Most people know, when you go to your pre-op appointment they will ask you a huge laundry list of questions. Many of the questions are fairly easy, questions; have you run a fever in the last two weeks? What is the name of your doctor? Are you allergic to latex? You know – things you know the answers to….. right?
The week before my abdominal hysterectomy I had my last appointment with the surgeon. I was able bombard him with every question that I, my friends, family or the Internet could come up with that might remotely relate to my surgery. After he patiently listened and answered all of my questions, he ask one simply question in return; “Are you allergic to super glue? We will be using medical grade – so it will be better than what you use at home.”
WHAT A SILLY QUESTION! I have never heard of anyone, EVER being allergic to super glue …. Not even medical grade, it is better than the stuff at home you know…
Now – before “NO” came out of my mouth I did some mental checking – years of model making, and then 10 years working in a custom framing shop…. We had lots of cuts we would just super glue closed. Yep – I was totally fine…. No allergy for me.
“NO, I am not allergic to super glue.” I confidently said.
Surgery comes, surgery goes. Hospital stay, hospital departure. It is the 6th day after surgery that I am pretty sure that uncomfortable itching is not my wound healing. Nope, I have a sneaking suspicion that it may be something much more unpleasant. My husband takes a look – and we both decide that I am probably going to live – the incision and around it are all red and a bit bumpy – but that is just probably from the surgery itself, right? Right??
And then, the middle of that night came. You know – when you are the only creature in your home awake – and you know that this is the time when really, really bad things happen. You know, bad things like the continual, eternal itching of a surgical wound that knows no comfort. There was something totally wrong and now I now knew it. I was beginning to notice other continual, eternal itchy spots on my arm and what I could see of my legs. First thought – Mersa! That’s it – I am dead and I am taking the household with me. Well, at least then maybe the itching would stop.
Granted, this was my middle of the night, one week out from major surgery, drugged off my rocker brain telling me all this. At some point, I shoved my hands under my bum (to keep from itching) and enjoyed the rest of what passes for sleep when you are in that state. By morning, it was clear. There was something defiantly going on. So it was off to the surgeon’s office where I sat in a waiting room full of people who were not one week out from their hysterectomy surgery wearing their pajamas in public. There was actually a small child that I heard question her parent “What’s wrong with that lady – she looks bad.” Out of the mouths of babes and all of that – Yes little girl, there is something definitely wrong with this lady.
I finally made it back to an examination room where I let me incision do all the talking. It was very clear to all the staff that was called in that it was indeed an allergic reaction and no infection of any kind. And then, the best and the worst thing happened…. The doctor took an alcohol soaked gauze pad and scrubbed out all of the “medical grade super glue”. You know, the super glue that’s better than what is at your house.
All I can say is that it hurt so good. It still took a very strong steroid drug to stop the spreading and a few weeks of Calamine lotion to get it under control but I was finally not itching. All this suffering from a little question; are you allergic to super glue? I now know the answer…