The PICC Line

What is a PICC line?  It stands for “peripherally inserted central catheter.”  On Monday, I went to a nearby hospital and a specialized RN inserted this into a vein in my upper arm and threaded it through that vein to my superior vena cava, a major vein just before the heart.  In my case they inserted it in my left arm.

PICC diagram

I was very nervous about getting this.  Some of my concern was about the process.  Just the thought of an IV line going near my heart kind of freaked me out.  I’m definitely not a pain weenie, I can tolerate a lot of pain, but I have been in SO much constant pain over the last year plus that I did NOT relish more..  You know, the straw and the camels back and all that…  My absolute biggest concern was the threat of my body in an allergic reaction to the adhesive on the dressing.  Blisters and infection at the site of an IV line going straight to my heart, yikes…  Does that sound silly??  Well, back in 2010 my colon had to be removed (more on that later) and after that giant surgery my pain was managed with an epidural for a few days.  You know, a line going into my back with pain blocking medicine?  I was supposed to have it for several days and the anesthesiologist taped it VERY well to my back so it would be secure.  Well, that was all good in theory..  But on about day 3 my body violently protested and my entire back was covered in terrible blisters…  So ever since, my skin reacts to any kind of adhesive from any kind of tape on me for more than about 24 hours.  The RN that put the PICC line in was wonderfully educated on the subject and applied some special skin protectant and a special adhesive dressing, because I’m special you know, lol.

I am happy to report that today is day 3 and all is well!  No blisters.post PICC

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