Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Talented Mr. Hickman

He's under my skin and close to my heart. And he scores me some oxycodone to boot.

What a guy!

I'm speaking, of course, of my Hickman catheter. It's the one I mentioned earlier that is inserted through an incision near your shoulder, fed through the artery (vein?) and brought out through an exit hole in the chest. The lumens (small cables) attached to it allow them to take or give blood and to give meds directly, without having to keep sticking my already overtaxed veins.

I was strangely not at all nervous about getting it done, mostly because I was assured it would be done under "conscious sedation." It means that they don't render you unconscious; they simply make you not care that someone is feeding a tube through your veins via a hole they've just opened on your chest. It works, y'all. I could hear the doctors talking, could answer the anesthesiologist when she'd ask me if I was doing okay, could feel the pressure/small amount of sharp pain as they did whatever it was they were doing, but I simply didn't care. It was like I was in a weird altered state. I'm glad I didn't actually speak because sometimes I'd hear the doctors talking and think they were saying something else. I kept thinking they were talking about friends of mine, or mentioning how they'd hung out with my friends, or at one point, how friendly they thought my family's dog was. Then I'd have a brief one-second flash that it wasn't really happening and so would not say, "Yeah! Isn't he cute!?" Very weird, but all in all, a pretty cool experience; especially for someone who has never done any kind of illegal drug. Now I know why it's hard to Just Say No when you're too busy Just Saying Yes to questions no one has actually asked you or to statements not actually being made. Good times, good times.

Of course now Mr. Hickman is aching, so I asked the nurse for some Tylenol. She came back with a small pill and said, "They have you down for oxycodone for pain." Oh, okay. If you insist! Man, Mr. Hickman is a bad influence isn't he? Two Jimi Hendrix Experiences in one day...

Chemo starts tomorrow so I'll have more stories from that, I'm sure. In the meantime, I'm spending my first night with Mr. Hickman, and like all of my evening exploits, I'll be fabulous; he will be simply mediocre.


Anonymous said...

You're amazing. Better living through chemistry my friend.

Vigilante said...

Hickman? Hickman? the only Hickman I know of is Jim Hickman. And even he had his non-mediocre moments.