Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Luke 12:25-26

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

PICC Tales- the last full day (Picture heavy)

I promised pictures, and here they are! Time to finish out my PICC tales for this 2 week session.

So since I've been home, I've had my dressing changed twice. Not fun at all. Each dressing change, due to skin complications, sent me to the edge of tears/passing out from pain. One of my stitches has also been bleeding during all this time and that caused a lot of pain when it had to be cleaned too. My home health nurse Bridget changed the dressing on Thursday, because I developed a spot of something underneath my dressing and it needed to be freshened up. By that night and Friday morning, it was completely ruined and needed to be changed again. Turns out my skin had blistered under the dressings and those blisters had popped under dressings #2 and #3 and required a dressing #4 on Friday. Luckily, this last dressing has lasted. My overall rash is completely gone leaving me with rough skin on my arm and my face, so I'm getting the spa treatment tomorrow after my PICC comes out! The only place that still itches is under the dressing where it hasn't had air to heal.

The broncho-spasms have quieted down thankfully and have not been as bad.

One thing I haven't mentioned that some of you know already is that my parents left the country last Saturday and returned this Saturday! They had their 35th wedding anniversary cruise planned out for months and my hospitalization almost made them cancel! Luckily, after lots of discussions, we worked out a deal where I do the IVs myself (see the picture of the extension below) and my sister-in-law and nephew live with me for the week my parents are gone to help get me through. I'm glad my parents didn't cancel their cruise and trust me enough to let me check myself out of the hospital on Monday and take care of my IVs while they were gone. It was a huge step in me being independent (as if I wasn't already lol) and them trusting me with my health even more.

So, I promised you pictures so here they are, with captions and explinations to walk you through kinda what I've been handling and going through.

Warning: I do have pictures of the exposed PICC (well almost exposed) and blistered skin.

My 3rd dressing, ruined thanks to my blisters.

The blistered skin and uncovered PICC (with Biopatch still on)

The 4th and final dressing- layers of folded gauze to protect the skin and the PICC

The line extension- what's made it possible for me to be independent this week!

Two of my meds in the compression balls- Tobra (L) and Fortaz (R)

Zyvox- my third antibiotic which had to be hung on the dreaded IV pole

I thought I got to leave this thing at the hospital.... nope. I did learn how to set up an IV bag and line though, which was pretty cool.

This was the cool device that set the mL/hr rate. Very cool.

Mom made me this cake when I had 3 days left!

And on a completely different note, I got my new Vest today!

I decided not to take pictures of the alcohol prep pads, the saline flushes, and the heprin just because it was pretty standard. But those have been very common sites at my house since I flush before, after, and in between each IV dose, clean with the alcohol prep pads in between everything, and hep lock with heprin after each IV session ends and flush the unused port for that day with saline/heprin each morning and night. Since this PICC had duel ports, I had to switch them out each day and replace my extension every 3 days. So much to remember but once it became routine, it was no big deal. However, I am very tired these days but I think once I get back in my normal day routine (you know, the one that DOESN'T involve IVs) I won't be so tired! My PICC pulling appointment is at 10am tomorrow (Thursday) morning and my facial is that afternoon. I'm almost done!

See you on the other side!


Lisa said...

Hi Andrea - my daughter, Abby, has gotten those blisters under her dressing the past 2 piccs. We now believe that she must have a sensitivity to something in those bio-patches and the chemical that's in them to keep the area clean. I can't think of the name of it right now but I can certainly ask her if you would like. At first we thought it was the tegaderm. Also the last 2 PICCS have been different b/c they did not require the surgeon to stitch it into place. Abby says they are much more comfortable that way - not so much tugging. She has the same vest as you do and seems to like it alot. She started using it about 9months ago. Thanks for writing your blog - I read it often.

Emma said...

Hey Andrea! Like Lisa's daughter I had that exact rash, I am allergic to chloraprep which is in both the biopatch and what they usually use to clean the skin, plus several bandages and now the actual picc line itself - the plastic part that goes in the stat lock, not what goes in you. Anyway, using betadyne and not doing a biopatch helped a lot, and I found that using the chloraprep made me super sensitive to everything else to the point where there is only one bandage I can use now and I can't have a biopatch, statlock, or any other type of bandage. Sorry you have that rash, I know exactly how annoying it is- I have one healing right now actually, just got my line out yesterday!