So now I have caught you up to three weeks ago. Three weeks ago today actually. I had just had a treatment 2 days before. At this point I had had the newest port in about 6 weeks I think. The last surgery I was more sore than usual. I attributed it to the fact that they opened up an already existing incision and played around with stuff that was still bruised. So I always had a dull ache. Sometimes i couldn't move my arm on that side. I just thought the port was still settling because it takes a month or so.
This particular day I noticed the aching was more intense. As the day progressed so did the pain. In the afternoon it started radiating out to my whole left chest area. Then came the stabbing pains in that side of my chest. Next the pain went down my arm. Last my arm went numb.
At that point I'm talking to my EMT friends trying to figure out what I should do. I call the surgeon and his staff tells me to go to the ER. It might be a blood clot. I get to the ER and I am admitted into the hospital and talking to the doctor with in 15 minutes. That scares the crap outta me.
They run some tests. They rule out infection (which is pretty serious considering it's a catheter into a vein right next to your heart). They then rule out a heart attack, and a blood clot in my body but can not rule out a blood clot inside the actual port. Interventional radiology has to look at the port via this special x-ray machine and they are not there. They will be the next morning so I am brought up to a room for the night for observation.
The next day I am checked out. No clot in the port. The pain and numbness... my port has settled right on top of my brachial plexus. These are the nerves that run from your spine down your arms. They will not risk surgery again to move it. I have to live with the pain as long as I have the port.
Are you kidding me?? Haven't I gone through enough?? Nothing was helping the pain. It seemed worse now that I knew what was going on. I go to my rheumatologist a week or so later. He refers me to a pain clinic because I do not have the option of taking the port out because I need it. When the port is accessed there is a layer of rubber you need to get the needle through. Add the pushing of about 10lbs on my already sore port and that does not make a happy camper on and after treatment day.
Yesterday we drove up to Boston to the pain clinic. They were so nice there. My doctor actually prescribed me a pain patch to put over the port and he said it might help with my joint pain too. Here's hoping! We will be trying that out today!
Friday, June 10, 2011
Overnight in the hospital
I have been married to my husband 15 years and we have a beautiful 12 year old daughter. I was diagnosed with RA 8 years ago. I am a Nationally Licensed Massage Therapist and a Nationally Certified Pharmacy Technician. My mission is to raise awareness and understanding of the general public and those suffering from RA by telling my story and sharing what I've learned in school. The information on this site should not be used in place of, but rather to compliment directives from your healthcare professional. ~last modified 7/26/16