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second port = success + remembering it

 It was a really tough week last week!

Last Tuesday, the breast surgeon FAILED at getting a port placed in during my surgery. He attempted three times (leaving many wounds on the left side of my neck/chest). This rarely happens... and he told my mom waiting for me (& later me) if he pushed any harder he would have killed me. This really upset her - and didn't make me feel better that I would have to do it all again in a few days with a different doctor. So, my mom is also out - she is like I cannot take you this time. And my husband is in - and along for ride this surgery.

This time the port will not be placed by a Breast Surgeon, but by an Intervention Radiologist (port specialist). All of my veins were closing up the closer it got to my heart (maybe from the radiation in 2013) and making the port dangerous to insert. It took a bit of work, but they finally got one in.

While I am glad the port is in, I remember more than I wish I did from the procedure. I also think it would have easier to handle the port procedure if the other surgery was not just days before. Unfortunately, I had to be awake and in a twilight state for the surgery. It was not exactly fun!

So, here's my memory of being awake and getting the port placement:

I meet the doctor. Nice dude, who basically gets my consent. I am like please don't kill me for a port... joking though not joking based on my last experience. I did say multiple times that I did not want to remember this so please drug me enough. Then I still joke to my husband as they wheel me out, "I'll try not to die." - This time it is slightly less appropriate (and maybe a little to fresh).

I get in the room and switch over to the surgical table where they hook me up to a bunch of monitoring devices. I joke around with all the nurses - especially the anesthesiologist nurse. He also had the prettiest blue eyes. I complimented him on them to which he replied, "I haven't even drugged you yet." Seriously, he was very nice.

Another nurse took a ultrasound wand, told me to turn my head to the left, and pressed on my right neck and chest. He made a little gruff noise out loud and then asked me to turn my head right and used the wand on my left a few times. He seemed annoyed at my veins which confirms why the 1st port probably failed. 

The doctor arrived, and I hear the nurse tell him my right is not a good option, but the left has some issues. The doctor takes the ultrasound wand and repeats what the nurse did. They have a little confab about me and then...

Well, things kind of shift. Up until this point, I felt everything. The ultrasound wand was pressed firmly on my neck - and over the bruising from my failed port hurt. However, the sweet blue eyed anesthesiologist must have added the good stuff in.

I remember having my neck turned to the right. I saw a giant screen with an x-rayed body on a television. It went in and out of focus as the nurses walked by. I also saw there was a small tube that I saw go up and then down into the heart... it was like an upside down umbrella handle shape. 

I remember talking to the doctor about how it was weird how I could see myself on the screen - because I somehow realized that was my body up on the screen. Plus, I heard skin and bodily fluid squishing noise... and realized he was sewing or doing something on my left side. I also kept thinking how am I able to talk and he work on my at the same time. 

There was a feeling of worry and dread at some point when I think I realized that was me on the screen. It was like I don't think I need to see that. I don't think I want to realize this port is going to take the drugs directly to my heart. And there was the underlying fear that I might watch myself die (especially since the failed port surgeon had said what he said about possibly killing me). I definitely don't want to watch some giant tv x-ray of my body as I bleed out. I also then remember getting the chills.

Yet, it was fast because the next thing I know I am being wheeled out and then eventually my husband. I was glad to be done and so ready to go home. 

Doing this in twig light state would have been easier (and probably better) if I hadn't had the 1st failed attempt.

I do not remember pain. That is great. I do remember a lot of what happened and the noises. The two port surgeries were hard on me - more than I expected. The doctor did a good job - I was a challenging patient and he successfully got a port in. 

Yet, my neck and chest are bruised, cut, and beat up. And mainly from the 1st attempt. It has hurt way more than last time, and I have a ton of weird angled cuts everywhere. Plus, the location of the port sucks. It is way lower than last time and sticks out pretty far.

For those that do not know, the port is under the skin. It is attached to the vein and the skin is closed up around the 2-4" incision. They usually sew up the port internally and glue up the skin and incisions on the exterior.

Of course, I ended up being allergic to on of the tapes used... because why not? My life!!!

I had multiple blisters and rashes from one of the tapes used around my incision. While that was annoying, it was nothing compared to the bruising that is on my chest... and down my breast. I also still have left basil atelectasis (that I know had to come from the failed port surgery - since it was not on my chest x-rays and CT prior to the 1st surgery).

I am weeks out and the healing has been way slower! I am grateful to have it, but it has been Brutal to get it!!

My inspiration for things going all wrong = I Will Survive by CAKE!


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