So, I wrote a really long blog post the weekend after I got home from the hospital. Things got busy and hectic and I never posted it so I just posted it and back dated it. Sorry for cheating.
On Friday night – two days after I got home — Alan and I went to do my meds around 9:30 p.m. To add to all of the craziness and bad luck that has gone on lately, my line was clogged. Apparently your blood can tend to clot around the foreign object that you have in your body. We knew one side was clogged, but when the other side was clogged on Friday, the only option was to make a trip to the ER.
I’m so tired of sitting in hospitals. I was just plain tired. That night was supposed to be a night where we took it easy, and I was going to spend hours at the ER instead.
As it turns out, I went to Integris in Edmond, and they were lightening fast. Everyone was so friendly, too. Even the check-in people, and that was a nice surprise – I have found a lot of front office people who aren’t meant to be dealing with patients in my two-year stretch. But at Integris that night, they were awesome.
The nurse quickly unclogged my line using saline, and I was out of the ER in under two hours. Special shout out to Mike G, the ER nurse, for that.
I drove home to get my meds, and guess what…one of my lines was clogged again. Argh!
The good news is that the other line never clogged again, so no more trips to the ER.
That brings me to yesterday. Best day in Houston in a LONG time.
I flew in Monday for a slew of appointments at MD Anderson on Tuesday morning. My first stop was at the Infusion Therapy clinic so they could officially unclog my lines and do a dressing change.
From there, I went to see my plastic surgeon, Dr. Kronowitz. Everyone was pleased with how my skin looks. Dr. Kronowitz gave me the blessing to move to oral antibiotics and see him in three months. The three months thing is because things don’t look quite balanced. We aren’t sure if that is due to swelling or if that is just the way it is going to look. My options are to change out my implant on one side to match the other or to do what I already said I would do … nothing for two years.
Praying that it is all swelling and everything is normal in three months.
Even better, they removed my surgical drain. That accounts for 80 percent of the pain I experience. It is the reason I wake up every hour or two each night.
And … even better than that, Dr. Kronowitz gave the green light on getting my PICC line pulled out. They generally like to keep the PICC line in for 7-10 days just in case we have to go back to IV meds. Worst case scenario is that the infection comes back when I switch over to oral medication. If that happens, he will want to see me and do an ultrasound. We agreed that means another trip to Houston. If that happens, they can place a new PICC line.
Best case scenario – which, of course, is what will happen – is that nothing happens while I’m on the oral antibiotics for the next three weeks. At that point, I’m officially declared done.
All of this means that I don’t have to call around OKC to find someone who is willing to pull out my PICC line. Definitely a relief for me.
Next up, Infectious Disease where they switch me over to oral meds and give the final orders for my PICC line to be pulled. I was nervous that they wouldn’t like this new plan of not leaving the PICC line in for a week or two after I switch over, but after looking at everything, the PA and doctor gave their blessing (and the orders) to have it pulled.
At this point, it was getting close to time for me to leave to catch my flight home so I booked it to Infusion Therapy, which is in a whole different building. After nervously waiting a bit – worried I would miss my flight – I was called back.
As I waited for my car (the parking is so crazy at MD Anderson that it just makes sense to valet), I called our home health company and told them that I didn’t need them anymore. I was done. That felt good.
So I left MD Anderson with my infection declared better, new oral prescriptions, no PICC line and no drain. If you have ever had a PICC or a drain, you would know that this is huge. Best day at MD Anderson.
Oh, and to top off my good day, I hit NO traffic heading to the airport. I’m pretty sure that is unheard of in Houston no matter where you are going. Then, I got randomly selected for the TSA pre-check line so I didn’t have to take my shoes off, laptop out, jacket off. I mean, it was quite a day for me.
So, I am finishing up this blog about a month after surgery. I just got out of the shower – a shower where I didn’t have to pin up my drains or Saran Wrap my PICC line. I was able to just GET IN the shower. It was glorious.
My goal all along has been to be done with medical issues by the end of 2014. Looks like I accomplished that just in the nick of time.
2015 is going to be an excellent year. I just know it.