Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hand Washing Prevents a Rash

When the diabetes team tells you to wash your hands and change your needle tip after each use, they aren't kidding.

If you read my last blog I mentioned a trip to the ER with my Type 1 daughter Dareian.

She developed small red bumps on her upper arms and belly.  The areas she commonly uses to give herself her injections. Anyway, over time these bumps  (kind of looked like ingrown hairs or giant zits) got worse, more inflamed, and resulted in a cellulitis (infection of the skin)  She was picked up early from school in extreme pain.   The arms went from single bumps to a uniform area that was bright red,  that had a clearly distinguished edge, and was very warm to touch.

I was thinking crap!  I should have done something sooner, how did we let this happen.  We did try some cortisone cream thinking it was inflammation, and some antibiotic ointment as well.  But it came on very quick!

So nine hours later, yes that was the official wait time (not criticizing just stating the facts) we were finally assessed.  Sure enough, it was cellulitis.  Then came the lecture.

"Wash your hands, change the needle after each use, rotate to different sites."---or something to that effect, I was busy being embarrassed.

 Needless to say I did not mention to the staff that I was a Type 1 myself and also a Nurse, I conveniently left that out.

So after nine hours of waiting, a 10 min assessment,  5 minute lecture from the ER doc a nurse came in.   She stuck my kid with large bore needle and 2.5cc of antibiotic into her butt.  Ouch, poor girl was in good spirits up until that point.   We were then sent home with a Rx for oral antibiotics.

The point is this:  If you notice a rash stay on top of it---see your doc.  Wash your hands before all injections and pokes, rotate your sites, and change the needle tips. Most infections be it skin, sinus, lung, stomach are more difficult to overcome when dealing with diabetes.  The infection itself may cause the sugar level to climb, which in turn makes healing that much harder.  Even those of us with great control can have more difficulty kicking the butt of a common cold.  Not to mention glucose is great food for bacteria.  Just some food for thought, no pun intended. 

I know its inconvenient to change your needle tips after each use but you really want to avoid the fate my daughter met, that is, the gigantic needle filled with stinging antibiotic.

As you can well imagine she has improved her hand-washing and needle changing tactics.


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