Battle scars that is a strange title you may say. Why title? The next part of your story battle scars? After I was officially deemed ESRD I had to accept that a catheter was no longer my best option. It did well in the emergency but now I needed something more permanent, and also that was not prone to infection. A chest catheter has a higher infection rate and if at all possible, it is best to get it out.
Thankfully there was a better option. It was called a fistula. This was the best option for me and yes I wanted to get the catheter out of my chest. It was annoying to say the least. Let me try explain what it was like having a catheter. The first thing it would hang out of my chest and it was annoying trying to do my day to day activity and it would get in my way. Not to mention it made me a little self conscience because it looked as though one side of my chest was bigger then the other. Also I could not take a shower or a bath. If it got wet it was more than likely to get infected and I would get sick and then end up in the hospital for a one week vacation which I think many will pass on the hospital vacation.
So after talking to the nephrologist, I was referred to the vein clinic to be have something called vein mapping done. Basically a surgeon would look at my veins in my arm to determined which side would be the best to put it in. After this was completed it was decided that the fistula would go in my lower right arm. This was exciting for me, for my left arm was more dominant and I could use it with no hindrances. After the appointment and determining where the fistula would be placed my surgery date was set.
The day of surgery came and there was no doubt about it, I was nervous and not to excited either for this was the second surgery that I had faced in just a few months. My mom had decided that she would come and be a support. As we were sitting in the prep area the surgeon came and went over the the procedure. During the conversation, my Mom mentioned that I did not sleep much the night before, before the surgeon left she said that he would let the anesthesiologist (A doctor that helps with pain meds or sleeps meds during surgery) know so they would not have to wait so long for me to wake up post surgery. This seemed to be a great idea at the time but during the surgery I started to wake up, and happened to look down and saw my arm open where they were doing the surgery. Some may have found this terrifying but I thought it was interesting. They said he is waking up give him a little bit more meds. The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery area. By the end of the my fistula was in but was worn out and went home and rested.
This was a unique experience. One that many dialysis patients have or may have to experience. There are two ways that people may look at a fistula. One is that my arm looks funny and deformed and it is a real bother or I have a battle scar and have a story to tell of what I have experienced and maybe can help someone else. There are many other things that I can share about my fistula and will do so in a later blog posts. Don’t forget to tune in next week for the next part of this amazing journey. Signing up for transplant. What a unique experience this was, and one you won’t want to miss. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any new and exciting content that is coming up.