July 11, 2014
I wake up at five thirty to take a shower. It is so complicated these days. There is no jumping in for a quick shower. All of my medical appendages need to be kept dry, so they need to be wrapped in plastic wrap. Usually Steve helps wrap my arm, but I don't want to wake him so early. I manage myself.
Once I am all wrapped up and showered, unwrapping is another challenge. Everything that is taped on needs to be cut or peeled off without getting the thing you were protecting wet. This seems like it would be easy, but the wrapping gets water caught in the curves and wrinkles, and if you are not careful, the water will spill onto those things you need to keep dry, like your picc line or your colostomy bag. A soggy bag is not pleasant. Even though it is plastic, there are some that have a cloth like cover that takes a while to dry, and it feels cold and soggy against your skin.
By seven, both Steven and I are ready to head out to Miriam to get my port put in. We drive over in my sisters car. Alex will help out at daycare today.
I think that having such an early appointment will move things along more quickly, but it seems waiting is inevitable. The saline and antibiotic drips need to be ordered, and the surgical staff isn't even in yet. While I am waiting, and hungry from not having eaten since dinner last night, the food cart is parked right outside my pod. It is filled with bagels and bread, pudding, fruit and juices. This is like some kind of mean joke.
My vitals are good this morning, no more fevers, they accept that my blood pressure is usually low. None of the drama of my last visit. Once I am hooked up to my drips, we are almost ready to roll. I already had the port explained to me last time, the placement and the after care of it, so we don't have to go over it again. I meet another physician's assistant who will be helping out with the procedure, but immediately forget his name.
Finally, they take me in for my port. It is the same room I was in for the picc line, but I am facing a different direction. The picc line was on my left, the port will be on my right side. I meet the doctor, and all of his assistants. Laura, the woman who inserted my picc line is there. They quickly start prepping me for the operation, covering me with warm paper blankets, plastic sheets, places to stabilize my arms. I get hooked into the heart monitor and my head is covered with a tent, which means they put a paper sheet over it. I need to turn my head to the left and keep it there for this procedure. They need access to the picc line on my left arm for anesthesia. Once they start it, the bit of ceiling I can see from beneath my tent begins to roll. I close my eyes and for some reason dream I am weeding the garden.
I can hear the technicians and the doctor talking. Someone asks how I am doing. I tell them I have been dreaming I was weeding. I can't believe my mind would choose to focus on such a mundane task. I ask how things are going. Laura tells me they are doing fine, and tells me where they are in the procedure. I can feel something going on around my collar bone, but no pain. At some point I tell them I really want a sundae, and the conversation turns to ice cream. I mention that the kids at daycare today are taking the bus to Ben and Jerry's this morning. We all reveal our favorite B&J flavor. We talk about ice cream stores in the area, and soon they are done. My picc line is removed easily, and I am ready to go to recovery.
An assistant makes me one of those english muffins with butter and jelly again, served with a cranberry juice. I gobble it down. There is no problem with my hunger today.
I get dressed and the tech offers me a ride to the door in a wheel chair. I tell her I can walk, and she accompanies Steve and I to the big revolving door. She wishes me luck in my future treatments, and off we go. I feel a little drunk from the anesthesia still, but holding Steve's hand, I can walk to the car with no problem.
I am still in the mood for an ice cream sundae, and although there are a few places we could go in our neighborhood, I am looking forward to a swiss chocolate almond sundae at Friendly's. We get there before noon time, and the place is not very busy. I order and eat a half of a fishamajig sandwich, some cole slaw, and then manage to eat an entire three scoop sundae. Steve is happy to see me eat. I realize there is not a thing about my lunch that the nutritionist I spoke to yesterday would have recommended.
By the time I get home, I am dead tired. I empty my bag, and crawl into bed for a two hour nap. I awaken with a very sore shoulder. Steve brings me some Tylenol and an ice bag. If I don't move, it doesn't hurt too much.
For this meal, Steve makes a dinner the nutritionist would be proud of: fruit salad, green salad, sauteed zucchini and onion in California olive oil, olive bread and brie, and seasoned olive oil for dipping the bread. My colon must be smiling.