The on-going, first-hand tale of a journey through medical oncology... and what happens after.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

PowerPort particulars

Today featured a trip to the Salem Hospital for the implantation of a semi-permanent IV device. I blogged about this the first time through, but practice has changed some over the last few years. For starters, we are now more aware of the risks associated with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. That means that part of the surgical prep involves two showers with "Hibiclens" (chlorhexidine gluconate solution 4.0%) - one the night before surgery and one in the morning. It also means a lot of fresh towels and clean linens. Instructions include: wash your entire body from the neck down, spending an extra 2 minutes on the procedure site; do not use Hibiclens in your eyes, ears, mouth, nose, or genital area (ummm, duh?); and do not use Hibiclens if you are allergic to the product (hmmm...). I was also told to not eat or drink after midnight - so of course I was parched all night long and struggled to sleep.

The intake process was pretty simple, and I was even shadowed by a "lean" transformation analyst - who was trying to get a sense of the patient experience for service improvement at the hospital. She was very interesting to talk to, and it turned out that we had both done some "hard time" on Kodiak Island. The world is a very small place. :)

This time I did not have a general anesthetic - opting for "managed anesthetic care" where I did not have a breathing tube. I could not tell the difference at all, though the anesthesiologist told me that I was only "out" for a couple of minutes while the port line was actually inserted into the vein near my left clavicle. I woke up in recovery, got dressed, took my wheelchair ride to the van, and went home. C'est finis.

My shoulder and upper chest are quite sore (Vicodin has been my friend this afternoon and evening), and I slept most of the day. Our kitten has been my constant companion, and is becoming quite the lap cat. For my book club boys - I carefully inspected the pills to ensure they matched the label and the Patient Information Leaflet ("this medicine is a white, oblong-shaped, scored tablet imprinted with M357 on one side").

1 comment:

Tom said...

Sounds like a good day overall. Vicodin never worked for me, and the next step Percocet works way too well. Hope you are comfortable and clean.