I know I’ve mentioned at some point that I have a chest port or, more accurately, a tunneled subclavian PICC line that places a catheter right next to the heart. This thing:
This bit of medical equipment has been dangling there since mid-July, getting caught on clothing and blankets, being smooshed into my skin, poking, pulling, and generally being irritating all so that I could have IV antibiotics everyday for almost 8 weeks to fight the infections they found in my muscle and bone. Now I’ve been cleared of the infections and as there’s no sign that they’re returning, this thing is coming out tomorrow morning. After tonight I don’t have to do this again:
No more saline, no more drawing back blood to make sure there is flow and there are no clots, and no more heparin. What’s even better is there will be no more taping this thing off every time I want a shower. No more nearly tearing the stitches holding this thing on out when the ports get caught on something. No more pushing the catheter back in when the whole thing gets turned cockeyed and pulled out a little bit. No more rectangular shaped bruises from dressing changes and having to wear a surgical mask in my own living room or not breathing when it’s uncovered. No hives from the adhesive when it gets damp. No more.
Doing this every day for 63ish days has been… special. It hasn’t been fun, per se, but it has been one of the things that forced me to slow down to let my body heal, and in slowing down given me the opportunity to spend time with me.
I haven’t taken time to be with myself for a long time and going through all this has if nothing else given me the chance to do just that. It’s been exhausting and frustrating along the way, but it has also given me the chance to reframe my thinking, re-evaluate my happiness, and rediscover things that bring me joy.
So as I fall asleep tonight for the last time with this incredibly uncomfortable chunk of plastic hanging out of my chest, I can smile and sleep peacefully knowing that as this small chapter of treatment closes and the end of this part of recovery draws nigh, I am one step closer to the the next part of my kintsukuroi journey.