1.25.2012

A Little PICC Me Up

It's PICC line insertion day and I was back at the quaint little Catholic hospital where I've been getting my CT scans, hanging out with my husband and drinking radioactive liters of water to pass the time.

PICC stands for peripherally inserted central catheter, but for all intensive purposes and for the sake of my inability to spell, we'll just keep calling it PICC. Sounds like "pick" because it's spelled like PICC.

The procedure itself was quick, painless and very sterile. If I wasn't clear about how sterile it was going to be, I had about five people remind me that it would be very sterile. So sterile that I had to keep my head up or turned to the right lest I breath some of my preschool germs in the general direction of my left arm. Understandable.

I was laid out on a table and able to watch four televisions hanging over me. It was like a sports bar, only I was watching an x-ray of my chest and not drinking beer. That x-ray machine was directly above me and all I could do was stare deep into its nothingness while it sent radioactive vibes in to my unsuspecting body.

If people with cancer want to avoid getting more cancer, they should avoid getting cancer in the first place, because they will surely get cancer with all the radioactive things that are done to a cancerous body.
This illustration isn't entirely accurate. I chose to have the line inserted into my left arm since I seem to be holding a baby in my right a lot. I also don't have man-pectorals or man-arms. And yes, it dangles.

We've been talking about chemo like it's some far off event, when it's never been more than a month away. I feel like I've been able to keep it at arms length and talk about it with a certain level of detachment. But this day and this event is making it very real.

I am about to undeniable become one of them. One of those people with cancer.

I'll spare everyone the beauty that's hanging out of my arm now. Sorry to disappoint, but I like the temperature above 75 before I start taking off my layers for reasons no greater than a self-portrait. I do hope I can make up for it with this chest x-ray that I had to beg for. Beg with a touch of eyelash batting. If you asked me to print this at my house, I would have denied you based on the amount of black ink it would have sucked up. But it's a hospital, and that's what insurance is for.

Such a perfect and eloquent slope to those clavicles if I don't say so myself.

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