Yes, the catheter’s gone

As I reported last week, my Mediport was removed without incident. The Steri Strips haven’t come off yet but everything’s been going well, with virtually no soreness or discomfort. The bruising is gone and so is the irritation caused by the waterproof Tegaderm (or something like it) dressing. That adhesive sticks like superglue and really tears up my skin. My oncologist’s nurse knows not to use it on me, but I didn’t think to mention it to anyone last week, so there it was. As careful as I was removing it — by the book as best I could — I still ended up with a 4-inch-long blistered welt along its bottom edge. Took it about a week to heal, and it stung more than the incision.

What I wanted to mention, however, is the catheter that ran from the Mediport injection site up to my collarbone and into a vein in my neck. The entire time the port was in place, about 9 months, I could see the catheter on the side of my neck, just under the skin, ending at a tiny scar at the base of my neck where the surgeon had accessed the vein to place the catheter.

Anyway, a few days after the port was removed, I noticed what looked like the catheter still in place in my neck. I worried about it for a few days, thinking surely if there had been a problem, someone would have told me. That catheter was supposed to have been taken out along with the port.

Finally I did the obvious thing and called the medical center to ask about it. As it happened, the NP who’d removed the port was there the day I called and was able to reassure me. Yes, the catheter was out. What I was seeing and feeling, that looked (and felt) exactly like the catheter, was in fact just scar tissue that had formed around the catheter. In time it should disappear. Or it might not.

But most definitely, she told me, the catheter was out. Otherwise that bit of plastic (or whatever it’s made of) at some point would have worked loose and gone directly into my heart.

Just thought I’d mention this, in case someone else has a similar concern about ports, catheters, etc. Harmless scar tissue can look and feel exactly like a catheter.


6 thoughts on “Yes, the catheter’s gone

  1. disperser Sunday, April 10, 2016 / 3:33 pm MDT

    Hmm . . . If I ever go through anything like this, I be wanting photos of everything they put in and everything they took out so that I could match and be sure. I suppose you have to trust them, but perhaps asking them again during the next visit might not be a bad thing.

    Otherwise, good to hear.

    • PiedType Sunday, April 10, 2016 / 4:05 pm MDT

      You know, that’s not a bad idea. However, coward that I am, if I saw in advance what they were going to put in, I might freak out. I have a vivid imagination and it usually conjures up the worst possible scenarios. You can bet I still look at this thing in the mirror every day , trying to judge if it’s going away. It’s just creepy how much it looks like the catheter.

  2. zenzalei Monday, April 11, 2016 / 1:26 am MDT

    Oog. Not much that’s medical gives me the willies, but that did. I don’t like the thought of being able to feel any kind of tube under my skin, much less the thought of a catheter being left there. I get icked out by IVs, actually, since they always seem to put them on bendy parts of my wrist, which I invariably bend and then… oog, oog, oog. Okay, need to go look at bird pictures now. Oog.

    • PiedType Monday, April 11, 2016 / 9:10 am MDT

      Yeah, there’s a lot in the last year that I prefer not to revisit. Implanted foreign objects would be one of them. On the other hand, now I’m dreading future injections and blood draws because the port made them so easy.

      • zenzalei Monday, April 11, 2016 / 11:13 am MDT

        Hey, I can handle the blood draws for you, though I suspect you’d rather have a male assist. The blonds are particularly enchanting of late. However, if he is not to your liking, we have brunets and redheads, too.

        • PiedType Wednesday, April 20, 2016 / 6:38 pm MDT

          You’re nothing if not thoughtful. Hope you won’t take it personally if pass on your generous offer.

"You don’t have to say everything to say something." ~Beth Moore

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