Or not. Trouble is that when you have a PICC line – and a stoma – it’s a lot less fun diving into the shower. (Though once in I do still relish the experience.)
A PICC line is not supposed to get wet, That means you have to cover the entire dressing around it with a plastic cuff that somewhat cramps one’s style. In theory, I suppose, a stoma bag shouldn’t get wet either – but to be honest it’s less of a problem, for me at least. I don’t know what kind of medical adhesive they use to hold them on, but by crikey it’s tough. (Though fortunately the spray I use when changing stoma bags still gets it off in a jiffy.)
Today, ironically, the plastic sleeve didn’t quite do its job, and the elasticated bandage over my PICC line dressing was decidedly damp when I finally emerged from the shower and exposed it. Luckily ‘damp’ was all it was, so I removed it and dried it. The dressing underneath showed no trace of dampness. Which may teach me not to spend half an hour luxuriating in the shower just because I haven’t had one in a couple of weeks… (And yes, I do wash. Well, sometimes…)
I also, of course, took the opportunity to wash my hair, trying not to notice how many handfuls of it were coming out in the process. I now have a rather thin, pure white thatch, and a white fuzz on my jaw complemented by a thin grey-white moustache and the ghost of a pointy bit under my lower lip. Not sure it’s exactly a trendy look, but it’s what I can muster – and it’ll be interesting to see what happens when I finish my chemo next week. Other patients have reported significant changes in hair colour as it grows back, but I’m predicting Santa-coloured white for myself. It’ll be fun if I’m wrong.
Well, at least I don’t smell any more. (Not, I suspect, that I did before – it’s amazing what a difference it makes having one’s back passage out of action.) Luckily I have a very polite and tolerant partner (or possibly she just has a lousy sense of smell). And equally luckily, so do I…