Last year, I had a port fitted. This is a small medical device placed under the skin just under the collarbone. It allows for drips to be set up without nurses having to dig around for a vein. It also frees up my hands and allows me to easily move without unnecessary pain.
Under the skin, the port looks like a small plastic reservoir, with a silicone center that connects to a vein via a plastic catheter. It all sounds very complicated, but it really isn’t. A small raised area is visible where the port has been placed, but it settles over time. It does, however, show up more on patients who have less body fat.
I wish my doctors had spoken to me earlier in my diagnosis about the possibility of having a port placed. I have gone through years and years of experiencing pain while nurses attempt to find a vein that doesn’t move the moment a needle is inserted. I’ve had too many bruises to mention, swelling from treatments, and scarring around the veins.
This has caused much discomfort and many tears, and my pain threshold has increased as I went through yet another procedure. My veins have definitely worsened over the years, and whenever I am admitted to the hospital or the day clinic, I almost break out in a cold sweat at the idea of the poking and prodding to come. Even with a butterfly needle — the smallest one possible — they still often go straight through.
During the last admission, we finally made use of the port. The idea of a needle being forced through my skin terrified me, and I braced myself for the pain. I waited and grit my teeth while I squeezed my eyes shut. The next thing I heard was, “All done! And there is great flowback. Let’s begin your medication now.”
How was this possible? How did I not know about this sooner?
I had the drip in for four days and I could move freely. I could lie comfortably on my side, shower myself, and cut up my food without experiencing that tug or pain from the plaster or drip itself.
This has taught me a meaningful lesson in advocating for myself. It has taught me the importance of learning what is helpful to me, of standing up for myself, and of knowing what I can handle medically. It has taught me to do research and not only rely on what others tell me. It has taught me that there are more options for us spoonies than those who may only experience a hospital admission a handful of times in their lives.
Ports allow for easier access, less pain, and even at-home treatment with home nurses. They may not be for everyone, but my advice is to do a little research and understand that no one knows your body and needs better than you do. I can now look forward to my admission and treatment next week!
I hope this provides you with some peace of mind and that it opens your mind to what is out there. Look after yourself, and know how amazing you are. You deserve the very best in life and for your requests to be heard!
Myasthenia Gravis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
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