My Double Lung Transplant

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Port-o-Cathing we will go

Yesterday morning started at about the same time as I write this: 5:30am ish. I hauled ass out of bed, washed my face, found a good pair of sweatpants to put on, a nice warm sweater, and carefully and skillfully applied my face, gathered my shit, made a call, and was out the door. I was greeted not only with freezing cold upon entering the garage and opening it, but also a good inch of snow that beautifically encased and hid my car. Fucking great. I was going to have to clean it off. However, unlike last year, it took all of 5 minutes of doing so and in that time it allowed the car to warm up just a tish before i hit the road (making a stop to pick up a special someone). Best of all, was that I was able to clean off the car in a hurry and not get out of breath!

I arrived at the hosp at about 7am. Traffic was terrible and i fishtailed on the ice twice. Port placement was scheduled for 7:15 but with one thing and another, it didn't happen until around 10am b/c the doc was late on account of the shitty drive.

I wasnt knocked out but I was given an ativan or something to allegedly 'relax' me. I don't beleive this worked b/c i was present for the whole thing - in my head and in my body. This meant that I felt every needle that went into my neck and chest. In total, it was about 7, and it wasn't fun. The first needle i felt go in was in my neck. I felt like those ppl who claim to be abducted by aliens in their sleep and when they wake up they're in a lab and the next thing they know they're being prodded with needles in parts of their body that needles should go - like your fucking jugular. I wasn't lucky enough to get just 1 needle in my neck and feel it, but rather, was graced and blessed with having 2. And let me tell you, never again. "This is going to sting a little" fails to encapsulate just how horrifying an big huge needle is. I never got to see it, but what i envision in my head is much like the scene from The Exorcist where they take Regan to the lab and they shove that huge ass needle in her neck and thread something into it and blood squirts everywhere. I could feel them (this needle apparently numbed me - well, it fucking didn't) threading something into my neck....and when the freezing started to work it was just this unpleasant numbness.

(Moving along about 15 minutes. Bear in mind, i was 100% conscious. I don't think the 'this is supposed to relax you and make you irresponsible for your actions' meds kicked in until after all the pain and tortue was done.)

Next up came the actual part where the slice you open. They apparently numbed me before hand but in all honesty it felt like they sliced me open (it's about an inch and a half to 2 inches) before the had the grace to numb me. Either way, there was a series of 7 sharp pains, a tear which almost escaped but didn't, me asking when the hell things would be done, and pressure. Lots and lots of pressure. At one point, I was gonna remind the doc (who actually was humming 'Single Ladies') not to apply so much pressure to my chest and squish my sternum seeing as it was special and should not be squished or manhandled. Again, I asked when they were gonna be done. It felt like the end of the op but apparently it wasn't. Apparently they were inserting the cath and sewing action I was feeling (and trust me, feeling yourself being sewn up is not cool) was the feeling of the cath being sewn into place. It's a lot of pressure, and it's time consuming and takes patients which i just don't have. Best of all, he was teaching one of the attendees how to sew it in. Fucking great. Sure, you have to learn somewhere but why does it always have to be on me?!

Anywho, the torture soon ended and i got patched up. What a horrible job they did. I felt like i had been hacked up or something. Yes, everyone who was there was lovely and I enjoyed them, but the next time i go through something like this i'm being knocked the fuck out. The glued me shut, steriestripped it, sewed my neck where they stabbed me, and put on as much gauze and tape one could imagine. For such a small procedure, they sure as hell made it look like i had been shot or worse. Not one peice of gauze but rather, a huge maxi pad strapped to my shoulder to protect it from danger.

And the best and most dignifying part is that i cannot shower for a few days. I can only sponge bath..but i refuse...I will shower I will just seran wrap it.

So here I sti, at 5:38am, in pain and waiting for two T2's to kick in. I did not heed the advice from my pharmacist long ago when i first started taking tylenol 2: take 1 with food, wait half an hour, take the next. In doing so, you avoid the effects of drowsiness and getting high. Well, seeing as i woke up at this time yesterday, went to bed at midnight, woke up at 5am b/c my brain hates me. pardon me when i pop 2 T2's on a empty stomach, back to back. I'd rather be drowsy and high than in pain. Maxi pads slung to your shoulder to protect tiny yet incredibly painful incisions do not protect you from pain - only danger.

So that my friends, is the horrifying experience i had getting a port placed.


Jess said...

I'm sorry it worked out that way. I remember the first few needle pokes to numb me up, and the pressure for sure. That's no fun. Hope it heals well and you're off partying soon!

Princess Jess said...

That whole thing was a crock of shit. They gave me versed, I was on another planet! There's no need to be totally out for a port placement, but there is REALLY no reason to be totally aware of it either! I hope it heals up well. And I was never told not to shower, just no baths.