I must admit this cath placement was scarier than my port placement. Glad I didn’t know what all would happen before I did it. :)
Prior to the procedure, the nurse had gone over all the possible risks like they always do. I smiled and shrugged them off, knowing they weren’t very likely (I should know by now to expect the unexpected). One of them was irregular heart rhythm during the process.
So…I was lying there partially sedated but still very aware of what they were doing. The doctor was numbing and cutting and pushing and pulling, but all was going well. Then I started feeling irregular heart rhythm and of course it freaked me out. Along with it I was having difficulty breathing. My chest felt heavy. Whether that was from the procedure or just from panicking I don’t know. I squeaked out, “I don’t feel good.” And then told them my heart feels irregular and it’s hard to breathe. They stayed extremely calm. Of course, they had me on heart monitors so they could tell what was going on. Ohh boy! I didn’t know if this was the end of all things or not.
The nurses and doctors calmly stopped the procedure and gave me some heart-slowing meds. When things were calmed down, I asked why that happens. The nurse explained that the doctor was inserting a wire into the right atrium of my heart where the impulses are regulated. This wire can mess up heart rhythm. It doesn’t happen very often to people, but it is a potential risk. Well, there wasn’t anything potential about this for me. It was a reality. We concluded my heart is very sensitive. Hah! Think I could have told them that. My whole BODY is sensitive to everything that’s put in it! NOT a good thing when you have cancer.
Regardless, we thank God for a successful placement. My chest looks ghastly right now. They had accessed my port to give me meds and we decided to leave it accessed for tomorrow when I’m admitted. So…I have two great big bandages on either side with lines and ports hanging out. It looks more alien than human.