A couple of months ago I was offered the chance to have a power port fitted.
Now you might be asking what on earth a power port is, basically it’s a little purple valve that sits under your skin in your chest and connects to the vein in your neck, and it means that I don’t have to be cannulated in the hand any more when I have treatment.
After 4 years of treatment my veins were starting to become awkward and cannulating my hand was really really starting to play havoc with every vein that I have. So as soon as I got the opportunity to have a port fitted I jumped at it.
Here are a few things I wish I knew before before I got my port fitted;
- OMG. It is so much better than having my hand cannulated. Why I didn’t demand a port 3.5 years ago, I have no idea! The nurses literally just feel for the plate on the front of the port, pop the needle in, and boom, away. No ferreting about in my hand for a vein that works! Plus, no more getting in trouble for moving my hand and making the needle bend and the machine beep. Now the only beeping we hear is when my drug infusions are ending.
- The fitting of it hurts. Well, actually, the fitting didn’t hurt. They used so much anaesthetic that all I could feel was some strange pushing and pulling under my skin. But after the fitting hurts. And I was told it didn’t. But I won’t lie to you – it was crazy tender for a couple of weeks afterwards. I fully in the camp of believing that the pain was worth it though.
- You’ve got to be careful with yourself. This isn’t something I am very good at. About 2 weeks ago I threw a kettlebell at my chest without remembering it was there. I can’t remember to wear cross body bags the other way round. The dogs still climb all over me. Every so often I am reminded the hard way there is a small metal device sitting in my chest!
- It feels strange in your neck until it settles down. But I suppose that is to be expected if there’s a tube in your vein. Now, it just sits a little proud, my Deirdre Barlow vein, if I turn my head in a certain way.
- Power ports have lumps. And it turns out if said port moves under your skin, the lumps show. I found this out after wearing a really tight life jacket whilst sailing just after having it fitted. Ooooops.
Despite the few downsides to it, as I mentioned in point 1, it is so so so much better than having my veins poked and prodded every three weeks. I am still yet to have a scan with the port, but that’s coming up in a few weeks so we’ll see how that goes. But so far, my port and I are besties!