I am happy to say that Namine’s PICC line is finally out. It was a fairly uneventful process, with one minor hiccup. Namine never ceases to amaze me.
The plan was for the three of us – Jessica, Namine, and myself – to go to the hospital together. However, Jessica is has been feeling under the weather, so she stayed home while I took Namine in.
Before the PICC line could be removed, she had to have a blood draw. One more for the road, you might say. Levels in her blood needed to be checked – one that stands out in my mind is her INR, because it has fluctuated so much recently, though there are more – so they needed to fill four vials before removing anything.
The problem was, after flushing it with saline, they couldn’t get a blood return. Even the flush was difficult to do; they suspected there to be some fibrin preventing the blood from coming back out. Without a successful blood return, they obviously couldn’t do a blood draw.
They gave me two choices. They could put something in Namine’s line (I forget what) that would break up the fibrin so they could do a painless blood draw, but it would mean a half hour of waiting for it to take effect. Or they could remove the line immediately, and we could visit the lab for a good old fashioned poke and blood draw.
I didn’t mind waiting another half hour, but I put the decision to Namine. She thought for a moment. Then she surprised me.
Let’s take my line out now. Then I can get poked for my blood draw, and we can go home.
I admit I expected her to take the painless way out, which also would have meant delaying the PICC line removal, which I knew she dreaded. But she approached the situation rationally, and opted for the choice that would get us home more quickly. I’ve seen her make choices based on cost-benefit analysis before, and it’s always awesome to see.
For Namine, the worst part of any line removal, even a simple IV, is the adhesive. Tegaderm is unapologetically sticky, and rightfully so. Combine that with her especially sensitive skin (so much so that it is classified as an allergy), and you have a recipe for pain. But Namine is a trooper. She cried for a moment while the removed the adhesive, but she sat still and let the nurses do their job.
Next stop was the lab for the blood draw. There’s absolutely nothing eventful for me to write about here, because Namine sat perfectly still. If anything, she was impatient for the lab tech to get a move on. Namine counted down for the nurse to stick the needle in, and sat perfectly still, waiting for the blood to fill the vials.
Namine was quite proud of herself, and rightly so. She was a little disappointed that she still can’t take a normal bath – the tegaderm over the PICC line site needs to remain in place for another 24 hours – but it’s nothing she’s not already used to.