Monday, January 26, 2015

The Port

While I'm sure there will come a day that I'll be grateful that I have this hardware in my chest (and I'm pretty sure that day will be seven days from today, actually...), today is not that day.

Nor was yesterday.

Or the day before that.

Or the day before THAT.

(You get the picture.)

I"m so grateful for modern medicine. (Both the part of it that made it possible for me to have an outpatient procedure that will make my life easier when I do the chemo thing AND the drugs that are keeping me alive - albeit metaphorically - while my body heals from said procedure.) But still.

This port has been a misery.

I'm five days in and I can finally move my right arm without burning pain, but there is still an ache and a heaviness in my chest that wasn't there before I had a wire and tubes threaded through my veins and a little chunk o' metal sewn into my chest.

Did the nurses tell me that the pain would be manageable with Tylenol the next day? Yes. Yes, they did.

Did Dr. G write me a prescription for five solid days of narcotics that led me to believe the nurses may have been a little off in their calculation of my expected pain level? Yes. Yes, he did.

So, the nurses are liars. (The Pollyanna part of me wants to call them "optimistic", but the part of me that had a tooth pulled this afternoon wants to call every single person in the medical field way worse things, so I'm settling for "liars".)

It will get better. It HAS gotten better. ... But it has hurt like the devil, and it has been a misery, mostly because the heaviness in my chest feels very much like a panic attack. And while I know it isn't a panic attack, it still feels like one, so as soon as I start to come out of my narcotic-induced-haze and feel the weight of the hardware, my body associates the weight with anxiety, and before I know it, I'm in a full force panicky vacuum. Which, in turn, makes the pain worse.

It's been a real party, is what I'm saying.

But I am super glad that I was able to get it done before I started chemo. I can't even imagine how hard it would have been to have this pain, and deal with this new weight in my chest, while my body was also reeling from the side effects of chemo.

I don't know what I'd have done without the bed that allows me to sleep like I'm sitting in a recliner, and a bottle of vitamin P to keep the pain at bay.

Some other day - a day when I'm not sitting in front of my laptop with a wad of gauze stuffed up into my mouth where my tooth used to be - I'll write about this weekend with Julie. It was super fun to have a (erm... literal, actually) partner in crime  and a designated driver on hand for two and one half days

Until then, know that I am surviving.

I have a chunk of metal in my chest where there used to be nothing, and a gaping hole in my mouth where I used to have a tooth. It seems that I've traded one big, poky, hard piece of matter for another. The good news is that I really do prefer room temperature water over most any other drinks and I can open my mouth wide enough to shove both pain pills AND stool softeners in there. It could be worse, right? ... Oh, and I'm pretty sure the sun'll come out tomorrow. (Take that, Little Orphan Annie! ... I'll "out-positive" that spunky little kid - and her little dog, too - if it's the very last thing I do!)


Jenni said...

So sorry it is so hard. Sure love you.

Genevra said...

Awww Laurie, I echo what Jenni said. Thank you for sharing via the blog what the port experience has been like so that those of us not able to be physically near you can send thoughts, prayers, and energy to your specific needs.