Shortly after Kellen and my new nurse came onto shift my IV became blocked. They told me that they'd need to take the current one out and place it again. I put my big girl pants on, held Kellen's hand, and let the nurse try two different times. She finally said that she wasn't going to get it so she called in the most experienced nurse on the surgical floor I was on. She came in, tried twice, and couldn't get it either. By now I'm sure Kellen's hand was starting to bruise. This nurse conceded and it was decided to call the most experienced nurse in oncology to come up and try. She ended up getting it (just barely) on the first try. This IV was now in the top of my left hand. (I STILL have a bruise on the top side of my left forearm from the second nurse's attempt...)
By the time the final IV was placed my nurse, Kellen, and I were exhausted from the ordeal! Maybe more me, but we were thrilled to have it over for sure. It was late and I decided to try and doze off. Side note: my good friend Danny had stopped by and brought me a few of his old button up work shirts earlier that day. One of my favorite (lounge) outfits in the world is a men's button up shirt and a pair of my short sweat shorts. I could live in them if I could. I was so excited that he brought those for me; I went to bed that night in my favorite one of the few and I was just as comfortable as could be. Between the new comfy outfit and the exhaustion from the activities of the evening, I fell asleep fast and was sleeping hard...until...
This picture is from the beginning of last summer (I think) but it is the perfect example of the clothing that I would wear 24/7 if it were acceptable, and the clothing that I had on this evening in the hospital. A comfy men's button up shirt and comfy short shorts...love!
About 3:30am I woke up because my chest was cold. I was sleeping on my back and had my left hand (IV hand) resting on my chest with my right hand down by my side. When I opened my eyes and looked down all I could see was red. I slowly lifted my hand straight up from my chest and it was dripping blood from the pads of each of my fingers and my palm. Clearly it was sitting in a pool of blood. I looked at my chest and my shirt was literally soaking in blood from my neck down (I later saw that it was down to my hips). I have this really weird quality about myself where I can handle emergencies perfectly so I didn't panic, I just calmly used my non-bloody hand to press for the nurse. It took Kellen about ten seconds to show up in my doorway. He walked in and said "I was just coming in to do...we'll probably have to wait on vitals actually...I'm gonna go get your nurse...we'll be right back."
Him and my nurse were back in no time and they both went right to work. The nurse stopped the IV and wrapped what was left of the IV site and Kellen started cleaning up my bloody hand. I sat and shivered as I was beyond cold at this point. I was so nervous that I had flat out ripped out my IV and that they'd have to try and redo it yet again. I watched my nurse very closely as she examined the site and equipment to determine exactly what had happened. Eventually she came to the conclusion that the IV tubing had simply come untwisted from the actual IV and so long as I hadn't clotted it could likely just be twisted back on and we could continue it's use!!! Before we could test that though, we had to clean up all of the blood. It looked so much worse than it actually was as the bloody mess was at least half saline from the IV bag.
Who knows how long this had been leaking all over me; when we removed my shirt there were dried blood stains all over my hips, stomach, and chest. By now I had been in the hospital for so long and at everyone else's mercy that I honestly had no shame. I was very sick and I couldn't do many things for myself. Both Kellen and the nurse were the assigned caregivers for me that evening and this was the epitome of work and professionalism for them both. It took the three of us to get me undressed, cleaned up, redressed, and the sheets/bedding changed.
This picture is actually of the original IV that was removed from me earlier that evening. Who knew that there is THAT much tubing inside your vein when you have an IV?! It definitely freaked me out a little bit. You're welcome for sharing.
After the mess had been cleaned up it was time for my nurse to try and reconnect the IV. Kellen and I both said silent prayers as she screwed the line back to the IV and went for the unlock switch thingy on the line. They watched and I paid attention to the feeling in my hand and at the same time we all realized that it was still working and there was no clot!!! Huge sighs of relief came from all of us! They packed and taped the IV very tightly so that it wouldn't budge and with that the ordeal came to an end. By the time all was said and done and I was good to go back to sleep it was about 5am and my blood draw lady was there to poke me. The hospital morning routine started: blood draw, order breakfast, eat breakfast, take my pills, try to take a morning nap but get interrupted by my hospitalist doing rounds, etc. Speaking of morning pills...
And these are just my morning pills...and don't forget that the IV was filling me with more meds too.