Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Playing Doctor

Playing Doctor

Umm, now that I have your attention….

Get your head out of the gutter. I don’t mean playing Doctor like that…really, I don’t.

For those of you who don’t understand the above well good for you, for the others well…. we shall leave it at that.

They, being the Medical Professionals of Sinai Hospital, have sent me home with a PICC line. Hold up you say!!! What is a PICC line? Let me educate you with a brief interlude of definition.

* A PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) is a special catheter placed in
a vein through which medications, blood products and fluids can be given.
The PICC is long, thin catheter (16-24 inches long) made of polyurethane. It is inserted in a large vein in your arm ,near the bend of the elbow, and then advanced to the superior vena cava, a large blood vessel that leads to your heart. A PICC is inserted in persons requiring intravenous (IV) infusions over an extended period of time. It prevents the need for frequent needle sticks for IV insertion since the PICC line can stay in for up to six months.* (taken from Patients and Family Education NYU Medical Center)*

Do you feel so educated now? I know I do!

Yes indeed they have basically entrusted me with open vein access straight to my heart! That may be a little dramatic, well a lot dramatic but you get the idea. Frankly this thing (PICC Line) makes me nervous. I feel like at any moment I may rip the darn thing out. I know I have to be careful with it but still. It also serves as an awful reminder of all that is going on.

The reasoning for the PICC line is that I need two more weeks of I.V. antibiotics for the lovely infection that ruined my shunt and caused it to have to be removed. Meningitis is nothing to play around with so a pill form of anything will not do. On a positive note I do have a Home Health Nurse that comes four days a week and does the I.V. treatments for me and she also taught me how to do them myself. She is just wonderful!

If you could have only been here the first time I administered the I.V. medication myself. Well, I take that back. The first time Wes and I administered the medication. What an absolute riot and intense hour that was. I think that beads of sweat poured down both of our heads as we read and re-read the instruction sheets on how to administer I.V. medications.

Now let’s stop for a moment and see the irony in this situation. Can you believe that they actually make instruction sheets on this? Hmmm neither can I, but they do.

We did get it done though and I am still alive to tell about it so that must say something. As Wes said they should not let people like us play Doctor with things like this….hmmm I might agree but there are still seven days in a week and the nurse only come four so you do the math.

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