Sunday, February 1, 2009

Itchy, Itchy, Itchy!

This is more and more frequently becoming Becca's frenzied cry. The doctors' office suggested blowing on (in?) the cast with a cool hair dryer. This has provided some short-term (mostly placebo, I think) relief, but the itchy episodes are getting more frequent and less fixable.

I feel sorry for the poor girl, but dealing with the frenzy is trying for us (okay, me), too. After a lot of fussing tonight (2 a.m.), Len suggested Benadryl. Becca fell back to sleep while I was pouring a dose, so I spent half an hour online looking for solutions.

Apparently the itching is caused mostly by dirt and moisture in the cast, and/or by dead skin. We grow new skin all the time, and the old cells are rubbed off by our clothing, sheets, etc. during daily living. A cast prevents this, leading to itching as the dead cells build up. Or something like that.

So far I've seen four ideas:
  1. medication (like Benadryl), which I'd rather not use long-term
  2. "safe" devices to insert into the cast for scratching
  3. an aerosol spray, which dries the inside (with alcohol) and soothes (with talc)
  4. a device that wraps around the cast and is attached to a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum pulls air out of the breathable cast, bringing fresh air in to dry out (and cool) the inside
Hopefully there will be a "help line" available at the ortho's office to offer advice in the morning. We've got to try something new. I know we can't live with 5 weeks like these past three days...

In related news, Becca still doesn't want to bear weight on her cast, which is fine. She started doing leg lifts yesterday afternoon, and in the evening was pulling herself along the floor and throwing a toy for Dusty. The itching is awful, but the stability of the cast has relieved all her fracture pain. Yay!

The cast is from her ankle to most of the way up her thigh. I'll post a picture soon.

Related whining: After seemingly endless fussing followed by Rebecca falling asleep, I spent half an hour online, then 50 minutes lying awake in bed. Now I'm out of bed again wondering when I'll be relaxed enough to sleep myself (it's 4:38 now). And the boys are serving at 7:30 a.m. mass...

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