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woohoo this rarely happens said the tech

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Old 09-14-2005, 06:15 PM   #1
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woohoo this rarely happens said the tech

When they put in my PICC line, they reveiwed a list of things that could, but rarely go wrong. W E L L they put it in on Wednesday and by Saturday I had swelling from my elbow to my shoulder. Subsequent ultrasound discovered a clot from my elbow to my shoulder. WOOHOO this rarely happens. said the Dr. the Tech, the Nurses, and the oncologist.

So now they are treating it with hepparin to the belly for 7 days and pills for about 8-9 months. Aw gee there goes Hockey, Football, chopping wood, skating across the parking lot, falling down and shaving with a blade. So much for my Grandmother activities. Guess someone else will have to cut downthe Xmas tree this year. Maybe its time I sat on my duff and watched others work.

Take care all, just a little venting.... so far my treatment has many - this rarely happens - guess they didn't want me to miss learning whatever there was to learn.

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Old 09-15-2005, 04:53 AM   #2
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Re: woohoo this rarely happens said the tech

Sorry to hear about that, Mudlark. Did you forget to mention the awful tight stockings you also have to wear, day and night for the duration of the coumadin meds, or don't you have to? It is such a fight to get them on and off!

Otherwise it is obvious you are keeping your sense of humour, which is good.

Take care,

Old 09-17-2005, 06:26 AM   #3
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Re: woohoo this rarely happens said the tech

Mudlark you have certainly had a tough time lately. It's no fun being on the receiving end of the 'hardly ever happenings'. You have a great coping mechanism with your sense of humour, but don't be afraid to let rip now and then.

Have you started your chemo yet and if so how is it going?

Look after yourself and I hope things start getting easier for you soon.


Old 09-17-2005, 02:36 PM   #4
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Re: woohoo this rarely happens said the tech

I am SOO sorry to hear that you are having such problems! WHY didn't they offer a catheter in your chest? They implant it right beneath the skin and access only during chemo... the rest of the time, you just feel the bump, but no special care is required... and certainly allows you to chop wood, or do WHATEVER. When accessed, it's easier to cover over, they access with a special butterfly needle, and cover over with a saran wrap like cover (tegaderm dressing).

This could be an option you may want to suggest, given the fact that a clot had developed and the PICC Line may be un-usable at this point anyway!? Long term low dose coumadin (tablets) are normal while you have the port in just to make sure a clot doesn't form.

I wish you the best of luck, and feel so badly that you are experiencing such difficulties.

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Old 09-18-2005, 10:01 PM   #5
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Re: woohoo this rarely happens said the tech

My, 'this is rare' story is the surgeons discovering that they could not definately locate my left kidney during surgery. They actually halted the surgery while they awaited an internal medicine surgeon for a consult(while my belly was split open from pubic region to lower ribs ). Turns out that what they believed was my left kidney was indeed my left kidney, but only a very small portion of it was visible from where they had cut me open. My left kidney resides in my pelvis!

The interns were so taken by this that they ordered a CAT scan the day after surgery (with my right leg paralyzed BTW from the epidermal). How they figured , with one leg paralyzed, a fresh surgical wound extending the height of my abdomen and drugged up with morphine, that I would climb off a gurney and onto the CT scan table I don't know.

As it was the nurses knew I would not be able to drink a liter of contrast fluid so they installed a nasal feeding tube to give it to me. Good thinking on their part, I really could not have drank it without vomiting and with that incision I did not need that! Next came the orderlies to transfer me to a gurney. Again I say I had no use of one leg so they had to lift me. I weighed about 190lbs then and at that I definatly outweighed one of them. The two of them tried but had forgotten to lock the wheels of the gurney,since they could not lift me very high I dragged along and was pushing the gurney away and they almost dropped me(my wife practically having a stroke watching this)as they called for another orderly. This thrid guy obviously works out. He picked me up on his own and placed me on the gurney. Next came the trip to radiology for which that orderly I outweighed was given the task of pushing me there. Since she could not handle the gurney and the IV tree (my chrome buddy that went everywhere I did) my wife pushed the IV along as we travelled. The orderly could not push steadily so she would shove and catch up and shove again(we never actually stopped but it was like flooring the gas pedal, coasting then flooring it again) which was uncomfortable.

My surgeon cancelled the scan but not until the surgical wing nursing station called him and explained my troubles. The trip back was much better as they sent a bigger girl to wheel me back. Gloria was her name and I was (remember, I was on morphine) singing the Eric Clapton "G-L-O-R-I-A" all the way back(silently, to myself) since this ride was so much smoother.

ALL this for a scan that had no need for immediacy other than a few student surgeons wanted to see what a pelvic kidney looked like, because it is so rare!

Supposedly the surgeon gave the interns a dressing down for this. They ordered another CAT scan on the 7th day though. The nurse told me and I simply said "No." She asked what I meant and I explained that no, I would not be having a CT scan today, that I would return next month for one. I could see the sparkle in her eye that suggested that she would take a little glee in telling the interns my decision. Later the interns came in for rounds and tried again to get me to have a scan. Again I said that I would but I would do it on my schedule, that it was not urgent and that I would get it when I felt stronger and more able.

Old 09-19-2005, 08:08 PM   #6
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Re: woohoo this rarely happens said the tech

good grief Jaydee sounds like a bad episode of "carry on nurse" "carry on doctor" and the Interns all rolled into one. So sorry you had to go through all that, morphine or no morphine, you seem to remember it all too well. Also glad to see you took charge of your treatment.... I think more of us need to do a little of that.

As an update - thank you for your posts. Chemo ran Monday past to Friday past...... week One of 2. Had a terrible time with nausea fromthe time I left the hospital after surgery, but nobody seemed to listen until the Chemo nursing team heard. Anyhow I learned the hardway this past Sat/Sun that the annti nausea meds cuased constipation BIG TIME... and although the home nursing VON was there to give my shot of hepparin - she was qualifiied not to discuss the colosotomy. So I learned the hard was - do it yourself medicine. Prune juice, tylenol, pain and more pain- but finally blew it all out clean........ but not befire I had my first accident -2 AM my colostomy base fell off and I leaked all over my jammies, my bathroom floor etc. and with a PICC in one arm that has to remain dry - I was busier than the sorcerer's apprentince trying to clean up and keep the damn PICC line dry. I cried through it all, even wishing my ex was here cuz he would have 'looked after me' but I can laugh now as I see my naked body with only a piece of Bounty stuck wheere it could absorb twice as much more.....
reflected in the mirrored closet doors .....

CAncer Dad - Ontario Health first utilizes the least expensive - thus the PICC
which they have kept going and are doing due diligence to keep it that way.
The PICC is an Amulbatory Care "technique" one Tech and the the Doc who inserted it whereas the port would have sent me to surgery for a surgical procedure with some anasthesia.

I am as of now about 8 - 12 hours nausea free having read the riot act to a Dr this morning, that up to now the stuff they are doing isn't working so lets rework the plan...... a new med for nauseau is working so food is staying down and therefore some energy returning. I made 3.1 on the INR so don't need any more stabs to the belly at least for now. My first CEA is 1.2 base line, normal, and useless says Dr. All in all if the new med works as well tormorrow as it did today, I think I has feel human again........

I am learning a great deal..... not sure what I will do with it, but I keep learning more and more. I know I have joined the Golden Agers, the Sexy Seniors, and the Forgetful Chatelaines ---- becuase no one asks how I am anymore ---- they want a graphic report on my body functions from waking to sleeping! So I lie a lot - tell them everything is Perfect! and then ask if they would like to see I am tellling the I reach for my waistband... That generally changes the topic to world events, TV, what to do next, etc. I AM BAD!

Before I say good night I must commend the nurses that are in my Chemo area - a finer group of caring, thinking, initiating, and patient proactive nursing nurses may not exist this side of the 49th parallel. (Mind you my experience with this is hardly global..... just local--- but they derserve a big gold star)

Last edited by Mudlark; 09-19-2005 at 08:24 PM.

Old 09-20-2005, 06:19 PM   #7
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Re: woohoo this rarely happens said the tech

Mudlark, sorry to hear about your "accident". I'm glad the nausea is under control-you really need to eat during chemo, even when the thought of food can make you gag. I found that I never lost my taste for chocolate, but only good chocolate. The cheap stuff tasted waxy. Fruit also tasted good. I agree, the chemo nurses are gifts from God-I never found a more caring helpful group of people. They try to stay positive even when we aren't.

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