Today’s the Day! Part 1

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Today’s the Day! Part 1

As many of you know, today is the day I go in for major surgery. At the time this is scheduled to post, I should actually be in surgery! While I’m excited to finally be getting my brand new knee-joint, surgery is and of it self, very scary. And I should know, I’ve had 15 surgeries prior to today! All in the last 7 years. Picture is of a single low profile indwelling surgically implanted port. 

It all started 7 years ago, when I switched GI doctors as the one I had been seeing was terrible and wasn’t actually helping me! The new GI (who I had actually seen once when I was 11), immediately came up with a plan to get me off prednisone by putting me on IV nutrition, called TPN (total parenteral nutrition) and put me on bowel rest (nothing but water by mouth). He arranged for me to get a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) and be admitted to the hospital to start TPN. And as it turns out the girl who I was my roommate also has digestive problems and we became friends and still keep in touch to this day. As much as not eating by mouth wasn’t fun, it DID help me to finally be able to get off steriods, which wasn’t something we’d be able to do successfully before.

A central catheter is a more permanent type of IV (intravenous line) that allows for the administration of high volume and/or caustic medications. There are many different types and brands of central lines with some of the most common types being PICC lines, tunneled catheters (such as Hickman or Broviac lines), and implanted catheters (like port-a-caths).  The latter two types both must be placed surgically.   Whereas PICC lines can be placed by side by a specially trained nurse or by a physician in radiology. I prefer to have my PICCs placed by the PICC nurses as my experiences tell me that the doctors even with special equipment in radiology that literally light my veins, those doctors still stink at it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do well with the PICCs at that time and had to have a port-a-cath surgically implanted to be able to continue to receive IV nutrition. That was my first surgery. Several months after that, in the spring of 2005, I had my second surgery which was to fix a problem I was having with my esophagus and stomach during a procedure called a Nissin fundoplication. It wasn’t until a year and half later in the fall of 2006 that I had to have my port-a-cath removed, a new one placed, and a second (each done during separate surgeries about two weeks apart). I had to have the Nissin fundoplication repeated as the first one came undone, unfortunately, the second one came undone as well and I decided not to have it repeated for a third time. Even though both Nissin fundoplications were done laproscopically, the recovery was very painful. In the summer of 2007, I had contracted an infection through my port-a-cath and had to have it removed. (To be continued in Part 2, which is scheduled to be posted on Friday, September 23rd)





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Today’s the Day! Part 1

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