Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Trifusion Catheter

Today, mom had her Hickman Trifusion catheter  installed in her chest.  We woke up early so that we could get to the radiology department by 7 for her 8 o'clock appointment.  Mom was none too pleased that after getting onto the hospital bed, she had to wait for 2.5 hours until the operating room cleared.

You may be asking yourself what a Hickman catheter is, and why did she go to radiology.  Well, the catheter goes into one of her central veins in her chest.  With this, she will be able to receive IVs and (I believe) chemotherapy without having to get an IV line installed every day.  Infection of these lines is, unfortunately, very common, so the dressing is changed every day or every other day in a sterile environment by the nursing staff.  The catheter is installed in the radiology department because they use ultrasound to locate the vein that they are aiming for, prior to making an incision.  Apparently, these used to be installed in the dark, where the doctor's would make their best (and I'm sure well educated) guess as to where the vein would be.  Scary, huh?

Mom was able to walk out of the hospital and we walked back to our townhouse, before heading to Wal-Mart for some more essentials.  The catheter wasn't bothering her much until we got to Wal-Mart, where she became aware of it again - either that, or the seat belt was irritating it.  The pain didn't seem that bad, and was to be expected according to the nurse, but it was a reminder to mom that things aren't normal, and also that things are going to get worse.  We ended our day by watching Up and grabbing a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant.  Chemo starts tomorrow.
Breakfast of Champions


  1. Wanda, you look wonderful. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Big hugs and LIOB, Edrie (If I forget to sign my name, note my Google "name." I started a blog--one 5 month old entry kept private!!!!) Keep that beautiful smile, darlin'.

  2. Edrie, darling, your post was just what I needed to hear as I look to only a couple more weeks with blond hair! We'll see if I let Case continue to chronicle this adventure during the next phase. Thanks and remind me to tell you a very funny story about recognizing old friends. Hope you holidays are joyous. Thinking of you, too.