Good Evening all,
So, I have Chemo again on Wednesday. My Chemo nurse Maureen and my doctors keep suggesting I get a syringe driver, or pump, so that I have a continuous flow of morphine going in to help with pain etc. I'm a little worried about it as people seem to get addicted to things so quickly, or their bodies do rather, and they don't have a say in it. I'm also worried about the withdrawal as well. When my mum had one - this was about 14 years ago - they cut her off cold Turkey and it was absolute hell for her. I'm scared about going through that. :(
Now, with the PICC line - does it go in a vein - like, in your arm, or in your chest? Does it require much maintainence? How long can it stay in for? Does it hurt when they put it in? Because so many doctors - like when I had one of my lumbar punctures - said 'You may feel a little bit of pressure' .... PRESSURE?!!! It was like a lightning bolt going up my spine. So now whenever a doctor mentions anything about pressure I'm like - NOPE .. I'M OUTTA HERE!
Hi Little Miss
Do not worry about the morphine pump, it is one of the greatest things ever invented. It allows you, as the patient, to decide how much morphine you need to control your pain. Do not worry about getting addicted - it won't happen. Pain is the perfect antidote to the addictive properties of morphine and other opiates. When you get a balance between the pain and the amount of morphine you need to control that pain you will not get addicted. Too many people fear addiction so do not get good pain management and it is a tragedy. Specialists do not seem to explain this to people who need good pain control and who are frightened of getting addicted.
I've never had a PICC line but I can tell you that they do require regular maintenance. I believe they need flushing and the dressing that holds them in changed once a week. PICC stand for Peripherally inserted central catheter so the line is inserted, usually in a vein located in the arm with the catheter tip terminating in a vein close to the heart. It is a long term IV access device, and patients are usually discharged from hospital with the device in place and arrangements made for its care and maintenance.
If you google PICC lines - restrict it to Australia as then you get local variations - you will see quite a bit of good information. The information from Canteen, addressing the issues of teenagers and young adults is quite helpful. The cancer helpline 13 11 20 can also give you some great information about PICC lines.
Give me a spirit that on this life's rough sea, loves t' have his sails filled with a lusty wind. George Chapman
I agree with Sailor, getting the pain management working for you can help things immensely. I hope you can find a balance that is good for you.
I had a picc line in my arm and it was no big drama. I had mine inserted under a sedative.... not quite an anaesthetic but I remember nothing (other than telling the doctor thru a haze that he should be wearing a blue diamante g string rather than scrubs :-))There was some discomfort for a few days after fitment - more like a muscle strain than actual pain - but nothing that a bit of panadol didn't fix. I had to have it flushed and dressed each week which took all of 10 minutes and didn't hurt at all. Mine was in for 4 months and I had no issues, I have a couple of friends who have theirs in for 12 months and no issues either. For me it made chemo easier and saved my veins, I carried a chemo pump around with me for a week at a time so it let me take my chemo home (tiny chemo pump but a huge hazardous chemical spill kit...very portable.... very chic :-))
Good luck with it all.
HI LITTLE MISS JUST A SHORT MESSAGE RE PICC LINE I HAD MINE INSERTED WITH NO SEDATION BUT AN ULTRASOUND MACHINE WAS USED TO LOCATE THE VEIN ON THE INSIDE OF THE ARM THEN THEY GIVE YOU A SHOT OF LOCAL BEFORE INSERTING A LONG NEEDLE THAT INTRODUCES THE PICC LINE INTO THE VEIN, I HAD A SLIGHT PROBLEM WITH BLEEDING AT THE ENTRY SITE FOR ABOUT A WEEK SO HAD A PRESSURE BANDAGE ON AFTER THAT NO WORRIES NOT ONLY DO YOU GET YOUR CHEMO THRU THE PICC LINE BUT ALL YOUR BLOOD TESTS TO, THE ONLY DOWN SIDE WAS WHEN I SHOWERED I HAD TO HAVE A PLASTIC BAG ON MY ARM..THAT WAS A PAIN! GOOD LUCK MARGC
My Picc line also went in with only an ultrasound to guide the radiologist.No pain whatsoever. Apparently mine was essential as the toxicity would have blown my veins apart and I came home each fortnight with a portable "jet pack" for slow release of the 5FU.
Mine was in for 6 months and yes it did require some maintanance as it had to be dressed. I had water proof dressings so while I had to be careful in the shower I didn't need a plastic bag. I found that my skin became quite irritated under the dressing (the sticky part) but the nurses were awesome and always did what they needed to relieve the irritation. It was the least of my worries, however and just became part of the routine at the hospital.There were some weeks when an extra visit was required to help with the dressing.
You sound as though you are doing it tough at the moment. Take care.
I had a PICC line inserted for my chemo and it was heaven. I had very bad veins and the cannulas were hell. I don't think blood can be taken from a PICC line though...anyone had blood drawn? The down side with my PICC line was it burst and fluid leaked into my arm. But this was weeks after the chemo and I was only having saline at the time. However, my arm that had the PICC line can't be used for taking blood anymore. But compared to cannulas, I will take a PICC line anytime. Hope everything goes well.
Bloods can be taken from Picc lines. Soemtimes they are a little obstropolous (spelling?) but for most people they work quite well. After about 3-4 months mine stopped being able to draw blood and when they took it out they realised that it had curled up at the end. Apparently very strange. The nurses had never seen it happen before. Typical. it gave me no pain and I presume that it worked even though it was a little wonky.
good luck with the decision.
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