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Friday, July 27, 2012

I'm in a Sticky Situation

For a while now, my neurologist has been mentioning Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery for my Parkinson's disease. The Movement Disorder Specialist I saw last year mentioned it, too. I have taken the first small step (or giant leap) and made an appointment for a consultation with a neurosurgeon. I hope he has a sense of humor because he'll need one.

I should be concerned about the usual things associated with brain surgery, such as having holes drilled in my head, but I am not (well, maybe just a little).

I am worried about the sticky stuff: the tape they'll stick across the IV line in my arm to hold it in place, the EKG pads they will stick fast to my chest to monitor my heart rate during surgery, and whatever
they will stick across the holes they've drilled in my head to protect me from infection. 

Why am I sweating the sticky stuff? I am allergic to sticky stuff. Put a band-aid on my arm and the skin reddens, blisters and then takes on the appearance of a severe burn. The same thing happens with those sticky pads on an EKG machine. My skin doesn't like sticky stuff.

This allergy has made for some interesting medical ingenuity over the years. One surgeon used a tube-top to hold bandages in place after a breast biopsy and even though the EKG pads were placed on my chest the very last thing before surgery, and taken off as soon as possible afterwards, I still had red welts on my chest weeks later. My dermatologist used my glasses to hold bandages in place after she removed skin cancers from my nose. I have even improvised myself. I cut the top off a sock to protect my arm when I burned it while ironing and found that a partial glove protects a cut finger.

Burned my arm ironing.

So, I am concerned as to how they are going to manage the sticky stuff during and after the surgery (if I decide to go through with it). Maybe they can use honey or jelly, they are sticky and I'm not allergic to either one, but then I might attract ants or bees (and I am allergic to both). It's definitely a sticky situation. 

PS My sticky situation started right about the same time as my Parkinson's symptoms. Prior to that, I had no problems with band-aids at all. Coincidence? Hmmm 


  1. Bev

    I have had the very same reactions to 'sticky' pads from EKG in past few months at same time I was getting my diagnosis of PD

    Maybe there IS something to this!

  2. Bev - i love your constant humor. thanks for encouraging me and inspiring me, when i am down in the dumps (as my grandma used to say!). Blessing you always! bev