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Dear 5labudas,
I can't believe that I just wrote you a very long thread to discuss the picc line and I punched a button and it is gone ! Here we go again, I just hope that I remember everything I was telling you.
Tell your husband not to be concerned about the picc line. When the doctor's office called me and told me to go to the hospital to have it put in I about croaked. I thought I was getting an IV in the back of my hand. It turns out it is an IV from the inside of your arm about halfway between your elbow and shoulder and goes from there to your heart. Sounds gross but is a breeze! I had myself so worked up that I was up all night with diarrhea and wasn't sure I would be able to go through with it. I was so mistaken. I had a very nice doctor put it in and we chitchatted the whole time he was doing it (took about 15 minutes or less). When he was done I thought is this all there was to it. I then went to the doctor's office and his nurse and pharmacist showed me the procedure and infused the first dose. The nurse gave me a paper with the instructions and sent me on my way. She also told me that if my throat closed up to call 911 not her. She said this would just be a reaction to the meds but doesn't happen often. It never did! I have since learned on this website that if the meds go in too fast this can happen - not sure if this is the only reason. I was on Rocephin and I will explain to you how it worked.
Depending on the meds you are given it may or may not be exactly like my situation but at least you will have some knowledge before you start. I was sent home with enough meds for one week - syringes (not a needle), alcohol swabs, saline solution, heparin mixture solution, and the meds. The first day I started out a little early not knowing how long it would take to set it up but once you get used to it you know the amount of time you will need. My meds needed to be refrigerated and one taken out each day at least an hour before infusion time. I would hang the two bags (saline and heparin) on kitchen cabinet handle because it was easier to do that way. I would set on the table (usually in front of the TV) a clean paper towel, 3 alcohol swabs, 3 syringes, and the bottle of meds. I would of course wash my hands real good before doing this. I would then use the alcohol swab to clean the end of the saline solution bottle and screw the syringe onto the end and put in as much solution as the nurse told me. You do this for two syringes. Then I would do this for the heparin solution with the remaining syringe (alcoholswab it too). So on the table I had the meds, three filled syringes (keep straight which is which - I didn't have a problem telling this because it was a smaller amount of the heparin), and one alcohol swab. The nurse had attached an extension on the original piccline so that I could reach it easily and when you are done you just coil it up in a circle and put it under the sleeve she will give you. Anyway you clean the end of the extension with the alcohol swab and screw the first saline solution syringe onto it and open the picc line. There is a little device that clicks it open and shut. You then depress the plunger on the syringe to flush the line out and then you screw on the line from the meds after opening it. The meds take about 30 - 35 minutes to go in. Then you unscrew the meds (they will show you how to tell when they are done (mine had a ball in the bottle and there was a line on the bottle you checked to see if it was done). I think this device was so much easier than a drip type line because you can just sit it in front of you without a pole but it costs a lot more too. After the meds are done you screw on another saline solution syringe to flush the line again and then you screw on the heparin solution to keep the line open. After you have injected the heparin you close the picc line and you are done for the day. You coil up the extension and shove it under the elasticized sleeve (they should give you a few of these at the doctor's office). If my husband wasn't available I did this for myself as best I could and then he would do it neater when he got home. You can throw everything in the trash because it is not hazardous waste. You just repeat it each day and it becomes very simple once you know what you are doing. My husband had to work the first day I did this and he was beside himself that my throat would close up and I would be alone. He even called when I had just started the meds to ask me if I had tried to call hium. Thankfully the phone was right there so I could just sit and talk to him. When I did my meds I just watched TV or read for the 1/2 hour but you can actually put the little container in your pocket ( large pocket) and walk around if you want to. I preferred to just sit and watch TV. Every week I went back for the next week's meds and had bloodwork done. The beauty of the picc line is that you never get stuck! I had my picc line taken out 3 weeks ago because of liver problems (that are back to normal now - but my doctor will not restart the IV). And I had to have new bloodwork done before the doctor would put me on Doxy, They had to stick me! They will just do the bloodwork through the picc line - no pain. When the nurse told me she would take the picc line out I about croaked. She said you won't feel a thing. I didn't! I'm a chicken and I looked the other way but could see peripherally that she laid it on the table and I felt nothing. The really surprising thing too is that it didn't really bleed. The picc line was even clean not nasty! Just a drop of blood from the hole. She put a large sterile bandage on it with a little gauze and told me to remove it in 12 - 24 hours but to keep a bandaid on it to protect the scab. The hole basically closed up itself and is really small. After 3 weeks I still have a teeny scab but want it to come off by itself so I haven't taken a really deep soaking bath yet. I probably can and after 12 weeks believe me I won't be able to get the water deep enough! I have missed my hot nightly soaks! Again, I say to you don't worry if you get the picc line - it's a breeze. You might want to ask your doctor about milk thistle to keep your liver clean because if I had known about it then I might still be on the Rocephin instead of the Doxy. All I can hope for is that the Rocephin kicked it and the Doxy will sweep it away,. I know I took a step back when I was off the meds for three weeks but I also did not want to compromise my liver either. Be thankful you have found a doctor willing to treat you because after getting on this website I realize that there are a lot of us out there who fought a long hard battle to get to where we are now. You can even read my first thread to know what I'm talking about. I know I'm not nearly as knowledgeable as Ticker but I have picked up a little insight since I started walking down "LYME LANE". I just hope it's a cul de sac and I find my way back to the other end. That's what we are all looking for in the end. I'm sorry this has been so long but I wanted to give you as much info as I could. Tell your hubby to hang in there and get well soon. We need some more good results stories. I guess instead of betterdaysforme, my name should be longwindedone. I'm sur Ticker would agree! Keep us all posted on your journey and any progress. By the way if you happen to get the "lost" thread I was sending let me know, this is pretty much what I said but not the exact words.

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