The danger of sleeping with...a Heating Pad!

In mid August I had a new, bad pain on my side/back. I noticed it on a Thursday and by Monday when it was still there, I went to my primary care doctor.
He decided to treat it as shingles as I had a couple of little rashes too. He also wrote a rx for an exray of my ribs.
I went to the exray facility and a few hours later got the call from my doc. office advising that I had a fractured rib!
I was told to take my pain meds and take it easy.
I did take it easy and laid around on my couch with a heating pad. I also took the heating pad to bed and slept on it.
The first week of Sep. I was taking a shower and felt something on the underside of my left breast (it's actually a mound of flesh w/an implant under it, from my mastectomy 12 years ago.). I looked in the mirror and was horrified to see an open wound.
I should mention that this area of my body is numb still and I normally quickly towel dry myself off after showering, put on a night-shirt or whatever and then go back into the bathroom to apply moisturizer, etc. Our bathroom is tiny and the mirrors are all steamy for a few min.
I had never seen such a terrible looking wound...much less, on MY body, it was truly horrendous.
I went back to my primary doc....he was mortified and called my onc. and they both decided I needed to see a plastic surgeon asap, as I probably would need a skin graft.
I have since been to (my original) plastic surgeon. We came to the conclusion that I burnt myself with the heating pad. I have a 2nd degree burn which I have had to "dress" everyday with Silver Sulfadiazine cream and a telfa pad. No air is alowwed on the wound. I live in FL. and am not allowed to go in the pool or ocean. The burn is healing, otherwise this doc. said he would have to remove the implant for a Year and do skin grafting, etc.
I'm sad to loose one of my best friends~my heating pad : (
He told me not to use one, period!
I am praying that it is healed by the end of Oct. as my husband and I are embarking on an 8 nt. Southern Carribean Cruise to celebrate our 11th anniversarry. Last year @ this time I could hardly walk from my bone cancer in my hip....
Love to all my "sisters" out there! XOXO
Don't sleep with a heating pad !

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I learned the hard way too. i fell asleep with a heating pad and received bad burns . I was so embarrased having to go to the doctor for this reason, but I had to because it was not healing on it's own.

Thankfully I didn't burn my chest area but burned my lower torso which has no feeling due to a double tramlap reconstruction in 1999.

I never used a heating pad anymore after that incident.

What happened to you was much worse but I do know how you feel.

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And here I thought it was just the bad boys I wasn't supposed to sleep with! ;)

I wish you speedy and complete healing!


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Thanks ckgoduto, you make me feel better knowing that I'm not the only one that has done this. I'm glad that you went to the dr. too! I think this is probably more common than we all realize and there are probably warnings on the heating pad too!

Ha ha ha, Right Treea2Go! Thanks for the chuckle! ; )


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I also burned my left breast shortly after my expanders were placed and had started being filled. That was 4 years ago. I still sleep with mine, but I put it down low and the temp setting is also set to a lower setting. I could not sleep with out it. I had implant reconstruction so no flaps were taken from me anywhere. I am only numb in the breast area. SO I have to agree with everyone else to not sleep with it, if you are numb in the back area or anywhere else.

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OMG! I remember reading about the dangers of it, but sometimes pain trumps those. So sorry to hear this happened to you.
Since my whole body hurts, I decided to check into a heated mattress pad. It's been the greatest thing I've ever had...I sleep in a queen size bed so I have dual controls (sleeping single in a double bed has it's advantages!) It's warmer down by the feet. I can only use it in fall and winter...which might not help some of you in the warmer climates...but just's a suggestion. No burns either. I purchased mine through JCPENNEY catalog. Fitted mattress pad cover, dual controls. Worth it, worth it, worth it.
No heating pads for me...and especially after this firsthand experience. I, too, have no feeling on either side, so I can see how this could happen. yikes!
Thanks, Patty, for the public service announcement.
Hugs to you all.

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Hmm, a heated matress pad sounds wonderful! I'm going to check into that!

You're welcome, for the "public service announcement"...LOL


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Here is another tid bit a friend told me about due to her own problems with an expander coming out (minus all the gory details). Her plastic surgeon advised her to use sanitary pads as bandages! That is really all they are, very big long bandages to soak up all the 'whatever' drainage! The backside of the pads are peel n stick to hold them in place also, even better right? I would have never thought up this one on my own, believe me!

I hope everything heals up without any more complications.

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I am so sorry to hear of the terrible sounding burn that you received from the heating pad, I burned myself years ago with one and still have the scares on my back. It does sound as if the pain from the bone cancer is better, and that is great. I wish you a speedy recovery and a wonderful time on your cruise. Ships, ships, away......... Julieanne

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I have a heating pad with an automatic sensor that turns off when it gets too hot. You may want to try one of those.

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I'm sorry this happened, but glad you noticed it before it got any worse.
Heating pads do carry warnings about such problems. Diabetics in particular who have numbness etc. are advised against heating pads.
Some do have automatic sensors, like Elizabeth says.
I have a heated mattress pad and it is wonderful!! Not to hot, but enough to make my bed cozy and warm for my bones, esp in winter or on cold damp days.
Hope you heal up quickly!

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