Saturday, 4 August 2012

ARGH, In goes the port....

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:


  1. Owie owie owie!! But omg you're so brave. I would have completely freaked out about not being put under. o__O I mean hopefully the port will make things easier in the long run, but yikes. Lots of good thoughts and love, hon. *HUGS*

  2. Sigue con esa berraquera Querida Apis. TE ADORO!!!


  3. Wow.
    I do have to admit, the image of you running down the hall in a hospital gown, butt hanging out made me laugh a little.
    Let's do the time warp again!

  4. Tamara's mom had a port-a-cath. It really did make the chemo easier and the site healed up very well after.