Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mini Meltdown

Just got back from the Cancer Institute ... from getting my PICC line redressed. It was a bit more eventful than I had hoped.

When the nurse (a different one than my regular one) and I looked at my PICC line we noticed the dressing was all loose and that the line had come out a couple of centimeters. When first inserted, the line goes into your body about 50 or 60 centimeters. I was devastated thinking they would have to remove this PICC line and get another one inserted.

Being this is only day 8 of the cycle, my emotions are still very fragile and it took all I had to hold back the tears.

Well, she said, we'll have to send you to x-ray to see if it is still located properly ... within the chest area. Off I go to x-ray. I step into the room and blam ... I couldn't hold back the tears. The x-ray technical says ... it's only a simple x-ray and you'll be fine.

I collected myself and went back to daycare where they already had the results of the x-ray. Everything was O.K. ... the line was still intact. I tried to wipe away the tears and collect myself as best I could but when the nurse called me to have the dressing changed, she could see I was holding back the tears. The sweet nurse reassured me everything was fine and just let her know what I wanted her to do and we'll get through this. She said your emotions are high because of the chemo ... just try and relax and it will all be O.K. I needed that.

When we took the dressing apart we noticed that nothing was holding the PICC line down. We had so much cortisone cream and Vaseline soaked gauze in the dressing that made the steristrips ineffective. Today we changed up a few things including adding a 'lock' to secure the line.

I may have to write a book ... PICC Lines for Dummies.

17 comments:

Roxanne said...

Oh Daria, I cried for you just reading this. I'm sorry this line is giving you so much trouble. On top of everything else you shouldn't have to be worrying about that darn PICC too. I'm glad it was still in good placement. Hope they really secured it this time. Maybe a good cry was what you needed. Hope you can get some more rest.
Take Care, Roxanne

Sarah said...

Oh hon.... I'm sending you a hug - long distance but still. I'm so gld it was ok and they didn't hve to replace it. So glad you had a tender nurse!! Nothing wrong with tears hon!!! Let em fly!!
Hugs & more hugs, Sarah

Isaura said...

Thats awful.... never ending problems with the picc line
Have you considered the port, on chest,it works great for me.
I hope you are feeling better

Michelle said...

Sending you a big giant cuddle...just because that was a shitty thing to have to go through.

(((X)))

Lisa said...

oh daria..............that bloody picc line.......i have no words xx

Arlene said...

Sorry for all the troubles you are having - first with the infection in the CVC port and now with this PICC line and taping issues. Hopefully the problem has now been solved. And, yes, maybe you should write that book about PICC lines (not that you wanted to become an expert on the subject but it sounds like you have).

I'm glad that you were able to let those tears flow today and that you were also able to share with us what you've been feeling. I'm honored to be among the many many supporters you have on your blog.

Hope you can get some more good sleeps and that you start to turn the bend on this round of chemo and start feeling better!

Arlene

Audrey said...

Oh man! That PICC line is being such a pain for you! I hope that someone can soon figure out a solution so that you don't have to go through this every couple of days!
I know all about the tears. Sister....let them flow! Better out than in! And you are not the first weepy person they have seen, and you won't be the last. Don't fret about it. Get some rest. Be well!

S. F. Heron said...

Daria, I didn't have a PICC line but a mediport instead. But I know all about IV lines and the true fiasco they can be. I had 5 in 3 days during my stay at the hospital when I had my mastectomy.

What I discovered is that tape is evil. Try using paper medical tape or the bumpy elastic wrap (looks like brightly colored ace bandage). It's stretchy and has no stickiness to irritate the skin.

Rashes from the tape (if you must use it) can be treated with neosporin. Also, neosporin removes tape glue. I would use straight aloe vera off the plant to calm the infernal rashes that I got from the evil surgical tape.

Meltdowns remind your caregivers that you really are a human suffering a rough treatment. I'm so glad your nurses were kind today.

Big hugs for you.
-Sharon

Jill said...

You are in the wars aren't you !! Oh Pet, I feel for you. You are doing so well. Hang in there. One day at a time is all that can be managed at the bad times. And that day was well up there on the richter scale ! You did really well to get through it !! I'd have been a dribbling wreck ! Respect to you !!
You know, emotions are just chemicals in the body, and you've got plenty of alien chemicals in your body from the chemo ! It's the chemicals spilling out. Don't stress about the tears. Let them out. I read a long time ago that the body gets rid of toxins ( for want of a better word ! ) when we cry, and it's important to let them out. Your body is healing itself. That's a good thing. It's taking care of itself and all you have to do is let it.

With hugs,
Jill B.

Sara Williams said...

Oh Daria, just what you didn't need. Have a good cry and get it out I went for years without being able to cry and now I can do it, it is the best tonic xxxxxx

Lesa said...

What a pain. ((((hugs)))) Cry as you need to. I remember balling my eyes out. It helps. Don't hold back girl! You are AMAZING no matter if you cry, crawl, smile or crumble.

sherry lee said...

So understandable about a mini meltdown and tears Daria...you have had such a hard go with this PICC and the sensitivity to the skin...the chemo makes us emotional anyway and it's little wonder the tears just wanted to come. Think of it as cleansing and a release...it will have done you good. Sounds like the nurse was caring and compassionate too and that goes a long way.

Elsa D. said...

May the book is a good idea, many could use it! Hugs

Neil Wiernik said...

I can more then sympathize with your melt down and anxiety around having to have a new picc line put in my hickman line has been hanging lower then it should for a few weeks now and I keep seeing it coming out further and further its a real source of anxiety for me especially as in this case they wot do any thing until it completely comes out so now its a race for me to get a bed in the stem cell unit or for my hickman to fall out which one will come first who knows but I hope like you it stays in long enough to get my treatments
my thoughts are with you and right behind you dont ever feel badly about having a melt down you and others like us have all the license to have meltdowns no matter how small it might seem to whom ever is looking on as no one other then a fellow warrior can understand!!

Alli said...

Daria I sure know what you are going through with your PICC Line issues.
I have had nothing but problems. I am so sensitive to most of the tapes they use I begged my nurse yesterday to do a dry dressing because the tape will not hold. She didn't I can't use the Tegren (sp)tape, they tried the brown tape the edges roll i don't know what the alternative is either.It's frustrating but go ahead and have a good cry...

Alli.XX

Beth said...

Daria, I am so sad you are having these difficulties, but great to hear your nurses are kind, and you still have your sense of humour!!

Carol Urban said...

I had a Power port in the chest. It was in for 11 months and then it was removed. It worked absolutely great. I never had a problem with it at all. I never even felt a prick when the nurses inserted the Uber needle in the port.