Getting the PICC Line Inserted

29/06/2020

I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma on Friday 20th December 2019 and I got the PICC line inserted on the 23rd December 2019, in case I decided to start treatment that Friday. I was so nervous to get this done as I hate needles, and the thought of having a long tube inserted near my heart made me feel sick. My family came with me that day and I was allowed my dad in with me. The procedure itself didn't take that long and the nurse was so lovely and made me feel at ease. I had to lay down on my back on a bed with a blue sheet over my arm. To be honest I didn't look much at it as I didn't want to see what was happening. There was an ultrasound machine that showed what vein was the best to use which was quiet fascinating to see. There was also this tiny object thing, that was placed on my chest to check that all of the line was sitting in the vein correctly. 

I had to have local anaesthetic to numb the vein, this I wont lie did hurt and I near cried especially when I needed two doses. Once the anaesthetic had started to work I didn't feel a thing. The nurse cut a tiny hole in my vein and fed the tube through. It was done so quickly and I didn't feel the tube go in at all. 

Afterwards you have to get a chest xray to make sure the tube is sitting in the correct area and not pressing to near the heart. Thankfully mine was sitting fine. 

The PICC line has been my friend because I didn't need any more needles, bloods and my treatment was giving through it and you don't feel a thing. I really would recommend getting one if you are unfortunately in the position as chemotherapy can cause your veins to hurt and most people end up needing to get one inserted in the end. 

However it can be a pain as you are not allowed to get it wet so I had to wear this waterproof covering in the shower which done my head in as it was so tight on to not let the water in, so having a normal nice shower was off the cards. Sleeping also was a pain as if you lay on it, it could hurt. I had many mornings waking up with a sore arm as I would of rolled over and slept on the line.

Sometimes if you lay a certain way you may get palpitations, but I was told not to worry about that, only if it kept happening, I just had to lay a different way. 

I am so glad I got the PICC line, it saved treatment time and pain, it isn't nice to have to look down at it all the time, having a tube hanging from your arm for around 7 months really makes you know you are not well but it was worth it. 

My PICC line while receiving chemotherapy 

The waterproof covering I had to wear when having a shower