Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mesh tubes and other armor

In this picture taken last Friday, you can see an example of the make-shift tops we fashion from hospital-provided, tube-netting cut to size to help hold Talitha's central line in place for more support and to lessen the chance it will snag on something and break or be weakened. Her first central line had too many mishaps and we're exploring alternatives for keeping her safer while she has a line in her chest.

If you look carefully, you can see a small bandage under the mesh on her left side where her old central line hole is healing and a larger bandage on her right side where her new line is now located. Once Talitha had received her first injection of Thiotepa on Friday, the bandages on her chest had to be removed to prevent burning of her skin as the Thiotepa excretes through the skin. (This was also why she had to have three baths a day while receiving the Thiotepa and for 48 hours after the last dose which was administered on Saturday.)

The bandage covering the central line performs two important functions: (1) part of the line is coiled under the bandage which provides support against pulling directly on the point-of-entry into the chest in the case the line is snagged or stepped on when connected to an IV, and (2) it prevents infection from entering through the surgically opened hole in the chest where the line was inserted.

We were grateful when the 48 hour waiting period was up and we could get a bandage back on that central line spot. From Friday afternoon to Monday evening, all Talitha had to support the line was the mesh tops (like you see in the picture) that we made for her each time she had a bath. The exposed entry-point for the line had to be sanitized/disinfected each time she had a bath as a precaution.

Careful as we tried to be, twice during this no-bandage time, her line was accidently snagged or pulled while connected to the IVs. Both times, poor Tali just cried from the pain. Fortunately, the line stayed put and there was no bleeding or damage to her skin or the line.

I think of the ways the Lord tries to support each of us day by day. He doesn't mention mesh tubing or bandages but He does want us to avail ourselves of His ample provision and support.

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:13-17)

Talitha had another good day. She's still drinking great so she doesn't have to have supplemental IV fluids at the moment. She's also started eating better now that her mom is with her. (Go figure.)

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