Yesterday brought me another step closer to normalcy. My IV port (Mediport) was removed in an outpatient procedure in CU’s Interventional Radiology department. (The doctor’s office didn’t strike me as a serious enough setting.)
So now there’s no more foreign body in my chest. No more lump under my skin or catheter bulging on the side of my neck (purely cosmetic concerns, unlike some cases I’ve read about). The port is gone. In its place, a neat 4 × 4 clear adhesive patch covering a smaller 2 × 2 gauze pad. I’m to keep the dressing dry for 48 hours, then can remove it and deal with just Steri-Strips for about 10 days.
Devout coward that I am, I opted for conscious sedation for the procedure. I was still aware of what was going on around me, but felt virtually nothing from the procedure itself. The local anesthetic was very effective. I felt only a prick from the first injection and nothing after that. I opened my eyes once and saw a blue drape over my face. And I remember a nurse putting a nasal cannula across my face during the prep, and sticking some electrodes on my upper chest and back.
The entire procedure took about an hour (another reason why, in my opinion, conscious sedation is a better choice than just local anesthesia in a doctor’s office). An hour is a long time when you’re aware of every sound, every movement, every sensation. Particularly if you are a bit fearful and have an active imagination. And as anxious as I already was (thanks to that other “simple routine procedure” that was my bronchoscopy), an hour would have been an eternity.
I spent an hour in recovery, with my BP and pulse ox being monitored, before my son drove me home. Feeling no pain and being extremely sleepy, I promptly crashed for what turned out to be a four-hour nap. Then last night I slept for about ten hours. Tylenol is the only OTC pain reliever I’m allowed for 48 hours, since all the NSAIDs are likely to promote bleeding. (They’d have given me something stronger if I’d asked.) I normally wouldn’t give a plugged nickel for Tylenol’s efficacy, but this time it’s all I’ve needed. Just a bit of soreness last night, and Tylenol handled it.
Other than keeping the incision clean and dry, my only instructions are to avoid strenuous upper body activity for 3-5 days. Sounds pretty simple.
Video games aren’t considered strenuous, are they?