Wow, That REALLY Sucked

by Tim
Published on: October 29, 2011
Comments: 2 Comments

The conclusion was reached over the last few hours that the IV in Phenon’s arm was pretty much shot and not delivering her the full dose of Dilaudid which was resulting in her being in considerably more pain than necessary.  This is what started happening when the IV was in her arm right before it blew up like a Popeye arm.  The obvious thing to do was to take it out and put an IV in the new port they installed two days ago.  Everyone was kind of unclear why she had come back from surgery without an IV in the thing that was installed specifically for that purpose that could have been done when she was unconscious.  Why indeed?

So after Jeanne grilled the RN who came in to access the new port about how experienced she was in doing this we went ahead with execution of the plan which was to apply numbing cream and do the stick.  To say that it did not go well would be far from conveying the misery, pain, and fear that would rain on Phenon over the next half hour or so.  The nurse very confidently stuck the needle in the port and it went in wrong, crooked or something.  With Phenon already in tears the Nurse pulled it back out and we went out to the hallway to talk over what to do next.  She said she’d have to try again and I asked her to call someone up from Oncology who does these things all day, every day, to come up and do the second try.  Phenon was a wreck and we were not about to allow the same person to come back in and give it another shot.

Phenon’s idea was that they could just put the IV in when they took out the chest tube because it was already agreed that she would get something when they did that to, in Phenon’s own words “make me loopy.”  Made perfect sense and we proposed this to our Nurse who looked at me a bit funny and asked me to come back out to the hallway.  So began round two…or was it three?

In the hallway, the weekend attending Physician was looking at the latest x-rays and pointed at some stuff that I pretended to see and informed me that the chest tube would not come out today and that Phenon would be going back on suction as well.  So we were going to simply have to do the IV again to be sure that the next 12 hours with the chest tube in would not be as bad as the last four days were.  I passed on Phenon’s idea that we give her something that would make this next try to get an IV in to the port less terrifying and she agreed to order something that would do that.

Round the next.

I went in and told Julie and Phenon all of this and Phenon cried for a bit because she was really, really, really scared about someone trying to put in another IV.  We were sort of in the middle of calming her when the door opened and four people came in, including a nurse from Oncology with a new IV kit.  It broke my heart how big Phenon’s eyes got when she realized that it was going to be so soon.  And again when she agreed, through tears, that they could do it.  The amount of courage she is showing through all this is astonishing.

I turned out that the second stick was pretty quick and not too painful, though the loopy drugs only kicked in about five minutes after it was all over.  But BOY did they kick in.  For the next hour or so Phenon alternated between funny stoner and dozing off.  After all this, and a visit from Lisa, David, and Jake, Phenon said the pain was really not very bad at all and dozed of.  And that’s where she is now.

One bright spot was that her Choir sent a video of them singing “Fireworks” to her that they recorded during a karaoke night-out last night.  It was VERY thoughtful of them and definitely helped to pick up her spirits.  Check it out:

2 Comments
  1. Melissa Reilly says:

    Phenon, you are amazing. I have this really irrational fear (phobia, actually) of needles. I would jumped out the window a long, long time ago. And the nurses would have been relieved to see me go.
    Your idea about making you loopy so they could take another try with the port (agree, Tim, how she came out of the procedure without an IV connection is, well, WTF?)was BRILLIANT.
    Hope to see you tomorrow, if you’re up for visitors. SNOW today. Very freaky.
    love to you all, so very much. Melissa, Rich & Griffin.

  2. Victoria Nelson says:

    Hi Phenon and family!
    My name is Victoria Nelson and im an 8th grader at LMS. Me and Phenon are friends from school and we were in the spring play “Beauty and the Beast” at Loiederman. I heard about your cancer and I hope you all know that I am praying for Phenon every single second of the day. And I have started a video diary for you from your “8th grade buddies” that i would love to know where i should send the videos to? It REALLY sucks about all those needles! (Im afraid of them too) But I hope you get better soon and I hope I can go and see you in the hospital soon.
    -Victoria

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