Wednesday, 7 July 2010

A balancing act

In February this year I had a Hickman or Central Line inserted so that drugs and transfusions could easily and painlessly be given. It has proved to be a real boon. However, it needs to be flushed every week to avoid infection. When I was going to the Royal Marsden on a weekly basis, this was done when the blood was taken for testing prior to my seeing the doctor. Now that I am going to the hospital fortnightly, the line is flushed by the community nurse.

This has been done quite successfully but I had a different nurse today. She couldn’t flush any of the lines as they were blocked. In fact one was blocked last week when I went to the Marsden. She rang the hospital who said I could go in today if I was worried. As I haven’t got any other symptoms like a fever and there is no sign of infection at the entry site, the nurse confirmed that it would be all right to wait until I go to the Marsden on Monday for my regular appointment. The community nurse did say that if I was experiencing a blocked line on a regular basis, it might be that the valves were wearing out and it was a sign that the line should be removed. I would like this as it is beginning to chafe my skin particularly in hot weather.

I have used so much of the moisturizing cream I was prescribed by the Marsden that I think I am going to run out before Monday. It is quite a performance in the morning and evening but the rash has spread everywhere and only my face and feet are clear. Some people have to put up with eczema all their lives so I do sympathise. I’d rather put up with the rash for a time than go on another drug regime which may give me even more unfortunate side effects. It is something of a balancing act.

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