Monday, August 17, 2009

Allergic reaction to the picc-line dressing

I have had the picc-line for almost 4 months and finally had some improvement. This gave me a moment of catching my breath and the ability to continue the fight.

Within a few days the fight was back on in a major way I started to have an allergic reaction to my IV dressing. I felt as if I was being branded with a hot iron. It was itching like crazy, hurting and starting to turn red, I asked the nurses what they thought and no one wanted to take responsibility, they say talk to the doctor, but the nurses are the ones that are seeing it when changing.

I was starting to crumble and getting very scared, no one was listing to me, it didn't feel as bad but it was not good. I went back to the hospital and to the original nurse that put the line in and we decided to pull it on August 15 so it could heal and we could treat it. We did not want the oozing protein from rash to give me an infection.

I have a week off so I can teach my workshop – I don’t feel so hot but still need to make money if at all possible to pay for everything. I get nauseated for periods during the day, which passes; this could be from my liver and all the drugs or from all of the supplements that I need to take to try to keep my immune system up (if possible).

We will need to reinsert the line when I return, which I am not terribly thrilled with, but if I can have a little rest, I might be in a better mindset for the fight again. My mental state was getting very depressed from fear and thank god for that little bit of good news, which was only a tiny thread for me to hold onto.

What I have decided to do is a strip test on one leg first before we reinsert the line, I want to see if I can find where the problem is and to what I am having a reaction to. If is not a clear reaction I am wondering if the wound site was not allowed to completely allowed to dry before the bandage was put on and had a chemical reaction or perhaps it was the steri strips, but I am trying to find out as much as possible first.
Had the picc reinserted August 25
As soon as I returned from my workshop the next day I had the picc reinserted, During my week off I tried different bandages on my leg and it all looked good but I didn't see a small reaction under one of the bandages. E used the Sorba View dressing and within a day it started itching and turning red again I immediately went back to the hospital and had them change it to the Oposite 3000 which had no reaction on my leg.

This picc line was more difficult (not fun at all - this was harder than the first one) I had a basil reaction in the vein making it very very painful and my arm bruised. Partially my fault I think - I know better I should have been more hydrated. Since I was just returning from the workshop and zooming to the hospital I didn't drink as much water as I should have.
After only 1 day the reaction started again, as you can see. We changed to the Opostite 3000, but was still now branded on the other arm, and it was itching, I spoke to the doctor and picc nurse to see if it could be possible to peel back the bandage just a little to expose the irritated area. They said yes if I could still leave a wide area protected from the insertion site.
I am so glad I did - now two weeks later it is starting to look normal again.


  1. I myself found out today that I'm allergic to Silicone picc-lines. The nurses thought I was allergic to the normal plastic-like picc-line, so they did an over the wire exchange and put in a Silicone one. Almost immedately my face swelled up and I had trouble breathing. Thankfully they gave me benadryl through the line, and then even more 10 minutes later when I started reacting again. 100MG of benadryl can really make you feel odd... They had to pull the line, so currently I am picc-less. It turns out I was allergic to the silacone in the cleaner, silacone in the biopatch, and silacone in the tape. Its in almost everything, I can't even wear bandaids anymore now.

    1. Thank you for your comment and sharing your experience. This can happen with Lyme paitents for some reson we become extremely sensitive to the adhisve, plastic or as you mentioned silicon. I have heard of one doctor that will give IV’s instead of a picc-line. Let us know what works the best for you. Warmest wishes Birgit