Friday, June 8, 2012

Sixty Bucks a Visit...

If you've been following my poor health issues of late, you'll not need to be brought up to date, but here is the 50 cent version for newcomers. 
After being diagnosed with Diverticulitis in late March, I was discharged, had a relapse and assigned too a second session of antibiotics for an additional 14 days, yuck! During that stay, each medical person that listened to my heart was taken aback by the loud murmur that didn't seem to be there prior. I visited the cardiologist and he ordered me directly to the hospital without passing go. It was determined that I had endocarditis or an infection of my heart, some  pretty serious stuff. I was given Vancomyacin and a second antibiotic through a PICC line installed directly into my carotid artery. The amount that I was given, was not regulated and it caused kidney failure or Vancomycin poisoning. After an additional 8 days in the hospital, I was again released and this time assigned a different home nurse, actually 3 different ones until one stuck. Her name was Chimpanzee Lady, but I refer to her as Carol. Whew!

I received a text message that it's been 4 weeks of antibiotics now and Saturday, tomorrow, will be my last day of infusion and Nurse Carol will be here to remove my PICC line. This by itself almost caused me a heart attack. Carol walks like a Chimpanzee from side to side. She is 68 years old and cannot remember to bring all of her equipment into the house on the first try, ever! She seems to have a slight tremor in her hands and boasts of having just lost 160 lbs leaving her a chunky 150 at 5 feet tall. Carol is from my home town and we actually knew some of the same people. The last time she was here, she forgot that and it was like explaining it to her all over again. 

Now I did mention that my PICC line is in my carotid artery and feeds directly into my heart. I'm a little worried and with good reason, that something just might go wrong and I will have to just bleed out. No back up plan, no sterile atmosphere, no misc doctors walking the halls, just Carol and me. I sent the following text message to Dr. Harvey this afternoon and did not receive a reply, but still expect to get one. This is my text:
Is having shaky, side stepping, forgetful, 68 year old Nurse Carol remove my PICC line similar to having Steven Hawkins teach me to dance???

I did mention to Carol that chances are she wouldn't be needed to come and get my Vancomycin levels through blood draws anymore until Friday for the PICC removal, assuming I haven't convinced the doctor to find someone else and she replied, "I'll come if they ask me to, you're worth 60 bucks a visit!"


Anonymous said...

Lord, if Amaya were in AZ, I'd send her to remove your PICC! No worries, you won't die from its removal...I've had tons of patients "accidentally" remove their own when in the hospital during things like DT's, dementia, etc. However, I don't recommend you remove a portacath yourself! LOL....NMS ps: thanks for the laughs!

Things I Left Behind said...

I awoke this morning with 2 messages from Dr. Harvey and he was also calling a third time, as my phone lit up indicating an incoming call. He told me NOT to let Carol remove my line, as it is indeed NOT a PICC line, but a port and that he will schedule me for removal of the port on Monday, at the hospital or Surgicenter. Frankly, the only ones to refer to it as a PICC line were you, NMS and Monkey Carol! Mel

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but I never saw the damn thing, Mel! And, if an RN referred to it as a PICC and had seen it, you should run cause she's a fool. Why don't you know what you have anyway? If it were a portacath, they should have given you a card with info on it for people to refer to in the future and that's not the case with a PICC. Portacath is under the skin, not on top! nms