Tomorrow we are leaving for Houston. We have appointments on Tuesday to settle when my right axillary dissection (aka removing the lymph nodes in my right armpit area) will be and if the expander will stay in or come out during that surgery.
In the meantime, I thought I’d share some of the pics I’ve taken over the past two hospital visits.
I call this one “Torture Device in Disguise”:
These lovely knee-highs are used to prevent blood clots. They make you wear them when you are in the hospital because you are sitting in the bed for long periods of time which, I assume, increases the risk of clotting. They look both super-sexy and innocent right?
WRONG! Explain the reasoning behind this:
Aside from torture, I can think of no other reason for a gigantic, PURPOSEFUL hole in the bottom of these. Why?
Next up, the next blood clot-preventing torture device:
These leg squeezy things (technical term) are hooked to a machine that makes them constantly squeeze and release on your calves. It’s actually not too bad to have a minor calf massage, unless it is nonstop all day and all night….ALL night. (Don’t tell anyone, but I secretly unhooked these quite a bit so I could sleep during night.)
Next up, this little guy is the scariest thing I’ve ever had done:
Which is really silly because it didn’t really hurt.
But, to set the stage for my unnecessary anxiety, I was all alone in the hospital room because Alan was attending a “How to Care For Your Medically High-Maintenance Wife’s PICC Line Class”. We had been told I’d be getting a “more long-term IV” so I could receive IV antibiotics at home. They told me to watch about it on the hospital TV so I understood what was going to happen. In this video, I learned that they thread a catheter through a vein in your arm…all the way to your heart. Up your arm, across your chest and down toward your heart…WHILE YOU ARE AWAKE.
With little time to digest this news, there is a knock at my hospital door and about 12 people walk in with surgical hats and masks on. They turn on the lights, begin wheeling in equipment and introduce themselves as the people there to put in the PICC line.
If I had to rank my fear on a scale of 1-10, it would have definitely been a 19. It was terrifying.
In the end, it turns out that half of the people who walked in were there for observation purposes (it is a learning hospital), and I didn’t feel the insertion of the catheter at all. Sooooo, much ado about nothing, but the closest I’ve come to having a complete public breakdown.
Next up, I learned about this handy thing:
No idea what this is called. I was dosed up on Tylenol and Hydrocodone, but still feeling terrible because we were having trouble keeping my fever down. They couldn’t give me more meds so they gave me this handy little thing to help reduce my fever. Every 10 minutes, I had to take deep breaths through this tube. Somehow, some way, it actually helped my fever go down. Magic, I guess.
Finally, I’d like to reintroduce this little picture. If you remember, Alan posted it the day that he “graduated” from PICC line care class. They actually observe you changing the dressing and PICC line caps after you attend class. Pretty nerve wracking, honestly. So, this picture is of Alan being observed by the nurse while he changes my dressing:
You see what I see? It is a darn good thing that Alan is a good student because it seems as though the nurse who was observing was also checking Facebook at the same time….and it is hard to choose between the importance of PICC line sterility (as infection can get directly into the patient’s bloodstream) and your friends’ latest posts about lunch, kids, etc. I get it.
I’ll end there, but pick up soon with details on when this surgery-that-never-actually-happens will happen.