 months old was the first time this was noted and it has been part of my medical history ever since. Even with the invention of less abrasive tapes like paper tape I often will blister within 24 hours of application to my skin and sometimes even sooner. Even if EKG patches are placed on me they have to be moved every 24 hours. So I have gone to telling medical personnel when questioned about allergies that I am allergic to adhesives...period. This most recent hospitalization was no different. I went to the preregistration appointment the day before my admission and gave a thorough history and endured a battery of questions and a physical exam. When they asked about allergies I informed them of my past with adhesives. We actually have a real discussion about my specific reaction to adhesives and a note was made of my affliction and I watched as this information was placed on the front of my chart and noted in my EMR (electronic medical record). A red bracelet was even made for me to indicate to anyone that had contact or would care for me that I had this allergy as well. My first realization that I was covered with tape after my surgery is one that exists within that first night o' pain in the ICU. It was when I had first arrived and they were settling me in with my nurse. Everything is pretty messed together but I heard the conversation over my bed amongst the nurses that had gathered to get me "plugged in" to all the monitors. They had turned me up on my left side to eyeball my dressing and epidural sites and to ensure that my chest tube was draining and one of them caught a glimpse of my red allergy bracelet. "What's she allergic too?" I heard called out. "Adhesives and tape." was the reply. "Well she's covered in it!" That was all that was said. No tape was removed and my wounds were not redressed in another fashion. At the time, I was in too much pain to ask why and just assumed that they had "no choice" or they would not have applied the tape to me to begin with. As my self awareness improved over the next couple of days I felt the sting of blisters that had formed under my bandages with every move I made. Getting up once to a chair one of the nurses caring for me gasped at the condition of the skin around my dressings...all blistered and sticking to the bedding. Oddly, it did not hurt that much. It just burned a bit and cool air actually seemed to soothe it. The day for my chest tube to be removed was where the rubber met the road with this allergic reaction. I had been transfered out to the oncology unit the previous evening. I was anxious to get my chest tubes out as I knew it was the key to helping get my pain under control. Early in the morning the nurse brought in a stack of supplies and informed me that BDM had called and would be there within the hour to remove my chest tube. Before I could even have time to develop any angst about the pain that accompanies such a procedure BDMs resident knocked on the door. The nurse relayed that BDM was coming to remove the tube. He offered that he could do it right then. I quickly agree thinking that it would spare me an hour of anxiety waiting to have this done. I roll up on my left side and position myself close to the edge of the bed. I wince and the resident gasps as he peels back the bandages to expose my incisions. "Wow!" he exclaimed "You really are allergic to tape!" (Well no shit...). He said he felt bad about having to put tape back on but he had to do it. He worked a few minutes to minimize the prepared bandage that would be slapped over the hole he was about to unplug in my chest. He did tell me everything he was doing and just to spare you all the painful details in a few seconds the tube is out and a much smaller dressing slapped quickly into place to cover the void and plug the hole with Vaseline. I insist on staying on my side for a little bit to expose those burned areas to the cooling air. The nurse applies a little cream to the weeping blisters while I tell her I want to leave the unbroken blisters intact. Of course I can't see these blisters but judging by the look on my nurses face they must have looked painful and nasty. In the course of that morning I had my epidural (which was basically useless) and my foley catheter removed. My mother and daughter arrived and I was able to get up and go to the bathroom. Once I was in front of the mirror I had a chance to really see myself. After lamenting about the disgusting condition of my hair I slid back my hospital gown to see if I could catch a glimpse of my incisions. It was shocking to see my burned and blistered skin surrounding my surgical wounds. "Ugh!" I exclaimed "I'm allergic to tape." :(
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Things like a tape allergy just seem so unfair in the grand scheme of things. Hope you skin is healing up now.
Good grief! Sounds like you need to bring a 2x4 when you go to the hospital. Is there a substitute for tape/adhesives? Ron
I'm so sorry you had to endure this on top of everything else! I hope you are now healing! Hugs-- Martha
That is just adding insult to injury about the tape. Isn't there anything else they can do besides that? How horrible for you? I'm glad you are such a positive person because this situation would be even worse if you weren't. Hope you are on the mend now.
Michelle, it's almost impossible to think of a comment...I cannot understand how the staff could have done that to you, but maybe they really didn't believe such an allergy existed? The "healing" profession needs some rethinking! Hope you are better every day...
OMG! What a nightmare! I feel for you and will keep you in my prayers. Hope you heal fast.
Michele, you are certainly a patient patient. Sending cool air your way!!
Poor you What a thing to have to go through. Sometimes wonder if the medics had to go through the same they would be a bit more responsive to our needs. Hugs annabelle
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Vital Info


October 3, 2011

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January 31, 1963

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3


As much as possible

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It is a thief

You have to live every day of your life and stay positive :)

Donate $$ to the anal cancer foundation. Raising awareness saves lives!

Is there anything good about poison?

Bone, lung recurrence 9/20/2012

Cancer Center of Kansas, MD Anderson

Bland diet, sitz baths, take your drugs...nobody gets extra credit for suffering.

Talk, talk, talk to somebody. I chose to write.

April 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

Rectal bleeding, itching, sciatic pain. (thought my hemorhoid was acting up)

My blog has been published and proceeds go to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation.


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