Tuesday, 8 March 2016

PICC line blockage

Happy International Women's Day to all!

I've been doing homey things since being home. Mom and I managed to make it skiing for a little bit Sunday night but I didn't last very long. I was more tired than I thought and while I was disappointed that I didn't last longer, it was nice to get out. The runs were quite icy which meant it took more concentration and leg power to get down the hill than usual. I was nervous if I kept skiing that I would become too tired and fall. I think the fact that I stopped before completely exhausting myself may be a sign of maturity. Or maybe just the chemo meds. Probably the meds.
Mom zooming along because it was too icy to stop.
VON has been coming in every afternoon for the IV antibiotics. Only two more days left and then maybe I'll stop having diarrhea. It hasn't been too bad with the nurses, the only problem so far has been that one of the lumens on my PICC line clogged up yesterday.

Both of them have been a bit sluggish every since getting my dye-CT scan on Friday (which I haven't heard anything about) and yesterday the purple one decided to stop working completely. Sometimes the nurses wait a day or two before recommending further action as it sometimes just unblocks itself but seeing as it wouldn't budge at all, yesterday's nurse thought I should get it checked out. I agreed with her since it had been getting progressively worse over the past few days, I thought it wasn't worth the risk of having both of them block and it turning into a greater problem.

So, last night, Isaiah and I had the great joy of sitting around the Amherst emergency department waiting for my PICC line to become unclogged. We had to wait for the evening as the problem with being in a rural area is that there aren't many nurses qualified to administer the PICC de-clogger stuff (I'm sure it has an official name). The VON nurses and Springhill hospital won't do it and only a handful of nurses in Amherst can do it. So I had to wait until one of the qualified nurses were working or else drive to the Moncton emergency which seemed like a ever larger waste of time.

Thankfully, a qualified nurse was working in Amherst emerg last night so I was able to get in. The entire process is not difficult so I'm not sure why the average RN isn't trained to do it. They could just give me the stuff and I could've done it myself at home. It's just mixing a blood thinner and pushing as much of it through the line as possible until it breaks down the blockage. I understand there are always possible complications with blood thinners and PICCs but seriously, it's 1 ml of clot-busting stuff.

Anyway, thankfully I got in right away (much to the under-the-breath-complaints of the woman waiting beside me), as it took about three hours before the stuff worked and the nurse could finally get the line flushed. But it worked! We made it home around midnight and my line is happy again. Probably until my next CT scan.

My PICC being declogged as I read my book.

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