Thursday, November 5, 2009

Blocked Up

It's not what you think.

The last two times I've been in for a blood draw recently, blood leaving my body from my port has been S L O W. I've had to go through various contortions (well, subtle contortions), like leaning back in the phlebotomy chair, raising my left arm and squeezing my hand into a fist and taking deep breaths, while the nurse strains and cajoles, trying to suck out blood. Nothing that true contortionists would find remotely taxing, but the port is meant to help avoid difficulty in a blood draw, among other things. What probably happened was that a bit of a clot formed over the end of the hose where it sits in the center of the aorta just over my heart, and as things have been pushed and pulled through that tube, the clot has expanded up inside. I have several tests scheduled for the week after next, and I definitely want to use my port as much as possible for them, and so I went in this morning for a TPA. TPA is some sort of enzyme that breaks up blood clots, quite effectively, although not always very quickly. Sometimes 30 minutes is enough; sometimes they send you home overnight.

Concerned that it might be an amount of time inconveniently between 30 minutes and 24 hours, I brought plenty of stuff with me to the clinic to keep me occupied, including dogs. Unlike my normal infusion days, I didn't have to be hooked up to anything for this treatment—they just accessed my port, pushed something in with a syringe and then let me go. So I went downstairs and got my flu vaccine (the normal one, although it hurt more than I remember last year's hurting. Evidently, I'm not the only one who thinks that this year's is ouchier. The woman who administered it is getting hers this afternoon, and was definitely not looking forward to it after all the input she's received from her patients), then took my dogs for a walk right as the rain started. Hoover doesn't really like pounding and reverberating up long, echoing staircases in parking garages, but I found the experience pleasantly incongruous, and later in an elevator back in the clinic, someone complimented me on my dogs.

We returned and I made it back upstairs, ready to settle into my infusion chair for a long wait (pulling out my coffee and scone from EBC, my crossword, a couple books, and taking off my sweater), but my nurse came by to check the progress of my port and it had cleared out, so she let me go.

Pretty minor in the scheme of my usual unblockings.

No comments: