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continued Vancomycin and farewells

Posted Nov 28 2012 3:36pm

The home health care delivery of the remainder of my Vancomycin® arrived with a ring of the doorbell at eight o’clock this morning. Getting myself into a presentable state to open the door took me over five minutes and then another few to get to the door. The delivery person was long gone, but the box was there, which I was able to scoot inside by kicking it. I had thought that my Vanco treatment would end with the last infusion ball in my current stash until my nurse told me I will be on this until December 4. I cannot even remember when I was not taking an antibiotic, and I will be happy to be finished with all of them. I am still taking two Vanco antibiotics: one by infusion and one oral, which will be completed in another two days. I am eating yogurt regularly in the hope that it will help repopulate my stores of good bacteria.

The bruising and soreness in my PICC line arm are finally receding. When I went to have the port-a-cath removed on that Wednesday before Thanksgiving, they also placed a PICC line in my right upper arm. It became an ordeal, however, when the technician performing the procedure ran into difficulties with the placement. He tried the first location and could not get the line to run through my squiggly vein, apparently. Again, he tried in a second location and then a third. It all failed, and after more than an hour he said he was giving up and would place just an IV line and leave the PICC to the port doctor to insert. At the last moment, however, he was able to run the PICC line through the vein he had chosen for the IV line. I was almost at the point that I wanted to halt the entire procedure as it was getting a bit stressful.

I don’t mind needle sticks too much, generally, but this last hospitalization came with more failed and painful attempts than I want to remember. I have decided that when I am outside the cancer center, I will insist on a phlebotomist to do any peripheral sticking in my veins. I also had arterial punctures, but because the two people who did those were skilled, it was not even painful. I know the people who try to stick me get very stressed when they realize how bad my veins really are, but I am becoming less sympathetic for them and more for me. In the past I have encouraged them to keep trying at the expense of my own comfort. Maybe I will recover from it, but I think I will be considering my own comfort a bit more now.

It was a sad moment this morning when my sister and brother-in-law came to say goodbye before returning home. It was a wonderful visit, so I will focus not on how much I miss my family but on how much fun we have when we are together.

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© 2004–12 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.
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