Port insertion day, or, WHERE IS MY FREAKING SEDATION?!?!?!

I’ve let 36 hours go by since having my port placed so I could get some distance/perspective/wine between me and the procedure. I was led to believe there would be conscious sedation, which in my limited understanding means I will be sedated until I’m barely conscious. I am weirded out by many things concerning my body—I cannot insert contact lenses, I cannot take my own or anyone else’s pulse, can barely apply mascara—so the thought of having a little mechanical box inserted under my skin so nurses can stick a needle right in my chest FREAKED ME OUT. The fact that the doctor would be working inches from my face freaked me out. I was so panicked as I talked to him before the procedure that I thought I might not actually be able to do it. I apologized for being so nervous, and asked for all the medication he could give me. As it turned out, I was given two milligrams of versed, which I barely noticed. I asked for more, and the nurse said OK, but I felt nothing different. I talked all the way through it—we discussed his work as an interventional radiologist, his education, our kids, the purpose of doing a degree in philosophy, how people are all terrified of that procedure (I think he was being kind). 

     It is my personal weirdness that made the whole experience intolerable. The reasons for getting a port (mine is called the Power Port, and came with a nifty patient info pack that included a key fob and an alert bracelet) far outstrip the reasons for not getting one, and now it’s in, so I’ll never get another two-inch bruise in indigo to remind me of fun times digging for blood return. The chemo nurses will be relieved. And I’ll be weirded out for the next six months.

     Note to self: ask for the type and dosage of the meds I got for the upper and lower GI series, and have my doc write an order for the same when I come back to have it removed. 


I think this photo shows why one should wear this port thingy as a piece of jewellery ON your chest, instead of IN your chest.


4 Responses

  1. I don’t think you have to have “personal weirdness” to find that procedure unsettling. I’m super impressed you got through it without clocking someone. But if it spares you needle after needle, that’s good stuff. What are you meant to do with the key fob, though..?

    • I know, right? It’s not like the War Amps key fob, that’ll ID your keys and return them if they’re lost; my keys don’t care if I wear a Power Port; it’ll never help me start a condo with a man at a bar the way my Maserati key fob does….

      • Okay, so it wasn’t just me. Also, full disclosure: When I left that comment, my first instinct was to make a “cancer souvenir” joke–but then I checked myself because while my intention was Supportive Humour, I worried it would come off as Flippant Ass. We haven’t known each other that long and I worry jokes will come off as inappropriate. So I guess what I’m saying is if I ever say something that isn’t the right thing, please tell me.
        Agh. Being human is awkward.

      • and being awkward is so human! Supportive Humour and Flippant Ass are two sides of the same coin. And you can dish up either one, I will appreciate each on its own terms (Flippant Ass being the preferred one, of course!).

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