I got my PICC line in. Yay!! It's always a good thing as it means that not only can the antibiotics be given faster (my twice daily one took 3 hours with the IV line), blood can be drawn from it, and it stays in the entire time so I don't have to get constantly poked for IV lines. My IV line did last overnight thankfully but it was starting to be problematic during my last antibiotic this morning so I don't think it would have last much longer.
The PICC line seemed to take forever to go in but it did eventually get done. It just took two tries by the doctor. Basically what they do is put a tourniquet on the top of the arm, wash the arm with iodine several times, and then use an ultrasound machine to find the best vein. Once they are satisfied they have the perfect vein, the doctor (not sure if the guy today was an actual doctor, I think radiologists and nurses can put in lines too) freezes the area. Then a wire thing gets stuck into the vein up until the shoulder which is used to guide the catheter line along the body. Once it hits the shoulder, they turn on a live x-ray to help the doctor help guide line the rest of the way.
That is my understanding of the process anyway. They always have so many sheets on me that the only part I actually get to watch is the live x-ray. And if the doctor isn’t telling me what is happening, I have very little idea as my arm is usually completely numb by that point from both the freezing agent and the tourniquet. It’s a very strange feeling to watch the catheter snake its way toward your heart on the screen while knowing that it’s your body you’re watching.
Today, the doctor person forgot to put a lead vest on so they didn't do a live x-ray. Instead, he kept moving out of the way while the nurse, wearing a vest (I assume), stood in front of him when a picture was taken. I hope the nurse was wearing a vest otherwise it seems like a jerk move to make the nurse take the radiation for you.
When I returned from my PICC line, the respirology therapist came in to take some blood from my wrist for a blood gas test which tests to make sure that right amount of CO2 is leaving my body. CO2 can build up if a person is on too much oxygen which I seriously doubt is my problem. I guess it's good to double check and get a baseline. Although I hope not to check it too often because it's a fairly painful needle. My right arm has been through a lot today.
I also went for a chest x-ray (so much radiation in one day!) today, met the physiotherapist, chatted with the resident Dr again, and had regular blood work done. The first few days are always pretty busy so I expect I'll run out of appointments by tomorrow.