Friday, 2 April 2010

PICC line

I caved in and agreed to have a PICC line inserted into my arm. It's just like a cannula in that its a tube that goes into your vein except it goes in at my elbow and the end of it ends up in my chest somewhere.

The insertion did not go well at all. The doctor said it would be best to put it into my left arm since i'm right handed...makes sense. Basically the procedure goes as such: you get jabbed with a big needle (bigger than blood test ones) into a vein in your elbow and then I think its left there while a tube is threaded through it (I didnt look during that bit!)

So the nurse put the turniquet on my arm to get my veins to pop and the doctor said I had good veins - first time ive heard that! I was relieved as I thought it would mean the process would be straightforward...oh how i was wrong! He jabbed one vein with the needle which I'm not gonna like - bloody hurt! Then he started to wiggle the needle about because it wasn't in right - ouch ouch ouch! No success with that vein so he opted for another near it...stabbed with the needle again ouch! Wiggles about again ouch! Then he tried to thread the tube up....OUCH! Apparantly it was hitting a valve and just wasnt gonna go up so I turned to look at my arm and the doctor said and i quote, "Don't look now, its a blood bath" which it was - blood EVERYWHERE so its a good job I don't faint at the sight. By this point I was blubbering away because of the pain and because every single thing I've gone through with this whole crappy cancer has not been straightforward, there's always a problem somewhere.

Anywat this meant he had to resort to my right arm. Got the needle in and he didnt think it was in properly again but luckily when he tried to thread the tube up it worked THANK GOD. I thought i'd feel it going through but I don't think I did, it was just a bit weird. Got bandaged up and went home.

Its now 2 days on and to be honest my right arm is pretty much useless as the tube is coming right out the bend in my elbow so i can't move it much which is kinda crap since im right handed. I cant do the simplest of things like pick something up off the floor, get dressed or put make up on. It really got me down today and ~I was on the verge of going back to the hospital to get it mam was even on the phone to them about it but I know I can't take the pain of the chemo so either way I'm stuffed. I just don't see how the uselessness of my right arm is gonna be woth it more than 10minutes of pain every 2 weeks. I've looked to the internet for reassurance that it will get better but all it's done is confirm my fears that it wont. Im gonna have to have a chat with the nurse about it on tuesday as I'm really not happy and it's got me really depressed.

A quick update on the hairloss situation...the past few nights i've fallen asleep with my dressing gown hood covering my head so I've not noticed much more hair coming out but I suspect more will come out quicker after my chemo on tuesday sighhh. For now though you cant really tell (I Hope!!) Heres a picture:


  1. oh well its chopped half me head off, nevermind lol

  2. Hi Lauren,
    Sorry to hear your experience with PICC line was so bad. Hope you are getting more used to it. My son still finds it annoying but he has got more used to it as time has gone on. Showering was a problem and the hospital suggested using clingfilm on his arm, but last week found there is a special plastic arm cover (bit like a shower cap for arm) that can be bought at Boots and it is really good.
    Hope your last chemo was ok. Leo had his fourth session on Tuesday and although he was sick in the night, he was ok yesterday.
    Hope you don't mind if I ask you a question but are you taking Lorezapam for the first week and how has it affected you?
    Very best wishes to you. You seem like a very strong and esourceful young woman.

  3. that should, of course, been resourceful!

  4. Picc line disaster - had to have it removed due to an infection before I had even used it and that meant I had to stay in hospital a week!
    I dont take Lorezapam no, I've never even heard of it actually. What's it for?
    Glad to hear your son is doing good, Lauren x