So. I got the Hickman out today. I do NOT recommend the procedure to anyone.
Notwithstanding my ill-advised foray into the previously-discussed google territory, this was still an unpleasant experience, to say the least. I knew I was in trouble when the PA (who was really great, regardless of said misery) said, "Well, the good news is that your body heals really well. The bad news is that you've really healed right around this, so I'm going to have to cut a little bit to loosen it up and dislodge it."
It turns out that all my fears of pulling the line out accidentally were unfounded in the extreme. I knew I was in further trouble when she said, "Yup. This line wasn't going anywhere. You could have pulled all day. It's good and attached."
This is probably a good time to remind you that the only substance I was on at the time was local lidocaine. I do blame the BBDD for his offhand remark, "It sounds pretty simple, so you'll probably be out in like 20 minutes, huh?" I jokingly yelled, "Don't jinx me, dude!" When it was all over he said, "See? It was only twenty minutes." I replied, "Yeah, but 17 of those, she was cutting me open and scraping out my vein! I blame YOU!" Apparently I had been doing a good job of not telegraphing my physical and mental situation throughout the procedure because he had no idea I was in hell for the entire time.
After the first 5 minutes made it clear that there was going to be some cutting and scraping, which hurt no matter how much lido she was injecting, I started feeling like I was going to barf or pass out. So I just started talking to myself and staring at the ceiling: "OK sister, you better shut this sh*t down right now. No barfing. No passing out. It'll be over soon. Suck it up. @#$%%^&*^^%$$!!!! No wimping out! You are not a weenie. Do not be a weenie. You gotta shut this drama down now." And so I went to my special place in my head where I am me, yelling at me in a somewhat Mr. T kind of voice, expressing disdain for anyone who needs to barf or pass out from pain. Pretty sad that Mr. T is in my Special Place yelling "Eat your greens! Stay in school!, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, the A-Team be damned.
So the good news is that Mr. Hickman is gone. Although, remember all my excitement about showering without him? The bad news is that the only caveat for my Hickman wound is the following:
"Do not bathe for two days." Aaah, Hickman: Gone but not forgotten.