What are the Marks on Owen’s Hands/Wrist?

You’ve probably noticed in several pictures that Owen has blemishes on his right wrist and hand and may have wondered what it is.

TANGENT WARNING:  If you’re worried he maybe watched the end of the Packers versus Seattle game and punched something…don’t worry he was safely in bed and oblivious to the absolute, leave-me-speechless-after-I’ve-finished-yelling-at-the-TV ridiculousness that took place in Seattle.  For the record, I didn’t punch anything either, but I did fail the swear test – really loudly – with words way worse than anything Kellen’s repeated.  Also, I might have done a little quality testing of the remote…you know, just to make sure it was ready to handle two little boys in the house.  It appears we have a quality remote.

Okay, back to Owen’s wrist and hand.

I’ll start with the hand.  That’s the easy one to explain.  It’s eczema.  I put creams, ointments, aquaphor, and if I know he’s sleeping with a pacifier in his mouth and not going to be putting hands in his mouth, hydrocortisone on it and just can’t get it fully cleared.  It’s  been especially bad since he’s been heavy into teething because he’s chewing on his hands non-stop. His doctors are aware and consulting on treatment, but overall, everyone is happy to see his eczema is now, mainly, only on his hands and not all over his face and body.  He doesn’t seem very bothered by it, but if he’s acting like he’s uncomfortable, he gets Benedryl.  In time, this should clear up.

On Owen’s wrist, is something very different.  I’ve never been given the medical term for it, but it’s essentially a permanent bruise that Owen’s had since the early days of the NICU.  As is standard with critical care patients who need continuous blood pressure monitoring, Owen had an Arterial Line in his wrist.  This is a longer-term use IV line that is in an artery so it can also track blood pressures.  For all IV lines there is a hub, which is the plastic part that sits just outside where the IV goes into the skin.  Over the weeks that this IV was in, the hub created a pressure wound for Owen.  It’s not a terribly unusual occurrence, especially with micro preemies who have really thin skin.  However, the timing was especially bad for Owen in that the wound happened during a time when Owen’s platelets (clotting agent in blood) were seriously low.  I’ve never spent a lot of time asking the science behind it, but what I understand is his wound had a difficult time healing because of the low platelets and he’s left with the permanent bruise.  The expectation is the color may – and has – lightened as Owen grows and the bruised area stretches, but he will always have the purple/red area and the white scar in the center.

© Copyright Tatum, All rights Reserved. Written For: Ain't No Roller Coaster

2 thoughts on “What are the Marks on Owen’s Hands/Wrist?

  1. Sebastian gets really bad eczema as well. Thankfully now it’s pretty much just on his ankles, backs of his knees and a tiny bit on his cheeks.

    I do wonder if Sam is going to have it as well.

  2. The battle wounds of a war well fought, I tell ya! I couldn’t post on FB about Owen’s crawling, so I wanted to congratulate the little warrior on his accomplishment. Awesome! I couldn’t be happier…although I’m sure big brother isn’t as elated, due to the fact his toys are officially at risk for going MIA.

    Owen is going to have to teach Acelyn those head moves, by the way. Love it! 🙂

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