Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rock Chalk and Port Talk

If you know me well, you know my heart belongs to Texas. If you've been in my condo, you'll see it's a shrine to the Lone Star State. I have the famous quote by Davey Crockett (if you don't know it, you don't deserve an explanation) on a magnet on my fridge. My walls are covered with Texas Country concert posters, all neatly framed. There's Autographs from famous Texas athletes, and a poster my friend stole from 6th street which pictures the flag of Gonzales along with an H-Bomb, which has been named by it's manufacturers to the the "shot of the Republic".
I promise with all that, I still have plenty of feminine things mixed in such as fur throws, wine bottle candelabras, faux leather lampshades, and crushed velvet valances which I am proud to say I drilled in myself.

My music tastes are also purely Texan. I could slap Lady Gaga for her blasphemous "Judas". I am so behind on what is on mainstream radio, it's embarrassing. I just can't seem to get my iPod off of more humble music. My current obsession is Turnpike Troubadours, thanks to my dear friend Casey Lee. And anytime I can dust off my cowboy boots, grab a koozie, and get to a concert, I'm there. The point is, I think the best of the best is all in Texas. Turns out, that's not always true. For photopheresis, I needed a port put in for IV access.

Everywhere in Texas was pushing a broviac port, which I've pictured here:

Well, *in Valley girl, sorority voice*, excuse me, but I'm 22 years old and I'm in a so-

ror-ity. I sort of have to go lay out and float the river this summer and wear like cute dresses to date parties.

Well in all seriousness, I didn't want a giant port sticking out. Who would? So I did some research and had known from friends about ports that go underneath your skin and are hardly noticeable. Unfortunately, there's an idea here in Texas apparently that if it aint broke, don't fix it. They've been using broviac ports for years on photopheresis patients and had no problems. Why try something new that requires different supplies, additional training, and more of a headache for them?

Thankfully after some persistence, they agreed to let me go ahead with this new kind of port known as a vortex port. This little guy goes under the skin would totally ease my concerns of looking like a mutant. The vortex is the pretty, little, round apparatus pictured, if you haven't figured that out already. Because Texas is only familiar with implanting broviacs, I had to find somewhere to put this device in. This quest led me to KU Medical Center in Kansas City.

As much as I'd like to say the nicest people are from Texas, Midwesterners are pretty darn sweet. They accommodated me from the second I walked in the doors. There was little waiting time once I checked in. I requested IV therapy for placement this morning, and within minutes an IV therapy had arrived and successfully started my line.

There was some unprofessional drama where a male nurse and a female nurse got into a huge fight. The female nurse stormed off crying and then all the other nurses talked badly about her. However, once she returned, still sniffling, those same nurses were there to give her a shoulder rub and comfort her. It was probably something a patient shouldn't witness, but I have to admit, I loved watching it all go down. It was like a reality TV blowout right in front of me.

The drugs were amazing of course in helping me relax. The medication given in called versed, which leaves you conscious but forgetful after the procedure. The main complaint of everyone who worked on me was that I was a bit too talkative, but what else would you expect?!

The pain afterwards has been unpleasant and I would probably pay some big money for some pain killers tonight. I guess I'll just have to wait it out until tomorrow. God willing, this is the worst of it all. I am too pleased about the outcome to go on and on about pain. the port is less noticeable than I imagined. I don't see it really affecting any of my fashion choices in the future. So thank you, Kansas. You aren't too bad after all.

Tomorrow I head back to Texas; Back to hot temperatures, Texas Country music, my wonderful friends, and hopefully photopheresis treatments. My goal is to start Easter Monday but there is still a question mark on if that will actually happen. I ask for your prayers that things move swiftly and results will show sooner rather than later.

And on a lighter note, I want to come up with a name for my port. Any ideas?

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