Home Health

 Home Health has quite literally become taking care of things here at home.  Because of the serious allergy that Shelbie has developed to adhesive, they had to stop putting the large adhesive coverings over her PICC line because the huge welts were starting to 'weep' and bleed.  This is not a great thing because now all that is covering the PICC line which goes directly to her heart are a few layers of sterile guaze. 

The Nurses on Thursday wanted the dressing changed every day or every other day at the most.  When we got home from the infusion, I called Home Health to let them know of the dressing changes.  Well, of course that would unleash Hell on Earth, why wouldn't it?  When it comes to insurance coverage, it's all a game of politics and how much money they can save.  The soonest Home Health would come is Monday afternoon and she said it's not likely they will be able to come everyday because of insurance issues.  So, that really puts me in a big bind. 

Shelbie was not happy about this and really I wasn't either.  By yesterday afternoon, the PICC line was exposed because the sterile guaze was sliding down her arm.  Taking matters into my own hands, I went to the medical supply store to stock up on sterile dressings.  That was an hours worth of shopping just to get the things I needed for the weekend alone!

It's critical that the site where the IV enters her arm does not get exposed to air for very long and especially not exposed to human breath so Shelbie and I both have to wear sterile masks.  I start with two 2x2 sterile pads, then a sterile 3x3, then 2 sterile 4x4 then wrap her whole arm in sterile sponge wrap to keep the smaller pieces intact.  After that we put on a cotton stocking wrap then a bandage wrap called Coban.  After it is safely wrapped, I flush the IV with Sterile Saline and Heparin.  The whole dressing change process takes about 45 min and this stuff though it's cheap, adds up quickly.  She still has to have a little bit of adhesive touching her skin because there is a plastic piece that keeps the tubing snapped down to her arm so she is still going crazy and yesterday, there was a lot of drainage coming from that site but there isn't much we can do about it.  It's going to be a long 87 days with this thing. 


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