Saturday, July 28, 2007

PICC line pic

Here's what the PICC line looks like, for anyone interested...



The two things sticking up are taped to my arm, just so they don't get caught on things. Otherwise, they'd just be flopping around, asking to get caught on something...

All the tape is actually one big piece, with a sticky window. The whole thing is stuck to my arm.

The big white piece, closer to the "rabbit ears," is kind of a connector between the two ears and the single tube. The little white circle (harder to see in this pic) is over where the thing actually goes into my arm. The little blue tube goes from where you can see it, up my arm (inside) into my neck, I believe. They took an xray of my juggular after it was done to make sure it was in the right place, so I assume it's ending up in my neck.

The nice this about this, besides the obvious no-needles benefit (blood can come out and chemo can go in), is that the chemo doesn't burn (which it often does to some extent), since it's not actually touching those veins. Rock on! That also means I'm less likely to have issues with vein burn-out as a long-term side effect. (It's not really called vein burn-out, but that's the best I can do without looking it up.)

So I'll have it for two weeks. They will, as far as I know, take it out immediately following my next chemo appointment.

14 comments:

Chris said...

I had one of these in January in order to get Amphotericin (which burned my IVs sites out in one day). It was pretty great!

Did you taste the saline when they flushed your lines?

Heat said...

People told me I would taste saline, but I didn't. I don't know why, but I'm not really sorry that I missed it...

Chris said...

It loses its novelty after the 20th time or so... :P

I ran into two kinds of nurses: The first kind didn't believe that I tasted the saline, the second kind said "I never believed that patients tasted it until so many of them told me they did."

Heat said...

I never saw a chemo nurse disbelieve anything a patient said (except "the doctor said I could have more Vicodin").

They were also pretty good about warning me of weird sensations that many people experience (like tasting saline) ahead of time so I wouldn't freak out.

OliviaGraceBoutique said...

Hey there...I found your site while looking to see what PICC lines were...I have a clothing business and a woman that has Lyme disease wanted me to make "stylish" PICC line covers so you can not see the lines..so..I may be making some in the next week or so if you would be interested..My websites:
Myspace.com/oliviagraceboutique OR
oliviagraceboutique.etsy.com
I HAVE NOT made any yet, I just found out what they were..AGAIN>.Good luck fighting this disease..stay strong, girl.
Tina (innocenti105@yahoo.com)

Jake Hill said...

i had one last year

i always tasted the saline when my nurse flushed it

it was weird

yellowfish said...

Hi- I just ran across your blog! I've got one of these too (the saline taste thing is weird)

Oliviagrace- you should definitely make stylish covers. I am reduced to buying hilarious striped socks from the drug store and chopping them up. It works fine, but someone could totally sell things- I looked on etsy and saw nothing like it!

cml1691 said...

I'm getting a picc line on Thursday, and I won't lie, I'm really scared. Did it hurt going in? Coming out?

Heat said...

I had three. None of them hurt going in or coming out. To put it in, they numbed the area. Beyond that, the only thing I felt was pressure on my arm a little, but no pain. When they took it out, I was nervous that it would hurt, but it didn't (and it took only a few seconds!).

I don't think you have anything to be worried about :)

And having it was sooooo much better than all of the needle sticks and IV attempts (and feeling the chemo burn in my veins - that hurt!!!). Kind of a pain to take care of, but well worth it, IMO!

ChrisWPG said...

Doesn't hurt at all. Much better option than IV, although it can take some time if they don't get it right on the money the first time (you get Xrays to see if it's lined up correctly).

Heather said...

Hey, I have a picc and taste the saline too. I know this is old but I think I've solved the reason this happens and am now on a medical mission to have it recognized as a true side-effect. The tip of the picc goes in to the large vein that enters your heart with the rest of the de-oxygenated blood from your body. From there it goes directly to your lungs to get oxygen. So, my thought is the saline taste is similar to the taste you get in your mouth when there is alochol in your blood. When the saline/blood solution goes through you're lungs and you exhale at that moment you taste it in the air that is being exhaled. SO, to test this theory I held my breath. And, suprise, no taste. Exhale.. taste. Ahhhh.. sweet answers. :)

ChrisWPG said...

That seems quite reasonable, Heather. Good experiment!

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Anonymous said...

Hi Guys-You'll never see this- I guess this site is outdated, but I just found it-so maybe one more person will too. I hope you have all gotten well, and feel wonderful! I just got my p i c c line almost 2 weeks ago. (chronic Lyme meningitis)The itch will be the death of me- I can't take the itch-Benedryl does not stop it- I know I am sensitive to the adhesive-but even with a different type of bandage- the itch is soooo intense. I don't taste saline, but I taste rubbing alcohol-The 2 syringes with saline-only taste like rubbing alcohol. Gag.