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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Outta There!

After nearly 2 month of a improperly treated blood infection, my port-o-catheter finally had to come out. It is nearly impossible to treat the infection if it gets inside the port because there is no blood flow in the device itself.

We were instructed to go to the ER at 8 a.m. and tell them that we were here to have the port removed by such-and-such a surgeon. At least I didn't have to check in the night before, which is usually standard. Being in the hospital for a few hours was enough for me to see that I could have never slept, what with all the beeping and bright lights and windows and people always moving. Apparently, if you go through the normal referral way of doing things, it would take forever to get into surgery, but this way it only took all day. We waited for awhile in the ER waiting area, and very shortly met with the surgeon, who said the port needed to come out, and someone would take it out today. I am so used to being brushed off at medical appointments that I was surprised that the doctor was really nice and gentle.

You can't eat or drink (arrrrg!) if you are going in for surgery, so they started an IV line in my arm to give me a little sugar water. I just tried to stay as still as possible and not think how exhausted I was with little or no sleep, and how uncomfortable the IV was, and how generally malaise I felt. Thankfully I had several hours worth of audio book on my iPod, so I could just close my eyes and follow the story. I was taken 'upstairs' to the surgery daycare, where I could lie down and rest until they came for me (duhnn dun dunnn). The nurses were all so kind and understanding, and didn't come to poke and prod me.

I obviously didn't want to know all the nauseating details of what was going to happen to me once I got unconscious, but I really wanted to keep the port. We paid for it (literally) and it was inside my chest for over a year...we weren't good friends, but we had an understanding. For safety reasons, you can't keep the devices, but the really nice resident anesthesiologist, Dr. August, took a picture for me! It looks a little disgusting, but the pulled it from my chest, after all! He said he'd clean it up for me, so its not too icky to look at. Its strange to think all that cold fit under my skin.

Nice to finally know what the damn thing looks like!
Once I got to go rest in the recovery room, I was allowed to eat. I had heard such terrible things about the food at the hospital that I was worried about what kind of vegan food might show up, but the hummus, pita and carrots 'n celery were just delicious. There was soy milk too! I was really really hungry by late afternoon, but my mum and Nancy thought it was pretty decent too! 

Yes, the food came from a hospital cafeteria.
Its funny, but the incision hardly hurts at fact, it is practically cozy compared to the pain in the rest of my body though. It just feels like my skin is stretched and that someone had their hands in there. It pinches when I tense those muscles, but I am avoiding doing so quite nicely. The next big job is to clear up the infection, which would be nice, so I could get another IV line of some sort (probably a PICCline) put in my arm. Gotta get back on the wagon lol.

Post-Wake-up look...(that's iodine, not blood)


  1. Sending your healing light and love to you and soon you will be up and enjoying the day. Your goodies are on the way and will give you something new to focus on... Blessings from all the critters here at the Funny Farm.

  2. You display your story incredibly, with such honesty. I can only attempt to do the same. Being a Lyme patient, I know how silly it is to say I hope you feel better. It seems so far off, so unavailable. So for now I'll say: I am sending you healing thoughts. Take care.

  3. Nicole the trooper!
    To face an op like thise and still come out smiling just goes to show what a tough cookie you are. Thanks for sharing the pics- I can only attempt to conceptualize what you are going through- but I feel better knowing what is happening rather than not. Sending many hugs and a speedy recovery time- <3