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PICC Line Fiasco

Posted by on July 13, 2010 in IL-2, Immunotherapies (IL-2, IL-15, PD-1s, etc.), Medical Procedures and Other Drugs, My Health Updates - No comments


PICC lineRound 3 cycle B is proving to be just as tough as we thought it might be.  (Not that we aren’t up for the challenge!)

Unfortunately, things got a little dicey with the pic line.  As you may recall, the pic line is supposed to desend directly into Chris’s superior vena cava, the largest vein in the body – and getting it inserted is the first item on our check list for starting IL-2.  But after the first attempt it became clear that this catheter had a mind of it’s own and had snuck off into his jugular.

After the second attempt failed, Chris was starting to get a bit weary and I was starting to get a bit impatient.  That’s when Glenda showed up.  She’s the cleaner of the pic line team.  Think Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction, only a little sassier.

Glenda got right down to business.  She didn’t mince words — she told Chris, “This pic line is a mess.  It’s all over the place, kinked up in the arm, sticking into your jaw, it’s a mess.  I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

I timed her.  It took 30 minutes.  When it was done, she pressed the nurse button and announced, “I need a portable x-ray, stat.”  It’s the first time I’ve ever heard anyone outside of tv use the word stat.  I’m not gonna lie, I think only some people are able to use the word stat and actually have it work — Glenda is one of those people.  Because within a few minutes, a portable x-ray machine appeared at our door.

While the previous two attempts had taken hours between the initial catheratization and the x-rays — Glenda had the whole process done in 45 minutes.  We were pretty relieved when she popped back in to announce that the picc line was now perfectly placed.  (She had told us that if it didn’t work this time, she’d have to start all over again on the other arm).

Obviously, we didn’t get our normal 6:00 pm dose.  But Chris was able to get his 2:00 am dose.  The side effects have kicked in fast this time.  Chris is on dose 3 right now, but he’s had bad chills and aches all day.  His blood pressure is already low.

Fortunately, we’ve got the best nurses in the world taking care of him to help mitigate the side effects.  I’m taking comfort in the fact that we’ve got a long six week break to look forward to after this!

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