Friday, December 09, 2005

Perm-Cath: Placed

On Thursday, I was scheduled to have the temp-cath removed from my neck, and I was supposed to have a perm-cath placed in my chest. Let me just describe for you what went on Thursday (the story ends well, so don’t fret).

Last week, I was told that my procedure would begin at 8:00 am and that I would need to arrive at 6:00 am to be processed and prepared for the surgery. Now, as luck would have it, we had a huge cold front and almost no precipitation on Wednesday night, which caused all of the schools in the area to either close or to open late. I was told to base my decision on coming to the hospital per the local school district. So, if our town is closed, then the radiology department will not be open. I watched TV until 5:30, when we had to leave to get to the hospital. The school district was not listed, so we went. The roads had almost no ice on them at all, and driving was absolutely no problem. We listened to the radio on the way to the hospital, and they did not list the school as being closed.

We arrived at the hospital to find that the school district had been closed on our way there. But, since we had already arrived, they called radiology, and said we could go back and that they would take care of us. I got my paperwork completed and had an IV by 6:30. The doctor finally came to see us at 10:00. It seems there was some miscommunication between the nurse and the doctor, and our doctor was the only one that did not show up to work on time that day. So, there was a LOT of sitting that we had to do.

My procedure went great once we got started. They took me into radiology at about 10:30, and I think we were home by 1:30. They removed the temporary dialysis catheter from the right side of my neck. They just had to cut the stitches and pull it out, it wasn’t too painful. Then, they held the hole until it stopped bleeding so that they could patch it up. I then felt the knock-out juice going into my IV, and that was all I remembered. When I woke up, the entire right side of my chest hurt, and I now have two small tubes hanging out of the middle of the right side of my upper chest. They sent me home, and everything was great (especially since I finally got to eat).

I had dialysis Tuesday night using this new perm-cath, and it went great. The machine can not run quite as quickly as it can for a fistula, but it runs much better than with the temp-cath in my neck. The treatment went great as compared to last week. There were no problems with the machine the whole night.

About my only complaint at the moment is that the right side of my neck and chest are both hurting from the procedures yesterday. I did not sleep well last night (probably due to the pain). I am hoping that it will be better tonight. I don’t have to carry anything around at work, so I am hoping that the muscles will heal quickly and on their own. Oh, and another bonus, I can take showers again!

The doctor said that the site needs to have the bandages changed in three days and that I need to keep them on for at least 10 days. He said that the stitches could come out in six weeks and that it should be mostly healed by then. Apparently, the wound will form scar tissue around the catheter, which will help hold it in place more securely.

Thank you for all your prayers during my procedure. Right now, Jenny and I would like you to pray about my Saturday treatment time. Our church’s Christmas program is Saturday night, and I have to move my appointment in order to play in the program. Please pray that God will open up a slot for me somewhere so that we can participate in the Christmas program. Thanks!
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