Tuesday, August 3, 2010
It's been a while since my last update and it's not been through lack of wanting to download my head but because my head has been so full of rubbish.
The sorry actually relates to a member of secretarial staff who cocked up an appointment. Not just a chat appointment either it was for me to have my Hickman line fitted, a permanent line that goes from my shoulder into my chest near my heart in one of the veins. This allows medical staff to draw blood or insert medication easily and without using a cannular.
I was stressed about this, mega stressed actually and the fact that the hospital managed to get the dates wrong for me having the insertion just added to it. It's a good job Wendy had come with me as the stress and my dwindling resource of patience had led to a black mood that I was struggling to climb out of. As it happened the hospital sorted it, they found someone to do the insertion, a lot later than planned but on the same day and the procedure went well. The Hickman line is a stiff plastic tube that is inserted into a vein in the neck guided by ultra sound, uncomfortable and scary as the tube pushes on the outside of your throat as it finds it's way down the vein. They then make a pocket just in front of the collar bone under the skin using another hard piece of tubing, apparently easy on old ladies as their skin is less well attached than mine was! Once they have the pocket they push through from the shoulder to the neck using a stiff plastic rod, as this popped out of my neck I could see it in the corner of my eye waggling about. So the easy but painful bit comes then, attach the tube in the neck to the stiff plastic rod and pull it through. Easy because as a process it is simple, painful because as they are pulling the stiff plastic tube through the skin has to stretch for it to bend and travel under the skin to the shoulder. Not the most comfortable thing I've ever had done by a long chalk!
I'm glad I've had it done though as my veins in my arms are increasingly knackered from all the treatment and even seasoned stabbers are struggling to find veins for blood taking. It's also meant that the chemo treatment just gets connected to these tubes sticking out of my shoulder (I have thought about putting a photo on but I don't want to upset delicate constitutions out there!), once connected the chemicals just plod their way on in through the tube and my arms are free from cannulars.
Anyhow as I was waiting in recovery with Wendy a member of the secretarial staff came through and apologised for the mistake admitting it was her fault. That was it black mood gone, just a wave of gratitude sank through me, this woman had had the integrity to come and hold her hands up and say sorry. It was a big thing to do, we're all brilliant at complaining or putting our point forward but there are not many people who can say sorry. A simple little word that meant so much to me.
So that was Monday, Tuesday brought tears and heartache and drugs galore!