Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Where I go off on a tangent...

This is a drawing of a broviac catheter that has been inserted. It shows the placement of the broviac. One end lies in the vena cava (large vein going into the heart) and one lies outside the body.

This is what it looks like when it's not in the body:

And this is a picture of Marielle when she had her broviac:

Shortly after Marielle was diagnosed, she had surgery to insert the broviac into her chest. It was used to administer chemotherapy and to draw blood. This way, she wasn't getting poked every time blood needed to be drawn or drugs needed to be administered.

Marielle hated the broviac, by the way. She hated the dressing that went over the top of it. It had to be kept sterile and changing the dressing was pure hell for her....but I digress even more.

When Marielle was diagnosed, we had to learn how to care for the broviac, draw blood through the broviac and clean the dressing before she came home, because once she was home, it was our job to do all these things. The first time I observed the nurse drawing blood and then flushing the broviac. The second time I did it all by myself. The nurse was floored. She said, "You should be a nurse. This doesn't phase you at all".

Well, see, things happen for a reason. Compared to giving shots to myself, such as I had done while we were going through fertility treatments, doing the broviac was a breeze. Heck, I wasn't even touching skin! It was just the plastic tube, ha, that was easy!

As time went by, I even did IV's at home. Marielle had a portable IV machine, which went into a backpack and I would mix the TPN, then hook it up and run it at home. My fertility treatments had prepared me well.

1 comment:

  1. Ali had a double lumin...the Dr's set her up for high risk/transplant treatment before even knowing whick type of leukemia she had. She was allergic to Tegederm and the other bandage..can't even remember now- so we had to change the dressing of tape and gauze everyday...and the surgeon decided if he put the lumin where Marielle's was, it would leave a scar- so he put it under her breast which made access and dressing incredibly difficult. Needless to say the line lasted 6 months...and was broken and pulled after a nurse from another floor mixed zofran and chemo in the line and almost killed her! Together they crystalize and clot...and if it had reached her heart she would have died...thankfully the pumps backup worked and shut down when it sensed the clotting!

    The care is time consuming and tedeious...but not as painful as shots...never had to give them to myself...just insulin to Ali....can't imagine shotting myself up! You're brave!!