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Hi Jenn100 :)

When are you getting the line put in? Getting a PICC line can seem very overwhelming, but it really is a simple procedure. Usually the area where the line will be inserted is numbed beforehand. When the line is inserted, there will be a stick but you should not feel it for long. The line will be threaded up to the desired place and an x-ray will be taken to make sure it is in the proper place. Do an on-line search for PICC line insertion for a more detailed description.

You need to be careful with certain things, but the line should not interfere much with your daily activities. Most important is to keep the area clean and dry at all times. If there is ever any kind of redness or pain, call your nurse or doctor immediately. The nurse will explain the infusion procedure thoroughly and will supervise you until you are comfortable doing it by yourself. I found it helpful to write all the instructions down step by step. Not only do you have a record of the instructions, but writing it down reinforces the information better. You will get the hang of it in no time. There is a great product you can get to cover the PICC line so you can shower without getting the site wet. It is called a PICC line protector and you can buy it on-line at Brown Medical. It is a big help.

There are ways to get prescription assistance for people whose insurance company will not pay for meds or for people who are uninsured. Hopefully, you won't have any problem.

IV meds are stronger than oral so you may herx worse.

I bet you will adjust to this much quicker than you think. Good luck!
I had a picc line put in February of this year and injected Rocephin 1gm daily. I'll have to say that my experience with this wasn't the best thing that ever happened to me, but, truthfully, its not that bad. I had a nurse come to my home and after creating a sterile environment, she used a special needle that allowed to her fish the picc line into the vein at bend of my left arm(non-dominant). The line goes up the arm over the bicep about 8 inches from the insertion point. I was told that with some people it hurts quite a bit and others almost not at all. For me, it pretty much felt like it does when a nurse takes my blood--thats all. My arm was sore for a couple of days but nothing a couple of advil couldn't help with. Basically, the daily routine was simple--Every morning I would get up and then flush the line with heparin to keep the line from developing any blood clots then inject the Rocephin over a period of 3-5 minutes. It's important to always sterilize the line attachment and the syringe tip with an alcohol sway before injection. Always flush the line first and then slowly inject the Rocephin to prevent nausea. Then, before bed, I would flush the line with heparin again. Its no big deal really, it just takes some time to get used to doing it yourself with only one hand as you have to hook up the syringe to the line. You could always have someone help if you need to but its better to learn it quickly on your own. Showering, of course, is a pain because the line and bandages surrounding it can't get wet. Its important to keep the actual insertion point dry and clean to prevent any infections. I used to take a plastic bag and punch a whole through the other end and then use waterproof tape to seal it off at both ends. You will eventually learn to do this yourself also. You can use the arm to do just about everything you always did before except NO HEAVY LIFTING--this can irritate the line and cause an infection and the insertion point will mostly definitely start bleeding. The nurse came to my house once a week to check out the insertion point to make sure there were no infections or bleeding, remove the bandage and clean the area with alcohol (burns a little) and then rebandage it. After six weeks, that was it...she removed the line (doesn't hurt AT ALL) and puts a bandaid over it. To tell you the truth, after six weeks I actually missed having that line in--it almost became like a part of my body. So, don't worry, if you follow all the precautions, you will have no problems.

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