Falling Short: Veins and Port

I’m having a major 404 with my port, pretty much since the minute they put it in.

First infusion wasn't so bad--we did manage to get it working!

First infusion wasn’t so bad–we did manage to get it working!

Besides the nerve pain that comes with having a surprise chest tube after having a port implanted earlier in the day–comes the obnoxious reality that the port only really works when it feels like it. I’m supposed to get fluids every Tuesday but have seriously struggled to make it happen.

At first the nurses were having trouble actually finding the position to put the needle in (sound familiar?) And now it’s so sensitive and inflamed that any bad stick (and there have been many bad sticks) make me break out in a cold sweat. Even when they manage to get it in, what they feel, is the right position–it doesn’t always give blood return, which means the stick isn’t viable. Try, try again.

The pain, which I’ve been trying to cope with in less extreme measures than pain killers–is not working out so well. Hell, at all.

At the suggestion of my pain management doctor I went to see a pain anesthesiologist who I was told could give me a simple shot of lidocaine near my incision and the pain would recede.

I went yesterday to have the consult. Turns out that simple shot would be going fairly deep in-between my ribs. And this is what the doctor said to me when I asked him about risks:

“Well, there’s always the possibility that we could pop your lung again, but the risk is so small, don’t worry–it won’t happen to you!”

SOUND FAMILIAR?

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I noped the wild fuck out of there muttering, “You fool me once…”

But today’s infusion went worse than ever. Just the pressure of trying to find the port was nauseating, and several failed sticks finally led the nurses to try a peripheral vein…and even though my veins have now had a solid month of rest–they were STILL collapsed.

So to sum this up:

  • No painkillers
  • No nerve block/lidocaine shots
  • Continuous, excruciating pain
  • No IV hydration
  • No viable veins

Oh, and every time I call my concierge doctor’s office to get some guidance on what to do next his secretary tells me to call my pain management doctor or my butcher (surgeon.)

I literally haven’t even had a follow up since I left the hospital and when I asked for one, I was told he was too busy today–and they didn’t know about tomorrow–but they would call me when something opened up.

After a gloomy departure from the infusion center I made a b-line for Target to pick up some of my prescriptions. But pain management doctor was going to have to speak with the insurance company for prior authorization.

I used basically all of my spoons to get the infusion and make it to the pharmacy. It’s pretty disheartening when you dedicate the only energy you have to something that ends up being totally useless.

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2 thoughts on “Falling Short: Veins and Port

  1. I hope your medical team can pull it together soon! My chest tube caused nerve pain and damage that felt like I was prodded with a hot poker when making certain movements for a few years. The sensation is gone now. Thankfully, this happened to me, and not my Rare son.

  2. Sorry to hear the port is playing up. I’ve been lucky with mine **touchwood** . I know of some people applying the lignocaine topically to the skin which apparently helps with the accessing. Maybe you could try that as a bare minimum next time? Goodluck!!

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