Oh the joys of showering with a central line… Let’s talk about that!
I’ve had several people ask me about the showering method I’ve come to love the most over the years. It’s a bit tricky to answer, because I’ve had all types of lines. So I thought I’d share my tips to showering with all of them!
I left you on that first port infection cliff hanger, so that’s where we’re starting today! In the summer of 2011, after my senior year in high school.
Central line infections are no joke! They can lead to sepsis and even death if not treated properly. I had gone five years without getting an infection, which is pretty impressive. But this led me to believe there was no way I could get one even though I’d been warned about them since the first day. Chills, fever, body aches – this list sounds a lot like the symptoms of many illnesses, doesn’t it – especially the flu. The kicker was that my “flu” only happened at night when I was infusing TPN. I should have realized way faster than I did.
I finally connected the dots, accepted what was probably happening and ended up in the ER. They immediately started me on antibiotics. After several days, when my cultures (blood tests that are observed for several days to see if they grow bacteria) came back clear, I was sent home on IV antibiotics.
Hey! Welcome back! Several concerned friends of mine have asked if I intend on continuing to put out new content here every single day. There’s truly no way I could keep up with that flow. Honestly, I’m trying to get my story churned out as quickly as possible. My ultimate goal is to get to sharing content full of tips and tricks that I’ve learned through the years that will hopefully help those of you who deal with similar struggles. I am so excited to get to that point, so I’m working as hard as I can to get there quickly! So let’s get to it!
So now I’m NPO, have my NG tube and I’m getting fluids. Then, they start talking about other new things – how’s this girl going to get her nutrition because it’s pretty clear that food isn’t working out for her? Unfortunately, I was not invited to a lot of these talks. So I’m not really sure how they arrived at the conclusion to go straight to TPN, which is stands for Total Parenteral Nutrition, essentially meaning IV nutrition.
In order to administer TPN, you must first have central access. A normal IV is peripheral access, basically meaning it goes into the branches of your circulatory system. While central access, which could include ports, PICC lines, Hickman and Groshong lines, go directly into the large veins or trunk of your circulatory system.