|Bye, bye old friend.|
As of 11:55 am, I was made 0.03 lbs lighter and relieved of my subcutaneous plastic friend. In hindsight, I feel like I should have named it. After all, it was so helpful, eliminating lots and lots of IV drama, safely and effectively hooking me up to meds and saline, allowing me to donate viles of blood for testing and trying its darndest to become a permanent part of my chest. We spent many long sleepless nights together, trips to the ER, travels through the PET/CT scanner. That little plastic dude was a really a true companion, reliable even for an MRI, and right up to the end, for a squirt of antibiotic before the removal procedure.
|Seriously? No sedation? Hmm.|
But let me back up a minute or two and give you a clearer picture of the morning.
Dan and I waited in the Radiology Registration room for one of the IR (interventional radiology) nurses to come and fetch me. We waited and waited and finally, she arrived, bringing me through all of the double doors (authorized personnel only) and back to the familiar sounds of the IR prep/recovery room. I have lost count of how many times I have visited this place.
|Jeff Buckley's Last Goodbye|
This tends to be my favorite part of any procedure: discussing the risks and even Worst Case Scenario. I mean, how strange is the time when someone is about to intentionally cut you open and you are not only letting him, you're asking him to do so. You sign a piece of paper that says, no matter what happens, I asked for this.
|under the sterile curtain|
As soon as we arrived, people began to prep me, sterilize the area in question and talk to each other about the procedure.
Nurse #1: So why are we removing this port?
Nurse #2: Finished treatment.
Nurse #1: All done?
Nurse #1 (shimmying around the room): Woo hoo! Port Out! Port Out!
Me: Yeah, it's good times.
Nurse #2: And she wants to take a picture of it once it's out. She has her phone right here.
Nurse #1: Okaaay..
|aw, isn't he precious?|
Ow. Ow ow ow ow ow. I have had plenty of pain (real pain, not just a bruised knee or a sore throat) in the past few years, so I'm pretty clear on what hurts and what is just passing discomfort. This was real, hurty pain. The doc advised me to watch some videos on my phone, so I began to watch the one on youtube of Judah laughing at 5 months old. I watched it about 5 times before I realized that it may be distracting to the doctor as well, so I changed it to Will.I.Am's "What I am" from Sesame Street (since all of my/Judah's "favorites" are from sesame street), and eventually to Vanessa's Wedding Surprise, which always makes me happy.
|Bump? Gone. Happy me.|
Since I had been given ZERO sedation, you can say that You Tube got me through the big needles at the beginning, the removal of the catheter (no drama, phew), and the sharp pain (enter even more local numbing agent) of the cutting out the port in the middle and then the stitching me up at the end. Paste on a little glue and call it a day.
I'll admit, when the port was finally out, and the doctor proclaimed, "You have been de-ported," I began to cry. The nurse standing next to me noticed and asked if they were happy tears. "Um-hmm," I nodded. Tears of incredulous emotion, of fear of the future, of relief, and surely, happy tears.
Now, no showers for 2 days (good thing it's not 90 degrees out like in July when I got it in and couldn't bathe), and no lifting more than 10 pounds for 10 days.
Aside from the port removal, today was also a milestone in another way. My handicapped automobile placard expires tomorrow. That's it. No more easy parkin for me, it's back to the circling, parking in the back (or, of course, the drop-off). I truly am slowly returning to normal, even if only on the outside. Gotta start somewhere.
|I've been looking forward to the last day of 3-11 since this came in the mail.|