mmegaera: (Default)
[personal profile] mmegaera
So, anticipating the installation of the PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) was scary. The very idea of having a tube inserted all the way from a spot on my arm just below my shoulder to the center of my chest just creeped me the heck out. But I’d just spent the previous couple of hours with two IV nurses stabbing me (admittedly as gently as possible) repeatedly to absolutely no avail, and I think all of us were getting a bit desperate. My arms have got some seriously colorful bruises, on them now.

The PICC nurse was a trip, and that's saying something given my CT scan experience earlier that day. I don’t know if it’s her natural disposition or if she’d just mainlined an entire pot of coffee less than an hour before I met her or what, but she could have been hooked up into the electric grid and powered the entire city of Olympia all by herself. She was as nice as she could be but she was a force of nature.

Let me put it this way. She basically *bullied* me into calming down. And it *worked.* I’ve never had that particular experience before. I want her around every time I have a scary medical procedure.

Which didn’t actually turn out to be that scary. She told me to turn the TV to channel 50, and soothing, flowing music rolled out of the speakers, and pretty scenes of nature panned across the screen. I started trying to identify the places where the photos had been taken and was distracted beautifully.

The actual procedure was 90% preparation (mostly sterile stuff—oh, and writing on me with a Sharpie, which I suspect is going to be on my skin for a while), one pretty sharp pinch for the local, and a few minutes of not being able to tell she was doing anything, before she stopped her running patter and said, there, that’s done.

How anticlimactic.

But that was because the best part didn’t happen until the wee hours last night. The nurse came around and said can you roll on your back? I need to do a blood draw. I sleepily thought, oh, God, *more* getting stabbed, but did as asked. I kept waiting for the pinch, but it never came, and the nurse said, there you go, and left. It was only then I realized – nobody will be stabbing me with needles for the rest of this mess. The PICC line will be staying in until after my hysterectomy, and they can do *everything* through it. Blood, medicine, saline, vitamins, everything.

And that’s why that was the best blood draw ever.
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