Hickman line

Endless sleep followed by endless insomnia. While I wait for the Ambien to kick in I thought I’d discuss my central line. I don’t think I’ve described it much other than how it got a leak before and needed to be replaced. I currently have a Hickman catheter. The purpose of this is to draw blood and also receive chemotherapy and other drugs. Here is a line drawing:

The two dangly things dangle all the time unless I tuck them up into a bra or tank. Jeffrey calls them my “doppers”. The main difference between this line and the last one is that I have to flush the lines every day with saline. I do this process everyday after my shower. I have asked for a port instead of the central line because the port stays under the skin and doesn’t have exterior parts that show and need covered for a shower. I told Dr. Vasu that the hickman line ruins too many of my outfits because of the parts that show and she just laughs. They do not do ports for leukemia patients because of the higher risk of infection and its a more invasive surgery and you know we don’t do well with blood loss. But Dr. Vasu said she would consider a port if my therapy continues to go well.

The central line has to be covered all the time with Tegaderm and the kind that the hospital uses has a white edge. Sometimes I can talk them into Tegaderm with a clear edge so it doesn’t show as much. The dressing change occurs about once a week and is a big process involving masks, alcohol, skin bleach and tape. Its a big deal if this line gets infected so all precautions are taken.

Infection control is our priority right now. I use hand sanitizer like I get $100 everytime I use it and I’m trying to teach the kids the same.
Here are some actual pictures of my line. Sexy, I know.




Posted on September 1, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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