So... remember when I said, "Hey, no biggie if I need a port. I'm pretty sure I had one at the hospital during my surgery." ?
Yeah, no. Apparently I had something much smaller called a central line, and my PICC line.
Yesterday we went in and had that port put in at VGH; overall we were at the hospital for about 5 hours. Much of that was waiting in the queue and prep, and then about a half hour in recovery afterward.
During the prep I was reassured of why I was choosing the port; my nurse burst the vein in my hand ( OW!) and the head nurse had to come to put another on this tiny vein on the side of my thumb. She was a brisk, no bs sort of woman, and I liked her. In fact, I liked her a lot once she pulled the failed IV off the first site and secured it into the second location.
I met with the surgeon and his resident, who dispelled my ideas about what a port-a-cath was and explained a bit about the procedure before I went in. There were words like 'large' and 'jugular' in there, and I'm pretty sure I stopped listening at the jugular part. I have this fear of sharp things going near my veins and arteries, see. To hear them talking about putting this ball like device under my clavicle and a tube going up into the aforementioned vein... well, had I not been in a hospital gown and with an IV already I would've gotten up right there and then and ran away.
Not long after ( probably seeing my longing glances towards the exit hall) I was wheeled into surgery. I was given local anesthetic via IV and them more put with a needle on the chest area; I felt the pokes, but not the glorious sleepiness I was looking forward too. I did get to hear the surgeon's music throughout; mostly it was 80's music, but as they got onto the main part of the surgery the Rocky Horror's "Timewarp" kicked into full swing. It was a little surreal, to say the least.
I'm glad that though I was conscious through the whole thing I didn't get to see it, as they put this tent over your head to presumably keep the site sterile. I emerged sore, covered in a large bandage on my chest, one on my throat and this pink stain that makes me look a little like an underdone lobster. The night was not fun and Chris had to put up my grumbles, as to be fair it was pretty painful; today I managed to sleep on and off, go for a walk and have a manageable amount of pain I'm handling with the advil.
I'm just happy that it's done, and I'll be happier once I can take the bandages off!
For the curious, here's what a port-a-cath looks like: http://www.sir.net.au/portacath_pi.html