Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Day with the Interventional Radiologists

I don't like surgery. I don't like elective surgery,
I don't like surgery that you have to have.

--Sandra Bernhard

Image Copyright
Paul Terle/Stockbyte Platinum/GettyImages

Today was my appointment with interventional radiology to evaluate my portacath. As we already knew, the thing flushed VERY sluggishly when it was accessed. They wanted to put some "clot buster" in there, but I explained that we'd already done that three times. I also explained that I was under the impression that we were going to just take out the old port and get me a new one.

Afterall, why else would they make me NPO for 8 long hours if they weren't going to do anything to me?

Well, it turns out that I was unable to have the procedure today because of how my blood work looked. My white cell count was extremely high, and my clotting time was so long that they didn't want to risk cutting into me for fear of not being able to get the bleeding to stop.

I asked if there was anything I could be doing in terms of diet or supplementation that would make a difference in either the clotting time or the WBCs. They said no, and recommended that I alert the doctor about the unusual lab results. The clotting time is related to liver function, and the high WBC count indicates infection.

*sigh* So what else is new?

I was disappointed that I was not going home with a bright shiny new port and some happy drugs, but I'll get over that. However, they didn't sent us home "empty handed" so to speak. The plan is for me to get some rest over the weekend, and then return to the radiology department on Tuesday. On Tuesday I will receive a blood transfusion, and then I'll be in much better shape for the port replacement procedure.

Also, they really like where the port is placed because it's connected to a really great, straight vein, which reduces the likelihood of complications. (Complications? Me? Never!) I'm glad they'll be using the same site, since I've already adapted to having it there.

By the way, here's some port trivia for you. A portacath is rated to withstand 1400 pokes! wow! Pretty impressive. Even so, what the port can stand up to is probably in excess of what the skin covering it can handle.

Anyone have any transfusion info they can share with me? I've never had that done, and was hoping for some insight. Thanks!

Good luck, I hope all goes well. I'll keep ya in my prayers.
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