Well, I've been home for exactly a week today, and I officially go back into the hospital tomorrow. Not for a tune up though (still on at-home daptomyacin for the blood infection and merrem for the lungs). This time it's for surgery.
Yep, fingers crossed, we're finally going to get rid of the rest of that blasted port.
Basically, I've been running low to mid-grade fevers since I got home, and while we're pretty sure part of that was from the lungs (which had to be off all anti-pseudomonals for a few days due to bad kidney functions after the polymyxin), we still think part of it is from that lingering port/blood issue. But having gone in twice prior and failed to remove the catheter -- once in his office with lidocaine and once in the OR with lido and "twilight" sedation -- because the darn thing is fused to my vein in the armpit/shoulder area, the surgeon is going to take a more aggressive approach this time.
The plan is to go in through my armpit (sidenote: not sure if this means through the actual "pit" itself, or if it really means a bit higher -- better shave just in case!) and clamp off the offending vein on either side of the scar tissue. Then he'll be able to cut in there with a tiny incision, dislodge the catheter, and then hopefully pull it out no problem (the port itself is already gone) and sew up the vein.
Yeah, you read right: sew up the vein. Vascular surgery is amazing.
Anyway, because I'm thin enough for the surgery to be rather close to the surface (thanks, CF!) and because I have crappy lungs (um, thanks again, CF?), we're going to do this whole thing under "twilight" sedation once again. So I won't be asleep, just very, very loopy. And normally that means that I would be able to just go home when it was all over, but my CF doc wants me in the hospital for one night just in case. I'm not making any protests there.
One night to (hopefully) set this whole thing in order and get rid of the mystery fevers of 2 months and counting once and for all sounds pretty damn good to me, thanks very much.
Not particularly excited about the whole process, obviously, but I feel blessed to have such a competent team, and I'm super happy about not having to risk the breathing tube at this point in my CF life. Avoiding the vent is key right now and I've been promised that if my O2 drops below expected levels they'll do a type of blowback O2 (where they literally blow it into your mouth with a machine) and try basically everything else before they do a tube. But I've had conscious sedation plenty of times and never needed more than my nasal cannula, so I'm just going to stay focused on that. It also apparently says all over my surgical instructions "no general!" and "no intubation!" -- or so the nurse told me on the phone.
Hopefully I'll be able to update tomorrow from Columbia and let you all know that things went smoothly and that the little bugger is finally OUT! Everyone seems confidant, and I trust this surgeon a lot, so I'm anticipating a good outcome for sure.
Thoughts, prayers, intentions, and good vibes are always welcome in the meantime, though!
- I am a 33-year-old wife, sister, daughter, friend, law school graduate, CFer, lifelong student of public service, blog writer, patient, Sagittarius, reader, Top chef fan, double-lung transplant recipient (twice!), and dog owner living in Colorado's beautiful Mile High City. I love all things colorful, funny, inspiring, or needlessly sarcastic. I share my city with about 2,500,000 other remarkable people, share my disease with 70,000 other beautiful souls, share my life with some unbelievable family and friends, and share my apartment with one very handsome guy and one really fat mutt with a kick-butt personality. We make it work.
About This Blog:
This blog is about me, my life, my sometimes craziness, my disease, and my current journey as a double-lung transplant recipient. It's also a celebration of everyone out there with CF (and other chronic illnesses). It's for you, inspired by you, and dedicated to you -- the community that keeps me writing, living, and breathing.
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