'Well this'll be the last time I do this with my line in' was a thought that frequently went through my head as I partook in everyday activities from having a shower, going to sleep or checking my email in the days that led up to the removal of my tessio line. It's funny how you can get used to something quite quickly which is so completely alien to everyone else.
Back in 2003, I had a tessio line put in for about 6 weeks for a spot of hemodialysis before I was to start peritoneal dialysis and I remember the procedure to remove the line being quite traumatic with a lot of 'tugging' and pain. So in a frantic voice I warned the nurses when I got to the hospital that my current line had been in for 2 years so I was certain all the tissues will have 'grown round it' and it was going to be an absolute nightmare to remove. They looked at me as if I was slightly mad and then suggested that if I was that nervous I should have a general anesthetic and stay over night in hospital. I politely declined and promptly sat down deciding to keep my worries to myself!
On the phone to the admissions department the day before I had been told that the procedure was to be done in a side room in the day ward, but if anything went wrong I would be taken down to theatre immediately. 'You mean if an artery is severed or something?' I asked whilst laughing nervously. 'Something like that' was the deadpan reply. Eek.
After a 3 hour wait whilst I occupied myself reading trashy magazines the surgeon finally turned up to remove the line. I was pleased to see he was one of the guys that helped with my transplant and proceeded to quiz him with about a million and one questions about what it was like and how gory it was. I think he thought I was a little strange... Anyway, I really needn't have worried about the actual procedure as after the local anaesthetic was injected in (sharp intake of breath) I barely felt a thing, just a slight bit of pressing but I couldn't believe it when the surgeon dangled the line in front of my eyes four minutes after I had entered the room. I was shocked at the length of it and excitedly asked if I could keep it to show Oli and take a photo of it. This was just too much weirdness for the surgeon who said I could skip the 20 minute lie down that I was supposed to have after the line removal and go straight home. Unfortunatly one of the nurses saw me trying to sneak out of the ward, and marched me straight back to the room (we compromised on a ten minute lie down.)
I was so impressed with the scar too - just two tiny dots, a world away from the 2 inch scar above it from when the first line was removed. It even looks like a snake bite. Even better.
The whole experience reminded me how much medicine advances in such a short space of time
- even though it was a small procedure, the changes they had made made a massive difference to me. Makes me wonder how transplants will be done in five or ten years time...will they be growing kidneys out of people's own cells by then? Or will they be able to produce man made kidneys? Or best of all will more people be on the donor list making the wait for organs virtually nothing...?
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Sending some smiles!
3 weeks ago