Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Port Is In

Well after all of the drama, stress and anxiety of the past week, I am happy to say my port is in. I started yesterday expecting to have reschedule my port "install" while I waited for some insurance issues to be worked out. In the end things worked in my favor. What a surprise. To recap the last few days...last Friday I got a call from the nurse at my doctors saying everything had been taken care of and the hospital had my orders. They should call me but if I waited an hour or so I could call them and schedule everything. I waited about 2 hours or so and called the hospital a little after 12. They had everything but when we went to schedule it, the nurse wasn't sure that they would do a port and said they usually do the PICC lines for patients like me. That got me a little nervous, but she confirmed we could do the port and set it up for 1:00 p.m. on the following Monday (yesterday). I was all happy we were moving forward. Not 10 minutes go by and the hospital calls back and wants to cancel my procedure because they don't have a pre-authorization from my insurance. First they had my old insurance and then they didn't have approval and my doctors office closes at noon on Fridays so they couldn't reach anyone to try and clear it up. We kept it scheduled for Monday and hoped we could work everything out before 1:00. I won't go into detail of what happened after that but it was pretty much a repeat of Thursday. My husband and I had a great talk about everything and he did such a good job calming me down and helping me get another perspective. So as I approached yesterday morning, I told myself to not expect to have the procedure done and then I got surprised when things worked out.

I was really glad that my time to worry was very limited. I only had about 3 hours from the time I heard it was a go until I had to be at the hospital. So we get down to the hospital and check in. Of course I left the house without my list of medications so it was hard to remember everything. I keep telling myself I need to give my husband a little card with all my meds and supplements with their doses on it just in case something happens. It all worked out and check in was easy. It was a few tense minutes until they called my back. I gave my husband a kiss and off I went. Luckily I was worried about how cold I was going to get but I only had to lose the clothes on the top half. A nice "nurse" took me back to a room that looked about like an x-ray room. (This is done in interventional radiology) I was thinking I was getting an x-ray first but this where it was all going down. The doctor or two doctors were men but everyone was a woman. I can not say enough about how sweet and funny they were. They showed my a little demo about the port and talked to me about everything. They could tell I was nervous. I laid down on the table and they loaded me up with warm blankets. That is the one great thing about the hospital...warm blankets. I just love them. It was great because I even got to keep my Uggs on so I for once I wasn't cold. The nurse goes to put the IV in. She was great. I almost didn't feel a thing. She asked me if there was certain music I liked because they had satellite radio and probably had anything I wanted. I said Christian. She found a Christian rock station and I wanted to cry. Not only was I put at ease but I figured there was a slight chance it was a witness to whatever staff was in that room. AWESOME! I was getting IV sedation so I was awake but out of it. She didn't even tell me she gave me the medicine. I was just laying there, all warm, listening to great music and I got so sleepy. I said did you give something yet. She said yes and I will give you some more. I was out after that. I remember feeling some pain as they were pushing or snapping something in. I could her the two doctors talking to each other but I don't remember their conversation. Then it was time to get up. I was very sleepy and out of it. No nausea though, which is a surprise for me. I asked the doctor if I said anything embarrassing and he said no. I was glad for that. They wheeled me out in a wheel chair and away we went. I was out of it most of the afternoon and night. I helped get the kids and we did eat dinner but in between it was very hard to keep my eyes open.
I was extremely sore yesterday and still am today. Part of it is the bandages. They seem to pull my skin depending on how I move. This is definitely a reminder that I need to really work on my core strength. You don't realize how much you use your neck and chest muscles until you have surgery or something that really affects them. This same happened when I had my thyroid surgery back in 1995. It was so hard to sit up from a laying down position because I would strain and pull all of those muscles in my neck. As a side note, it was kind of funny yesterday when the nurse was explaining they had to make a small incision in my neck so they could access the jugular vein to put the tube or catheter part in. She tried to reassure me the scare would be small. I said I'm not worried, you haven't seen my thyroid scare. It goes across most of my neck. Doesn't bother me. I like to joke sometimes if people ask me what happen and tell them it was from an ex-boyfriend. A good family friend actually gave me the nickname Pez, you know the candy dispenser, because I open at the neck. Anyways, I wasn't going to worry about this little scar. I have a handful of scars in visible places. I have learned to not let them bother me. They tell part of my life story. Battle wounds are cool! :)
Well, nothing yet on disability of course. I start the IV meds on Thursday. I will definitely video that. Partly so we can see how the nurse does everything, partly so I can share it with anyone who is interested. I feel like that is part of why I am going through this. I have appreciated watching other peoples journey. I think it is helpful. I guess the last thing I'll say, is I am searching for a name for my port. You may think it is weird but I have met a couple of people who have named their PICC line or their port since you have to refer to it so much and it is a part of you for quite a while. So don't hesitate to give some ideas. Thanks for checking in and for all of the prayers and support. I will certainly keep you posted.

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