Saturday, July 31, 2010

IV Practice

Bent Needle Voodoo Doll Day

Haven't been posting much, have been very sick most of the week.  On Monday my primary care doc told me definitely "No More Traveling" but did I listen?  No.  I had a date with a client already set for a consulting type gig on Tuesday and had too many people depending on me to be there.  I got myself together, and my bosses had one of the programmers go with me to drive - thank goodness!  I don't know if I could've gotten back home otherwise.  It was a stretch just driving the thirty some miles from her house to mine that evening.

I ate a cup of cottage cheese at the client's cafeteria, and between that and the walking/standing all day must've thrown me over the edge.  I spend Wednesday in misery at home, not keeping fluids or medications down, and on Thursday gave up and went to the ER per my PCP's suggestion because of the dehydration.

I don't know about anyone else, but I am what they call a "hard stick" when it comes to drawing blood or putting in IV's.  Nurses always tell me: everyone says that and no one really is a hard stick, people just like to think so.  Nuh-uh.  I know so.  The local blood mobile banned me from giving blood after I threw their whole schedule off, and they didn't even get an ounce of blood out of me.  I have had phlebotomy centers send me out the back door because I had so many puffs of cotton and bandages wrapped around me they were afraid I would scare everyone in the waiting room off...and these were times when I hydrated before hand so they could actually find a vein!

I knew I was in for it when the triage nurse tried to get a vein for blood testing and gave up after one stick.  When I finally got back in an ER room I had six different nurses try to get an IV started, including a couple with an ultrasound machine looking for deeper veins.  They finally got enough out of semi dry holes to get the blood testing done, but I lost count at 12 sticks on trying to get an IV started.  They even went for the neck and the front shoulder area, but everything was just drying up on them.  I am still bruised and sore from the attempts.  It wasn't the nurses' fault, but it was a bad ordeal for me, it took two hours to get an IV started.  I was tilted head down, arms hung at odd angles, pumped my fist - nothing worked. Made me wish I still had the PICC line they installed when I was in hospital at the beginning of the month.   Maybe I just should have a permanent spigot implanted so I could just turn it on when needed and off when not.  I think they were using old bent needles to thread the IV.

The winner finally thought to use a pediatric IV start kit and went in through the underside of my wrist.  Woo Hoo! I'm gonna remember that trick! I try not to jinx the nurses or lab techs by saying anything - I let them pick whatever they think will work for them and go at it, but when they get to the third stick I generally tell them my average is three sticks, and I'm OK up to seven sticks - then I get sorta shakey/whiney. 

I got some fluids, felt much better (my kidneys had sorta stopped working) and then was told from the testing that all of my nausea and back pain was from a kidney infection and a complicated UTI.  It was 360 degrees back to where I had ended June - thinking I had a kidney infection except this time it really was!  It took two times getting the perscription for antibiotics straightened out (don't doctors ever read your allergy listing?) and I was home around eleven PM.  I get infections when I get dehydrated and it certainly has been a month of it, so I wasn't very surprised.

I was very very sick Friday, but am feeling some better today.  Have kept fluids down and actually eaten a little food that is actual real food!  I have got to travel out of state in another week, and will just have to be strong and bear with it if the medication just doesn't cut it.  I have this dread of being stuck in a hotel room in the kind of pain I have been in, or as sick as I have been feeling.  Hoping to heck the antibiotics are just what I need.  Gotta get back to work Monday - I certainly didn't plan on the problems I had last week.

My bosses are trying to hire another associate who can do more traveling and cover the part I am barely able to do now.  It is so sweet of them, and I hope I can hang on long enough to train whoever they hire.  I just can't leave them hanging without someone to take over. I am skirting the edge of hospitalization and racking up the medical bills just to keep working ($400 in ER copays in July), and am afraid of making my complex health situation worse to the point I won't be able to work at all.

I know it isn't good business sense for me to keep doing this to myself or for my bosses to try to depend on me.  I want to do the best I can, and physically just haven't been in the shape to even show up.  Augggggh!  And home just goes to pot.  I need desparately to do things around the house tomorrow, and am hoping I will be feeling so much better I can put out a spurt of super energy and actually clean.  Maybe I will be more positive and feeling so much better these last few weeks will disappear into dim memories of misery and my next few years will be fantastic!

The Headache has been behaving this week, just with some jabs/jolts lightening fast pain off and on.  The Belly is better today, so hoping maybe between the antibiotics and the fluid this week I am on the mend.  Otherwise was thinking I should just throw in the towel and give up working.  I am just very very discouraged at my inability to keep my ship afloat this month.  Very very tired too.  sigh.  Hoping for a great Sunday, and a great week next week and the week after!


  1. I hope the mending continues. :) Remember to take care of yourself first!

  2. Steph: Hard to take care of myself when other problems rear their heads. I think I must have a three second attention span!

  3. I hope the antibiotics help you get to the next healing step - with everything. The pediatric needle was a great idea and probably one to bring up soon rather than later if there is a next time. Hang in there and please take it easy on yourself both physically and mentally.

  4. Thanks MP:
    I am feeling some better again today, but am back on pain medication for The Belly. It's just soooooo grouchy!

    Believe me, after umpteen sticks I think I'm gonna have Pediatric IV kit tatooed on my wrist so all can see!

  5. Sorry you felt as crappy as I did this weekend. My neuro told me yesterday when I finally gave in and called him that if I didn't get better he was putting me in the hospital for dehydration, migraine & blood pressure control. That said...I never called him back! I'll wait til I'm dying before I go. I must also say...with your terrible veins, I am glad as hell you're not my patient! =) (heehee)

  6. Jessica: don't wait too long - I started having changes to the back of my eyes from uncontrolled high blood pressure from pain....

    When it comes to veins, nobody wants me as their patient. I'm starting to get a complex! :)

  7. Aww...well I am sure I'd love you as my patient...just not your veins! Plus, you'd have to be having a baby to be my patient. Unfortunately I see alot of pregnant migraine sufferers. Pregnancy is when mine started 7 years ago!

    Well you will be happy to know, I have another call into my neuro right now. BP back up to 120's/100's. My head is pounding, but only about a 6 pain level. I am shaky though. No other symptoms. Scary thing is, I go back to work tomorrow after a 3 mth LOA, I can't go feeling like this. So hopefully he can give me a quick fix. Haha...yeah right!

  8. Good luck Jessica! Maybe a trial of verapamil? Supposed to help some migraineurs and lower the bp at the same time!

    Wow - I could see pregnancy with the bouncing hormone levels and the elevated bp starting a migraine cycle! and limited medication you could take - owwwww.

  9. Dear one I do hope things will improve for you. The constant pain I am sure is not fun to live with. I love how you illustrate your posts! Brings much more to how you express yourself. Blessings and gentle hugs.

  10. JBR: Hoping you have a joyous week! Antibiotics almost always perk me up, don't know why....

    (PS I have more fun making the illustrations than writing the posts!)

  11. I thought about you this weekend. I don't typically read blogs on the weekend (it takes away attention from my husband...and he's like a big kid, so...) but for some reason I realized that I hadn't seen anything from you much this week and it made me wonder if your week had got considerably worse - seems it did. Sounds like you had a terrible experience...12 plus sticks? Oh I don't think I could handle it. My mom is a hard stick too (not quite as hard as you seem to be) but they constantly tell her to drink water before she comes, yet that doesn't help and she always walks away with at least 4-5 new bruises. I still can't believe the amount of dedication you have to your company, or vice versa.... The pediatric IV was a great thinking - too bad someone didn't think of it sooner but I'd definately keep it in mind for next time. I really hope you feel better this week, you definately need a break from feeling terrible!

    BTW - I think this is my favorite illistration yet!

  12. Charlene: Hope your Mom tries the pediatric needle - it went in right away. Woo Hoo!

    I like the picture this time too, especially the crooked needles!

  13. Just came back. Went to see if there were any updated posts on your illustration blog as well. Praying you are doing some what better today. Blessings.

  14. Thanks for stopping JBR - just too sick to do much - trying to work, on second type of antibiotics. sigh