I have been dragging my feet with writing this post, but I really want to get it down on paper. After deciding on getting my port I read a lot of blogs about port surgery, but most of the bloggers were cancer patients and most of them were completely sedated for the surgery. My two biggest concerns were not answered: what was it like to have surgery while awake (but loopy) and what would airway clearance be like post surgery?
Part One can be found here.
I was wheeled into the operating room and the nurses were talking to me while they strapped me down to the table. They put something in my IV line to make me sleepy, but as the moments went by and I was still chatting away, one of the nurses looked at me and said, "That did absolutely nothing for you, did it?" Realizing I was not in the least bit sleepy they gave me a little (or a lot?) more. The nurse told me not to fight the sleepiness and the next thing I knew I was out. I remember being awake for parts, but I think I was going in and out of consciousness. At one point I remember the doctor saying she had created the pocket for the port. I also remember being shoved pretty forcefully back and forth. I am not exactly sure why (I don't think I want to know) and am not sure if these feelings were exaggerated by my loopiness. I told them at one point that it hurt a lot. I am not sure if they gave me more sedative, but I remember nothing after telling them of the pain. I will say despite being pushed around and in pain I was 100% content. Even though I felt pain it really didn't bother me and my telling them was more informative rather than out of concern. I am pretty sure they could have said, "Suck it up, wimp!" and I would have gladly said, "Okay." So all of my fears of being scared or worried while in surgery were wasted energy.
I woke up towards the end of surgery and remember being wheeled into recovery. I also remember them telling me my PICC was coming out and watching the nurse pull the line. After that I have no memory until I got home. I have no recollection of leaving the hospital or the drive home at all which still weirds me out.
Recovery was better and worse than I anticipated. I was in more pain than I expected. Laying on my side hurt and certain movements hurt. However, my airway clearance did not cause any pain at all (although I did avoid the Vest).
I have had the port for over a month now and it is actually a huge relief to have it put in. The process of getting a PICC placed with my scarred veins and all the complications that came along with the PICC should (hopefully) be a thing of the past and next time I want IVs one small prick should do the trick. I sure can't complain about that! Now the whole skin allergy aspect is a whole different story..