Emily M. DeArdo

writer

Seven Quick Takes No. 107

7 Quick Takes, transplantEmily DeArdoComment

I. 

So this week has been interesting from a medical perspective. Not terribly bad interesting, but Interesting, Capital "I". 

I have a port (an implantofix) implanted under my collarbone. I got this before transplant, so I've had it now for more than 11 years. A port is a place where, with a special needle, nurses and other Medical People can draw blood and give meds without having to hunt for a vein. Since my veins suck, my port has been a good and valiant friend for all these years. It means that when I need things--blood draws, fluids, meds--we know we're going to have access. 

Until Monday, when it decided not to. 

II.

Every month, the port has to be flushed with saline and heparin, to keep it from clotting. Since the port is placed in a big vein near my heart, this is important--we don't want any clots flying around and causing trouble, or clogging up the line. And for 11 years, it has worked splendidly. Sometimes we have to finesse the needle, but normally, we get blood return. 

(The "We" in this case, is me and mom. Mom does the port accessing. Yes, she's awesome like that. She wields Huber needles with aplomb, and she's better at it than a lot of nurses I've had.)

This time, no blood return. And I'd also had problems with it in the ER a few weeks ago....so I'm wondering....

III. 

Ports aren't permanent--the silicone cover that you actually poke can only take so many pokes. It's a few thousand. So I'm thinking it's died and gone to port heaven. 

But when we call clinic, oh, no! This might not be the case. Apparently there are many Magical Things we can do to see if the port just has a glitch. 

IV. 

So on Monday, we get to try the first of the Magical Things--a special drug that "sits" in the line and can remove any clots that might be at the tip of the line. The drug sits there for two hours. I sit in clinic for two hours. And then we see if we can draw it off the port and get blood return. 

If so--yay! If not--dye test! 

(I don't really know what the dye test entails.)

V. 

The benefit to this is that I'm going to get new books....so that's something, right? 

VI. 

In other news, though: SPRING!

And yes, that orange barrel also equals Spring in Ohio. 

VII. 

During the March Madness kick off yesterday I managed to wind two hanks of yarn and clean. And I have pink tulips!