Port Story

I want to write about my amazing vacation. I want to talk about how nice it was to get away with Noah. How we went to the Theatre, shopping, great restaurants, played trivia, drank like we were Irish, and other crazy fun adventures. But all I can think about is Tuesday. I KNOW this is not a major surgery, but there is just way to much surrounding this entire incident that my anxiety has me in a choke hold and will not let go.

Back story, for those who care or did not already know. November of last year I got sick with what I thought was a cold. I was running a low grade fever but was feeling horrible so we went ahead an headed into the ER. The doctors did not seem to think it was anything more than a cold but they went ahead and ran blood test anyway. Sure enough, my blood cultures came back positive that I had some sort of infection in my body that was in my blood and now running wild in my body. The doctors were pretty positive it was a false positive but they went ahead and put me for a few days while the other cultures came back.
As the weekend progressed, I started feeling better and had not run a fever in a few days so the doctors decided that even though they did not have confirmation from the final blood work that there was pretty much no way the test would come back positive so they sent me home. Before we even got home, we got a call from the doctor saying (roughly) Just kidding! Come back. Your test was positive and now we get to play find the infection.
In an effort to speed the process, the doctors in all of their wisdom, decided that they needed to remove my port because, although there was no positive test results from it, my port could be infected. If it was, there was a risk that it would spread quickly. This was already a small sign to me that my port was not the problem as we have been looking at the same results for a week and I had not been getting worse. I was also concerned that I would not have a way to get my meds and transfusions anymore. The doctor told me that they would set up a time for me to get a new port placed within the next 2 weeks. This made me feel a little better. The procedure, on the other hand, was horrible.
First try they worked for about 5 hours before they decided that the muscle tissue had wrapped itself around the port so much that they were not going to be able to do a basic sedation because they were going to have to cut muscle tissue. Try number two they knocked me out entirely. When I came to, I felt like there was a hole in my chest. There was. My port had been there for 8 years! That port was part of body. I felt like someone cut out part of my body. I know that people have parts of there body cut out frequently regarding cancer and I know my situation is not the same. I just could not believe the lack of acknowledgement that something that had been part of me for so long was gone. Maybe that was the way things were always done. I was just not prepared.
The day came when I was going to get my port placed. I had checked in to the Cancer Center to get a transfusion before the procedure when one of the nurses walked over to me fairly upset. She told me that Dr. Ellis was not comfortable with my platelet level to allow me to have the port placed. I had 2 choices. I could either keep the pic-line that dangled from my arm, that my son reached for to pull on and made it practically impossible to hold him, that my husband and I struggled to keep clean and sanitary, that I could not hide well enough to not be a distraction from all of my students not to mention that it was dangerous when ever we were to work on a lift or anything like that so it may have cost me my job. Or pull the pic and have an IV placed every time I come in for treatment or a transfusion.

I don’t know why, but this just broke me. I felt like I had made it though so much and now it seemed to mean nothing. I beat the odds with Eli and with my own body fighting itself and now this little simple thing, this little port placement, was going to be the thing I couldn’t rise above. Emotionally, I fell apart. Struggling with Depression and Anxiety is not helpful. Mainly because I never know what will trigger either. Don’t get me wrong, there are the basics on both ends. I KNOW some things will trigger a panic attack. Somethings that some people who are high anxiety cannot handle, I can deal with, no problem. Same for Depression. Every now and then, something like this comes along and I am crippled. There is not a blanket big enough, pillow fort thick enough, bath tub full enough, or storm loud enough to drown out the thoughts in my head.
All I can do is hope that in the next 48 hours, this will all be over. That these moments, in my history, will become a small blip on the radar as I always hope my health issues will. All I can do is hope that in my efforts to make this memory insignificant, I will endeavor to create meaningful ones.

 

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