Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Journey Continues

August 2006 my dh started having a weekly infusion. It started with home health nurses coming to our home weekly to give his infusions via IV. My dh has veins that aren't easy to access so the nurses would put in his IV in his hand - which is quite painful in & of itself. After dealing with the IV needles & home health nurses & taking every Friday off for months so I could be there & reconstitute the drugs for the infusion; dh finally had a port installed.

We were finally able to completely do his infusions on our own! It was wonderful that we didn't have to schedule around nurses, emergencies, etc. I quickly learned how to sterilize my hands and then sterilize the area around the port before inserting the huber needle with supervision from the home health nurse. The first time I inserted the needle I had the expert guidance of Deb, our favorite home health nurse. She guided my hand and showed me how much pressure (quite a lot actually) I had to apply to get it through the skin and the port cushion.

Our life became remarkably "easier" at this point. We could take the drugs and the medical supplies with us when we travelled. Family & friends were not one bit taken aback when we asked if we could do the infusion at their kitchen table! They all have been very supportive of us both. My dh has been marvelous - he doesn't complain even when I push the needle in too slowly and it pinches him. The other day, we both had colds/allergies and weren't feeling well but we tried to do his infusion anyway. I scrubbed up & had the surgical mask on through the entire process. I sterilize the port area and tried twice to access the port - both times the needle bounced off the edge of the port (which isn't real comfortable). We decided to scrub it for that day. We tried again a few days later and were totally successful. Stuff happens and we try not to let it bother us too much.

The next installment will be a summary of all of the wonderful people we've met over the past year - the great friendships, the super flow of information, and the caring individuals that are involved in the Alpha-1 community. See you then!

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