How can a thing of such beauty be such an eye sore all at the same time?
Let's face it. I'm a 20-something female who is often on the go. Like many other females (and many other people in general), I pretty big fan of wearing short sleeved shirts, tank tops, tube tops, etc. I don't do that very often now because of my fistula. I don't know if it's a fair statement to say that I'm ashamed of my fistula, as it is my lifeline. But let's be real here. It's bumpy, it's odd....downright weird looking. It's definitely going to stir up a bunch of questions...and I'm definitely not interested in repeating myself several times to educate people on my arm and why it looks that way.
Today was a nice day out....but I still wore a long sleeved shirt. When I got to work, I was jealous, yet not in the least surprised to see 2 of the 3 females sitting near me in the office wearing nice sleeveless blouses. I looked at myself, in my long Abercrombie and Fitch cardigan, and immediately felt jealous.
I've previously gone the route of wearing a cut stocking over my fistula when wearing short sleeves. Though I don't see that as being any different than attaching a neon sign to my left bicep with arrows and signage saying "PLEASE ASK ME ABOUT THIS RANDOMLY PLACED STOCKING ON MY ARM". While I would most certainly argue this point, wearing a stocking on my arm in the office might even be considered against the dress code! (I don't remember reading the no-stocking-on-your-arm clause in the dress code document we receive yearly, but I could be mistaken).
My dad brought this up in the car the other day. He said that I shouldn't feel bad or self-conscious about my fistula. I could simply cover it with gauze or with Mefix dressing (white dressing that comes in a roll, you cut it to the size you want, and you peel the paper off of the back to reveal a sticky part that can be applied to your skin).
True. I could simply cover it with gauze or with Mefix dressing. But that really wouldn't solve the 'i-do-not-want-to-draw-attention-to-myself" thing. I know I'd be inundated with tons of "Ohhhh! What happened???"'s at work which is exactly what I do not want.
I'm trying to figure out if I should just do the whole gauze thing and expect a plethora of questions for the next week or 2, if I should go back to the good ol' cut stocking, or if I should just skip all of that stuff and just go to work as I am. Or, of course, I can continue to torture myself and wear long sleeved shirts, cardigans, 3.4 length shirts, etc all the time.
This has always been a toughy for me. If there are any dialysis patients out there who happen to read this post, I'd be interested to know what your thoughts are on showing your fistula. I'm pretty torn!
Torn, and very very very warm in my long sleeved blouses.
Hi, there. Sorry for the tardy response but I just now saw your post-- while searching for fistual cover-ups! Today is the first really warm day at work, and I wore two shirts to conceal my fistula. But it's just too damned hot for that! Like you, though, I don't want to have to answer a lot of questions about why my arm looks the way it does-- I work in a library and with a lot of kids, and they have asked a lot of questions about my arm when I've gone sleeveless in the past. I am investigating something called a Tat Jacket, but they haven't expanded their flesh tones beyond those suitable for caucasians.
I'm glad to run into another dialysis patient online... I'll let you know if I come up with a viable solution for our little dilemma. Michelle
I work as a special ed teacher and had a fistula for over a year before it was used. I did not worry about it showing in the summer, until a mentally retarded summer school student said to me "Oooh, what is that! I think I am going to cut that!" Oh wow! So, then I covered it with sleeves for the rest of summer school.
Now, it has been put to use and matured, so to say, into this bumpy, snake like bulging vein on my arm. Hanging around town, I just don't bother with it. At school, when teaching, most of my students ask about it once or twice, and then it is over with. On occassion, someone new to my life will comment, but not usually strangers or people who know I am on dialysis. So, other than myself thinking it is very ugly...I don't care if people see it. I would rather stay cool here in Southern California. But on occassion when I want to cover it up, say for Singles Night at Church, I just put a natural-colored large bandage on it, and you can hardly even notice it.