That I have a Porta-Cath implanted in my left upper chest wall. I am afraid to take the bandage off to look at the wound or the lump I imagine is hiding under the bandage. The other weird part of this is that there is a tube inside my major vein ending just above my heart. My HEART!
I am freaked out about this. I cannot feel the tubing. I cannot actually feel the implanted Porta-Cath other than the pain in my left side, arm, and neck. I liken it to the feeling of being really badly bruised. I am not pressing around under the dressing to feel the outline that I know is certainly there. It is too sore. Having only been implanted two-days ago.
The surgery was to begin on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. However, the prior surgery went long and mine was postponed until, 4 p.m. Then, 4 p.m. came and went and I was stir crazy. I asked to have my IV bag put on a portable post so I could walk around. The nurses were very understanding of my boredom and were great. Except they would not feed me. I had not eaten since 8 p.m. the night before. Other than the glass of water I had early that morning to take my approved medications.
At some point after 4 p.m. I was told it might be 5 p.m. Yep. Nope. It was not until shortly after 6 p.m. that I was taken back. Before that my doctor, the anesthetist, and nurse came to visit. I had feared that I would be knocked out first. So, I wrote on my arm:
Dr. F, et.al., Please be sure to be well fed and well rested before you begin working on me.
Dr. F laughed at this. I was not joking. I pointed out to him that he had been in surgery all day and it was already well into over time. He assured me he would eat, and take a short rest. The rest of the staff did, as well. Either way it was all over my left forearm in big blue letters they could not escape.
This is something that always concerns me. I do not want to be either the first or the last surgery of the day. I had told Dr. F if he thought there was any chance of his being tired that he should put me over to the next day. I have had one surgeon actually delay my surgery one day because, his prior surgeries ran over and he felt he was unprepared and unsafe to proceed the scheduled day. I was grateful for this. It gave me a greater respect and comfort to have a Dr. be so aware and concerned. No “God complex” in that one.
I am not saying that Dr. F had a “God Complex”. I just noted that this other Dr. certainly did not. He recognized his limitations and was unwilling to put me at risk.
So, I have a tube snaking through my sub-clavical vein stopping just above my heart attached to a silicone and metal implant that will be used to connect me to a pump that will push pre-measured chemicals into my body.
As a friend said, “When it is over it will be over.” simple but, impactful.