Update: 25 July 2019

Hey y’all! I know I’ve been slacking with my writing. I want to share my understanding of hope from my circumstances. Hold me accountable to write. You have my permission to lay on the pressure 🙂 Just don’t be too mean.

On Wednesday I had a port placed in my right chest. It became an urgent procedure because I lost my PICC. On Monday, I noticed a localized infection at the site where the PICC line tubing entered the skin, then the vein. So, the doctor at the ER ordered it to be pulled and I was left with no line for my TPN (IV nutrition), hydration (saline), and other IV medications.

The port is a small reservoir that sits just under the skin on the right side of my chest. There is then a catheter that connects & snakes under the skin, into a vein in my neck (internal jugular) and through the veins to one of the largest veins in the body (superior vena cava) to the entrance of the heart. See the picture below.

Silicone top, chamber and catheter identified in a port located under the skin and in a large vein in a child’s chest

I am accustomed to the port being in my left side (last two were there) and accessing it (putting a needle through the skin to the reservoir). So, I was a little worried about a new location and having to use my left hand. But, on Wednesday night I placed the needle perfectly on the first try – go me!

Because it does not occupy an arm (like the PICC) I can use both of my hands to do the care (accessing & deaccessing ) on my own schedule & wherever I may be – traveling is much easier when you don’t need a nurse visit.

The BEST part of a port? Swimming! If I remove the needle, I can swim freely without any cover. Then I can reaccess it whenever I need to for the TPN & saline.

The WORST part of a port? Accessing it myself means I have to stick a needle into my chest – carefully of course. Our reflexes tell us to withdraw when we feel a sharp poke but I need to overcome this reflex & push the needle into my chest. It does hurt but not much, less so over time. There is a numbing cream that can be used to make the needle poke easier. Applying ice can help too. Over time, the process becomes easier & less painful.

So here’s to doing my own thing on my own time! Let’s pray for no infections & improvement of pain (still healing from surgery & still a sharp poking sensation).

(diagram is from About Kids Health – an educational website from The Hospital for Sick Children)

4 thoughts on “Update: 25 July 2019

  1. wow, you have been and are going through so much, but I like to hear the medical side and am super proud you can poke your chest. That is a brave thing to overcome. Will pray no infection and smooth sailing. ❤

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  2. Brave to poke your chest with a needle. Proud of you for doing it. Will pray that no infections and smooth sailing. I enjoy reading the medical part and like the graphics 🙂 ❤

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  3. Hey Kelly. You were both my daughters pediatrician in CC.

    I met a mom recently and we were talking about our fav Dr who moved away.. you. Made me want to look you up –
    Sorry…. I know it’s creepy. But I am so moved by your blog and all that you have gone through. I just wanted you to know that we really loved you being their Dr and they both still remember you fondly (our last visit with you, my littlest left her doll in your office and you were so sweet to stay and make sure she got it back). I wish I had better words of encouragement, you are strong and a ray of sunshine and we will pray for you to make improvements. Best wishes from NV!

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