I am now have a Hickman line fitted. I went down to have it fitted at about 10am. This is the first time that I have had one of these and wasn’t quite sure of the procedure. It is a small mini operation with local anaesthetic. You lie on your back with your head resting in a little well, it feels like its resting on a small dish. They clean your neck and chest area with Alcohol (which had a very strong smell). They then cover your face with a surgical sheet so you can see what is going on. Then they number the neck area with local anaesthetic ( I had to have two shots as the first didn’t numb it completely). They cut into the jugular vein (not juggler as Paula kindly pointed out – unless of course you have multiple veins that you can throw up in the air all at the same time, only to land neatly back in your neck!) and feed a wire down through the chest close to the heart. They next part was uncomfortable as they insert the central line in place they have to force the tube into the neck. They use quite a bit of pressure to do this!
It takes about an hour from start to finish and I was able to sit up and get back into the wheel chair ready to be taken back upstairs to the ward. It felt OK at first, but as the day has gone on the anaesthetic has worn off. It now aches as I move my arm and neck and I’m sure I’m going to be black and blue tomorrow.
I have a drip fitted to the line at the moment, which they connected at 2pm it is a little portable unit with a syringe attached that slowly releases a fixed amount. I have the anti sickness in it at the moment at this one will take 24 hours to complete and will be finished by about 2pm tomorrow. This is in preparation of the Chemo (Melphalan) tomorrow to help reduce the sickness. It’s unlikely it will stop me being sick all together as it is such a high dose.