Me and my Port

Tubing in place waiting for the nurse to attach the pump and the medicine.

I debated on whether or not I wanted to share this, then I reminded myself that one of the reasons I started this blog was to remind people living with a chronic illness that they are not alone and that there isa community of people dealing with a shared experience.

As most of you know, I have an autoimmune disease called dermatomyositis. I was diagnosed with it 7 years ago and 2 years ago my doctor decided that monthly IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin basically blood plasma)infusions would be the best treatment for this condition. Thus far, the treatment has been quite successful but the one caveat is that I’m what nurses would call a “hard stick”meaning it is difficult to place an iv in my arms or even draw blood for testing. My veins are small and deep underway skin and they roll. This is a terrible combination for someone who has to get an iv in on a monthly basis. It was a nightmare. On average I would get stuck a minimum of 4 times trying to get a good vein. Once a vein was found and the iv was placed, the iv wouldn’t last the duration of the 4 day treatment and I would have to repeat the process again after a day or 2.

With hesitation I decided to get a port place in my chest receive the infusion treatment easily. Whats a port you ask? Its a small device placed under the skin, usually in the chest used to carry medicine into the bloodstream. Its usually used by people being treated for cancer. I was hesitant handout getting it for 2 reasons. First, vanity. I didn’t wasn’t a scar visible on my chest and I taught it would limit my fashion choices. Secondly I didn’t want to walk around with a foreign device in my body. It was a very quick out patient procedure (20 minutes tops) and 0 recovery time. Once I got the port placed and got my first infusion I was mad I didn’t get sooner. The scar isn’t big or very noticeable. Its made my infusion run so much smoother. Its been almost 9 months since Ive had it with no adverse effects. I would encourage anyone who is a “hard stick” with a chronic illness that calls for IVIG I would encourage them to get it.

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