Well, since I am pretty much confined to rest and the crazy schedule of all the meds I am taking you will have to forgive me for over blogging. I am really not a fan of TV and I can only watch so much Netflix and me eyes need a break from reading.
I also realized that not everyone may know what a port a cath is. Mine is considered to be a med port and is only for infusing IV medication or TPN. It is totally implanted under my skin in my right chest wall. The top of it feels kind of like a hard bouncy ball that we got out of gumball machines when I was a kid. The back is some type of metal and a cather/line attaches to it and it is threaded through one of my veins and sits right inside my heart.
The great thing about this is that when it is not in use there is nothing physically hanging out of me like you would have with a standard IV or a PICC line or central line. When I first learned to access it I was scared shitless but determined. It gets old really fast going to the hospital every 4-6 hours for IV meds or being admitted to the hospital for only that reason.
I had some fabulous nurses teach me how to access (when you stick the needle in) my port. You have to start with a sterile field and maintain it so you do not risk infection. I use a special needle called a Huber needle that I push through my skin into to bouncy ball part of the port. When I stick the needle in I have a syringe of saline attached to it and slowly push in some saline and then pull back until I get blood return. This ensures that you are in the right place. But I also get a funny taste in my mouth from the saline as well. I have built up enough scar tissue over the area that it is really not that painful to push the needle in.
Once that is all taken care of then I can hook up to whatever medicine I am needing and when it finishes, I have to flush again with saline and also with heparin to prevent it from clotting off. I now know how to operate three different types of IV pumps as well as prepare which ever med that I am needing.
It’s not fun by any means but it beats the hell out of spending more time in the hospital than I get to spend at home. I will try and attach some pictures of the process…