Monday, August 26, 2013

There's a Cream for that!

When I was a kid and had to go to the pediatrician's to get a mom always promised me an ice cream afterwards to make me feel better ( was really sherbet as I had to watch my milk intake as I had a sensitivity to dairy products).  I didn't like needles then unless they were pulling thread.

So, when I had a deep port which was often difficult to access, the nurses offered me a numbing cream for the skin.  I thought that was pretty silly as the skin was just a temporary prick and it didn't hurt much. What did hurt is when they dug around trying to find the port, poking through muscle tissue.  There's no cream for that unfortunately.

Since then, particularly after I got my current port which sits right under my skin and looks like an alien has taken up residence, I snorted when people asked me if I needed "the cream."

Today, however, I changed my mind about what I thought about it.  I was talking with another breast cancer patient who watched me get accessed.  She asked me why I didn't use THE CREAM.  I said I never really understood it.  She told me it made her life so much easier...and less painful.....and more relaxed to "get her pokes."

Hmmmm. I had known  that I could tolerate pain very well...but I never thought about it, especially in the case of needle pricks.  I said that I guess I really do have a pretty high tolerance, and said I delivered my baby without any kind of anesthesia. I thought my chemo partner for the day was going to pass out right there.

So..if you didn't know, and that pin prick hurts, just ask for the analgesic cream (it is sort of like Novocaine in a tube).  But also remind them to wait a little bit for the alcohol swabs to dry on the skin surface.  It does hurt when the needle carries in the alcohol and burns.

So...remember you can ask for THE CREAM.....and the kind of cream above isn't bad either.  I will still skip the former and occasionally have the later. Anyone want to share with their own spoon?


  1. I learned the hard way that you need a lot of the cream (EMLA here in Canada) for it to do the job. Since I usually forget to put it on, I often ask for a glove full of ice to numb the area. That works quite well. Or it did until my port decided it wanted out. :(

    Kate, of Kate Has Cancer

  2. Good idea, Kate. Thanks for sharing that thought here. Lisa

  3. At the facility where I get my treatments, they use a numbing spray. The hospital doesn't keep it in stock, not even on the oncology floor where just about everybody has a port, and not in the infusion center.

    I love my port (the shallow kind).