Pesky port-a-cath's and infections

It's been a while - my mum and sister came over to visit so I've been spending as much time as possible with them which has meant the blog has taken a back seat.  However I've found myself with plenty of time on my hands at the moment as I've been admitted to Guy's Hospital.

Modelling this season's pink evening wear
So the port a cath, which is meant to be at less risk of infection than the PICC line, became infected, and after only five weeks.  On Monday my port-a-cath wound and neck became red, hot and sore, quite suspiciously like an infection.  I called the Acute Oncology team and they sent me to St George's A&E.

We were triaged at 2230 and it took until after midnight for them to poke and prod and try and find some veins to do a blood test.  Unfortunately, because of the chemo, my veins have all collapsed so it took a couple of nurses two attempts each before they were able to draw any blood.  We were then taken through to Major Trauma where a doc saw me and I managed to convince him not to admit me but to dose me up with antibiotics and send me home on the promise that I would call Acute Oncology first thing Tuesday morning.  I crawled in to bed at 3.30 am

Left alone in A&E...
I awoke on Tuesday morning feeling hot hot hot, and I was.  My temperature was 39! The poor Uber driver - I wonder how many people have jumped in his car wearing their pj's!  Acute Oncology got me in to a room, took my temp - 39.8 - tried to cannulate me but those pesky veins just kept collapsing.  They resorted to using an ultra sound to find a deep vein.  Cannula in, it was being protected like it was the crown jewels.

Having bloods taken from the port-a-cath
It was then that they broke the good news - I was going to be admitted as I needed antibiotics via IV.  I tried to explain that it was mum and Rachel's last night in the UK and couldn't I just go home, but to be honest, I wasn't really in much shape to put up a fight so they won.  Apart from my one night in A&E, I've never stayed in hospital before and it's definitely not something on my bucket list...  There were lots of obs (heart rate: high, temp: high and blood pressure: low) taken every hour throughout the night, lots of fluids - paracetamol, flucloxacillin, saline and then there was peeing in a pot!  Thankfully I was still feverish so slept in between being woken by the nurses.

Wednesday 12 September, mum and Rachel's last day in the UK and I was stuck in hospital...  I was hoping to sneak out and have lunch with them but unfortunately I was NBM (nil by mouth) as I was going to have the pesky port-a-cath out.

Feast post pesky port-a-cath
Thankfully mum and Rachel got to see me feeling much better after having it out.  It's always tough saying good bye but even tougher when you're saying good bye from hospital.  It certainly doesn't make you feel any better when you're then told that it's highly likely you'll be in until at least Friday.

Thursday 13 September, not such a great night's sleep but feeling so much better and my temp, heart rate and blood pressure were all back to normal.  I had the pleasure of meeting the microbiology team  on their morning rounds and they informed me I most likely had a staph infection and that would require two weeks of IV antibiotics.  In order to be discharged from hospital, my bloods would need to show they were infection free and it would take 48 hours for them to culture the bloods: best case scenario the results would be back on Saturday, but nothing happens on a Saturday so I'd be in hospital until Monday at least...

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