Friday, March 2, 2012

My Mediport Failed

I was so happy to have the Mediport that I blithely ignored the fact that the site became red and inflamed over the weekend.  I pretended all was well, and showed up for my chemo on Wednesday all ready not to have a venous stick.  Alas, the chemo nurse took one look, said that it did not look right, and summoned a doctor. Next thing I know I am sent to urgent care (UCC) and after a pretty long day there, was readmitted to Memorial.  It is one of the mysteries of my new life that one sits on a gurney in the hallway of UCC for hours after the decision has been made to admit. Do all hospitals do that?

Wednesday night in the hospital, and Thursday morning lots of consultation.  Was it infected, or a bleed? Cculd the port be salvaged? Back on Vancomycin, in case of infection, and back to to IR suite in the late afternoon. I had to wait until then to let the effects of the Lovemax thinners clear.  By now it is pretty clear that it is a bleed, not an infection, but the IR doctor decided it was prudent to take the whole thing out.  So they did, again under partial anesthesia: no pain, but vaguely and unsettlingly aware of the digging around to remove debris.  The site is much better today, it was quite swollen and angry.  But still a bit painful.

So the new challenge is that I am both a clotter and a bleeder; hematology is now officially part of my team. Unlike the bleed in the fall, this one was not entirely spontaneous, but bleeds with  Mediport insertions are unusual, I am told. [Frankly, I am tired of my ability to find the unusual.]  For now they are going to suspend the Lovemax and try to sort things out. I will not miss the injections. I think the plan is to try to put in a new Mediport in a couple of weeks.  There was some talk of inserting a PICC line in the interim, but I would rather have the skillful chemo nurses find veins than deal with that. (The Mediport is entirely subcutaneous, while a PICC line sticks out of the skin and requires more maintenance. I don't need something else that can go wring right now.)

I am sitting in the hospital, a second night deemed necessary to monitor the site for infection and come up with a plan about the blood. They are going to try to do a Torisel (chemo) infusion before I leave, but there are apparently problems (insurance?) converting an outpatient procedure to an inpatient.  But when this is done (or they decide it impossible) I will be heading home.  I have had enough of this place for a while.

UPDATE: Home, 4:30 pm. Thanks, Babbie.

Mom is coming for a visit on Sunday. Thanks, June. I look forward to seeing you.


Janice Hicks said...

Hang in there Sally. Spring is coming. Maybe the next port will take better. Take care, thinking of you. Janice

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