Well, today everyone but me went back to work after Labor Day, and I became an outpatient at Lehigh Valley Health Network, the place where I work. We drove to our Muhlenberg campus in Bethlehem and experienced it as an outpatient today at 7:30am as I registered to have a “central line” (catheter) placed into my jugular vein under twilite sedation. I get weak knees even typing “jugular vein“.
Home & resting, examining my reflection in the mirror to look at my new appendage that has two 3 inch clear tubes pointing downward and are like hollow antenna that emerge from my own skin, doesn’t exactly make me want to smile. And of course I can plainly see and feel the long thin rise under my skin..which is the 3 or 4″ lead tube.. like someone put a pencil in there. Just plain gross.
Hmm…I wonder if I could download music to it?
The lovely image below is said catheter. Let’s orient you: At the top of the photo is the base of my neck, and visible at top-left is the slope of my right shoulder. The horizontal rise in my skin near the top is my collar bone..and of course I don’t have to tell you what the more pronounced other vertically slanted rise is… (sigh), and the rest of the parts dangle below. I Googled around to find an image of an apherisis catheter..but didn’t locate one exactly like mine. Though I did find a single image of a similar one, positioned in the hairy chest of a male. However, I thought it was best not to shock my blog readers to think that “something else was happening ot Jody” aside from multiple myeloma. So, …figured I’d take a mirror pic of my own with my cell camera.
The first night of sleeping is not fun..nor is just moving. I should not disturb it much as it is a primary location where infection could develop. It will eventually begin to settle..but it’s not settling yet. I believe it needs to remain in me through mid to late October. I cannot WAIT until this is removed. However, others with cancer endure this and much more in the gizmo-insertion treatment phase and I keep that in mind. This catheter is, in part, a gizmo to help me. It is my friend.
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