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bailsmom
06-09-2007, 11:14 AM
I had surgery a week ago this past Thursday and while the healing is taking its dear sweet time I seem to be having a strange problem with bruising on my wrist from the IV.

The IV was put on my hand, in between my middle and ring finger hand bones. (does that make any sense?)

Now here's the strange thing, if you follow that vein up to your wrist it gets bigger? Right? Well mine does, my veins are freaky. Now that vein is hurting a lot. And the pain goes up my arm about 4" above my wrist so in all it's about a 5" length of vein that is hurting. A lot.

Is this normal? In the past surgeries I've had this has never happened and I'm a bit concerned. You'd never know it hurt so much, it's not red or black and blue, it's just my normal skin color. My incisions are healing nicely, no infections at all. It's just this darn part of my vein that is hurting.

Any ideas?? It hurts even more when I bend my wrist - in any direction.

kemp
06-09-2007, 11:23 AM
Call whoever is on this weekend for your surgeon and see what they say. I'd hate for you be in trouble and not know. Hopefully it's just healing from the surgery!

dakatzmeow
06-09-2007, 11:24 AM
nurse here, at your service. i would suggest placing a call to your doc's office. they may want you to put a warm or cold cloth there to ease the discomfort or they may want to take a quick look at it. it could be that your vein is irritated from whatever meds they put through there.

after i had my 2nd baby, i had a vein that got really hard after the iv, ropy even, for about 6 months. when i saw my ob, she told me to keep an eye on it for changes and see her again if it wasn't better in 6 months. SIX months! if i hadn't asked her, i would've freaked out, waiting that long. but it did, in fact, get much better, and was almost completely better at the end of the 6 months.

anyway, hope you are feeling better soon.

bailsmom
06-09-2007, 11:44 AM
nurse here, at your service. i would suggest placing a call to your doc's office. they may want you to put a warm or cold cloth there to ease the discomfort or they may want to take a quick look at it. it could be that your vein is irritated from whatever meds they put through there.

after i had my 2nd baby, i had a vein that got really hard after the iv, ropy even, for about 6 months. when i saw my ob, she told me to keep an eye on it for changes and see her again if it wasn't better in 6 months. SIX months! if i hadn't asked her, i would've freaked out, waiting that long. but it did, in fact, get much better, and was almost completely better at the end of the 6 months.

anyway, hope you are feeling better soon.



Thank you nurse!! Wow, 6 months! That's a long time.

Thank you so much for replying so fast. :hug: :heart: I did put an ice pack on it last night but that only helped a little bit. I'm gonna try the heating pad next. I sure hope it doesn't take that long for me. :shock:

stitchwitch
06-09-2007, 12:52 PM
I'm a month out of being IV'd at the hospital for 5 days and the site where mine was (almost exactly same as yours) still hurts like the bejeebus! It's getting better but even a blanket or washcloth hurts it. It too isn't bruised or red or showing any signs of infection but boy does it sure hurt. It is getting better though so I'm thinking it's just healing up.
*edit*
Oh yeah, I never had popping veins, ever, now the vein they poked is popping above the skin up to the wrist.

GinnyG
06-09-2007, 01:27 PM
Nurse here (too)......

Not unusual for an IV site to hurt for a lengthy time but you need to be concerned if there is reddness, swelling, heat or any sign of infection. People all bruise differently and if your are an "easy" bruiser the bruise could last for a couple weeks. There are nerves in your hand and one of them may have been injured when the IV was placed.

I wouldn't hesitate to call your Dr. if you are concerned, that is what you pay thme for!!!

bailsmom
06-09-2007, 02:06 PM
Nurse here (too)......

Not unusual for an IV site to hurt for a lengthy time but you need to be concerned if there is reddness, swelling, heat or any sign of infection. People all bruise differently and if your are an "easy" bruiser the bruise could last for a couple weeks. There are nerves in your hand and one of them may have been injured when the IV was placed.

I wouldn't hesitate to call your Dr. if you are concerned, that is what you pay thme for!!!



:hug::hug: :heart: :heart:

Thanks Nurse!! And yes, I do bruise very easily. If I bump my leg getting into the shower and I don't rub it hard right away it'll get so big and gross looking and sometimes that doesn't even help.

I called my mom and she's all worried about a blood clot or something. Silly girl. I will call my doctor on Monday just to ease my mind, thank you girls for your help.

What do I owe you!! :wink:

marykz
06-09-2007, 03:15 PM
your insurance may have a nurse hotline you can call too if you get worried- we have blue cross, and there is an 800 number where you can talk to a RN. they ask lots of questions and usually can determine if you need to see the doc ASAP, or if it can wait. We have used the line many times when the dd has been ill in the middle of the night and we weren't sure if we had to wander off to the ER.

hope it feels better soon...

Jeremy
06-09-2007, 11:57 PM
Nurse here. The veins in your hand are small and superficial. Whatever is infusing may be a little caustic. But, if they are in any way warm or hard or red call to have the IV site moved. Its not that big a deal unless you are a hard stick.

Yarn Doc
06-10-2007, 12:05 AM
Not a nurse here. But I'm a doctor, does that count? :)

I agree with all the nurses. Without seeing it, you should call your surgeon and ask to be seen. If it gets worse, becomes red/hot, or your lose range of motion in that hand, go to the ER.

bailsmom
06-10-2007, 11:13 AM
Thanks everyone for all of your help. :hug: Well, turns out I ended up at the ER last night. :pout: I started bleeding (sorry if TMI) and had excruciating cramping like I had never had in my life. And I have endometriosis. :cry: Oh my god, it was the worst, so I tried to stop it, but the meds I took didn't work and seeing as I just had surgery I thought I'd better go in just to be safe.

I'm fine. Of course. There's another $150.00 down the drain. :rollseyes: I am so mad at myself for going in and having it be nothing to worry about. I know, I know. It was better to be safe than sorry, but when you find out it's nothing after you've been in agony for 6 hours and they give you nothing for it in the end, AND I had to have another damn IV put in!!!!! Other arm this time :thumbsup:. Ugh. I'm just venting here, but the whole point of my story is that I asked the doctor and nurse about the vein hurting (which ironically had subsided quite a bit by that point :rollseyes:) she said the vein was hard and to keep an eye on it and like you all said if it changes in any way to call my doctor.

Then I asked her if I was getting any meds (yes, I'm still doubled over while asking her this) and she tells me to take tylenol.

So I went home and took my narcotic Dilotted (sp?) and my anti-nausea pill and went to bed. I'm much better this morning cramping-wise, but I'm still uncomfortable so I took some Ibuprofen and it's taking the edge off.

And of course, my wrist is hurting like mad again. :rollseyes: I'm having a rough weekend.....:pout:

dakatzmeow
06-10-2007, 11:25 AM
you poor thing. take it easy. be careful if you are needing to drive and taking dilaudid. it is synthetic morphine. i would say a cool cloth, on for 20 min off for 20 min, would be ok for your iv site(s).

Yarn Doc
06-11-2007, 10:04 AM
You poor thing. It's better that you went it - $150 is nothing compared to what it might have been. I am thinking - I had major surgery a few years ago during med school (hah! maybe more than a FEW years ago) and I had some sore hard veins after that experience. Went away after several weeks, though it didn't hurt like yours.

I'm glad you're doing better.

KnittingNat
06-11-2007, 11:52 AM
Hang in there! Hope you feel better :hug:

Jeremy
06-11-2007, 11:56 AM
Try a warm washcloth with plastic wrap around it to keep the heat in. (Not Hot Hot, we don't want to add a burn on top of your other troubles). Keep it on for 10-15 min at a time and see if that doesn't help. Do it at most once an hour.:hug:

krazy4kats
06-11-2007, 03:07 PM
Yet another nurse here. As Jeremy said, you may want to try warm compresses if cool ones are not alleviating the discomfort - you could also try elevating your hand and lower forearm on a pillow or rolled towel when you are resting. And, of course, if it gets worse (increasing pain, in same area or further up your arm, redness, swelling, increased hardness or "ropiness", etc.), call your provider.

Although we are taught to start IVs at the most distant spot and work our way up the limb for replacements (in longer stays), the hand veins are a bad spot for someone with limb mobility - no matter how hard you try, you usually bump the IV tubing or it gets caught on bedding or your gown (and even the toilet seat!), irritating the vein as the catheter moves even ever so slightly within the vein. I would suspect you probably had some antibiotic also infused through there, in addition to any maintenance or flushing fluids, and antibiotics can also be irritating to the vein.

In the future, you may want to consider asking the IV starter to avoid your hand and wrist, instead placing the IV on the top of your forearm (underside of forearm hurts more and is more susceptible to dislodging due to body positioning), especially if your stay is likely to be only a day or 2 (most facilities will replace an IV site every 3-4 days per CDC guidelines and will want to replace the site above the current one, so the further up they start to begin with lessens opportune spots for the next IV on that stay). Unless your procedure has a preferred side (colonoscopies usually prefer right arm, cardiac caths like left, etc.), you're further ahead with your IV on your non-dominant limb, since you are less likely to be using that arm (and therefore less likely to bump/catch it) for eating, personal care, etc.