After a bit of a delay on my drip treatment as I had to have an increased dose Lisa and I headed up to the Vascular and Radiology Department for 3.30 instead of 2.30…..and by 4.40 we were out of the car park and driving home!
They got me in almost straightaway – allowed to keep my trousers on but a gown on top before going into theatre and it was a Senior Nurse carrying out the procedure which they assured me was going to be so much easier than putting the line in.
They did say (jokingly I think) that it might take some tugging to get it out as it had been embedded in me for 50 weeks and extra tissue would like as not grown around it.
The procedure involves two injections of local anaesthetic which was actually the worst bit as it is a ‘sharp scratch’ with the needle and it stings a lot before it takes effect but that is only a few seconds.
The nurse explained that there is a ‘cuff’ on the line which is the red bit in the pic that is there for tissue to grow around/into to keep the thing secure and that could take a bit to pull out – it did and although it did not hurt you can feel the pulling – that bit is inside you. The bit next to that on the right up to what looks like a small black ring is also inside you and the black ring is the point where it comes out – in the pic below the point where it comes out is the red blodge below the small dressing.
The last bit which came out very bloody is the length of line that is actually inside the vein that leads into your artery and it is that and the bit with the red cuff that they have to pull out through a half inch cut they make in your chest – which is under the dressing. Each bit is clamped off to stop the blood spurting out everywhere and removed a bit at a time – the long bit with the three other lines (lumens) on it which just pulls out easily then some fiddling bout, loosening, snipping to get the bit with the collar on and lastly the long bit in the vein.
That is simply pulled out with the surgical equivalent of pliers and then pressure (quite a lot of it) is applied to the vein until blood stops coming out of it – again you can feel that pressure for a while which is uncomfortable until they are confident it is not leaking. They were a lot more confident than me, I have a pHd in being anxious at the moment which is why I’m seeing the counsellor.
I’ve named the line Larry only now that he is out of my body and got to bring him home – apparently nobody had ever wanted to bring one home and frame it before – how weird?!
So it has to be a step forward getting Larry out; my blood results were good today but the knife edge is still there and we have my bladder, kidney and liver still to address which could take a year yet.