Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pablo status report

Haven't felt like blogging for a while so sorry if you've been checking the site and coming away empty handed! So a couple of blogs to get back into the swing of things.

This one is about how Pablo is doing. In a word, pretty well. I was worried that he would be a PITA but so far he's been a pretty good wing man. Having the line stick out of my body is slightly gross but I feel it less then the port I had in my chest. Sleeping is easier and I'm not getting swelling in my hands which is a good sign in terms of venous circulation.

Pablo is a bit of a needy wingman, however. There are two issues to guard against:
  • If the line gets clogged, it makes getting a chemo infusion harder. So we flush the line every night. It's very simple, because the port has a female screw thread on the end of it. The syringes have male threads (heh, heh...) so you just screw the syringe into the port and push the saline/heparin through. No needles, pretty simple. 
  • The 2nd issue is that you don't want the infection boogey-man to visit. So when I sweat a lot we'll change the tagiderm over the base plastic assembly that clamps the line in place. We've done this a couple of times this week and it seems to be working well
The only issue I've faced in the last week is that a bit of skin at the edge of the tagiderm is a bit rashy. Looks kind of like a heat rash or a reaction to the adhesive. Not too bad and we trimmed the tagiderm the last time we changed it to give that piece of skin a chance to be exposed to the air.

Not to say we haven't had some fun with this, btw! Here's a scary picture of  the most junior member of our family tribe getting ready to get primal with some syringes.

Did I mention that the syringes typically have some air in the end of them and if you inject too much air in your heart you can die of a cardiac embolism? Eh, we'll just let that one slide by and hope that he does a good job of watching for where the air bubble is!

One other minor irritant is that you have to wrap Pablo before showering. So far I've been using a one-and-done home made saran wrap/tape contraption:

I've ordered a neoprene sleeve with an air bladder that you can use to evacuate the air and provide a pretty tight seal over your arm. That should show up tomorrow and will be definitely be an improvement over the home made contraption.

I've been on both road and mountain bike rides with Pablo and he's done well. Have also done yoga no problem. So he's been pretty high function. A bit more maintenance than Pete but hopefully Pablo stays the course and we get another 76 days out of him. We'll see!

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