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I'm A Wuss

I’m a wuss. Or really, in my head, it’s Imma Wuss.

Today was the first day of chemo. Before we left, I almost said to Andy, I hope I get an IV like Claudia gave me. Claudia was the nurse who gave me the IV for my surgery 4 weeks ago. She got it in my arm below the elbow on the first try. It was a work of art.

You see my first ever IV was in the hospital when Judah was born, then again when Sophie was born. Both were IVs in my hand. Which drove me insane. By insane, I don’t mean I acted out or anything, but I couldn’t get comfortable and kept fidgeting. Now, I went through natural labor with both girls. No epidural. Nothin’. And it wasn’t that bad, but the IV they put in my hand gave me what my nurse, Kara, said today was “a trigger”. It was like continual fingers down a chalkboard.

Now I know it’s all psychological. When Claudia put the IV in my arm for surgery, it was wonderful. I totally had no issue and forgot that it was even there except when I had to wheel the IV and monitor as I schlepped it to the bathroom with me.

Well, today, I was hoping that I would have a Claudia type IV. In the arm, out of my mind. I even took my computer so I could do some work. It was going to be a wonderfully productive day.

After searching for an hour, even with a handy dandy infrared light to find a good vein, my very good and capable nurses, Kara and Summer, decided my arm veins were too small to use. Now, folks, I am a big girl. I have big body parts- big hair, big booty, big thighs, wide feet, big arms- everything is big except for my fingers and evidently my veins. Those are skinny. So, in a way, I am a skinny person. It’s just not in obvious places.

I even made sure I was well hydrated this morning. Kara and Summer put warm compresses on my arms trying to draw out my veins. In the end, I told them they could use my hand.

My chemo is a long day. An hour of fluids to hydrate me, followed by about 30 minutes of anti-nausea and a Benadryl type thing to ward off allergic reactions, 4 hours of one chemo drug, and another hour of another chemo drug.

Before we settled on the hand IV, Kara and Summer had told me that Claudia had used an ultrasound machine to find deep veins and that is how she could get a great IV started in my arm. They also told me they have a team that could come in with the ultrasound machine and give me a Claudia type IV. Only about 45 minutes into my day, I was crawling out of my skin and I was just getting the fluids at that time. Kara called in the ultrasound team and within 15 minutes, I had a Claudia type IV in my arm. Total game changer. I couldn’t even feel it. It was glorious.

I hated that I was a wuss. It just created more work for the nurses and the ultrasound team. They didn’t need that. It was a good thing that I brought them cookies and Chex Mix because they didn’t have time for lunch today. God love them.

When I met with Dr. Callahan last week, he suggested I may want to get a port that would be under the skin. The benefits of the port is I don’t need to have an IV inserted each session, because the port would be where the IV would go. He also said chemo is hard on the veins and over the course, new veins need to be used. I decided today to get the port, which is another out patient procedure which will take place on Nov. 21.

Except for the hand IV, I got through my first chemo great. So far, I feel really good. Since we got home after Lynn’s Pharmacy closed, our good friend and Lynn’s pharmacist, Suzanne Close, is bringing me the anti-nausea medicine prescribed to me to take for the next few days.

I know several people are praying for me and I have to say I feel it. Thank you so, so much.

Kara and Summer told me that I wasn’t a wuss and that I handled chemo very well. That was kind of them to say, but with the port, I hope to be an even better patient, maybe even Port Pollyanna and not Imma Wuss.


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