December 30, 2009

Port update

Well, everything went smoothly today. Check in was on time at 6:30 AM, followed by a walk to the surgical prep area, where I got undressed and out on a hospital gown and robe and was asked numerous questions. An IV nurse started a line in my right hand, after saying that she didn't think she was allowed to touch my (bandaged) left hand. So the bandaging really works as a noticeable deterrent.

The interventional radiologist (IR) doc came in for a visit. We hadn't seen him in years, since he placed my first port. When we asked if he knew how long it had been, he told us it was before the hospital got a new computerized records system, so the best answer we can arrive at 4-5 years.

They were a little late taking me to the IR procedure room, where three nurses and techs descended on me. I transferred from the gurney to the scanner bed. They cleaned and draped the area on my right chest and placed a surgical drape over my face (on a frame to keep it away from my eyes). I was able to turn my head and look out the left side. No claustrophobia issues there. They placed an oxygen mask over my nose and mouth when the cannula up my nose bothered me. Then they gave me an antibiotic and started the Versed and fentanyl.

I became VERY relaxed but didn't fall asleep. I didn't notice them giving me local anesthetic. I could hear them talking to each other throughout the procedure but I didn't know what they were doing or understand the terminology, so it didn't bother me. The whole thing went very smoothly and I was well cared for the entire time.

An orderly wheeled me back to recovery, while the IR went doc spoke with Rik in the waiting area to reassure him I was fine. Rik promptly called my mom, his mom and my sister. He came back to my recovery room and spoke with the IR doc about Canada and photography while I devoured a tuna salad sandwich on whole wheat bread, potato chips (baked not fried, it's a hospital after all), water and apple juice. The red Delicious apple didn't appeal to me, and I saved the cookies for later.

Once they let me up and about, we went to the Ambulatory Infusion Center yo get my zometa. The IR team had left my port accessed so it was the work of moments to hook up saline and the drug. Rik brought me a decaf mocha and a huge chocolate-chocolate chip cookie and then got himself some lunch. (The Swedish-Cherry Hill hospital has the best hospital cafeteria in the area.) The zometa finished around 1:30 PM and we went straight home.

I've been napping on the sofa for the past three hours, tossing and turning a bit and snuggled with dogs much of that time. But at 4:30 PM the dogs were telling me they were too hungry to wait any longer for dinner. After all, they'd had breakfast at 6 AM! Rik fed them and I decided I was awake enough to blog.

Post-op care: No driving or alcohol for 24 hours (no hardship there). No shower until Friday (that could be a stinky problem). Take pain meds as needed. Be aware of signs of infection such as redness at the site, elevated temperature, etc.

I believe I will recover quickly and will keep all informed!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:30 AM

    My brother is having his portacath replaced today. Hope it goes as well for him as it seems to have gone for you.
    Happy (secular) new year to all of us!
    - bjohanna