Line Management

With the stem cell harvesting completed it’s now a waiting game.

I am due to return to Nottingham for a consultation on 11th Sept. to find out when exactly the final phase of treatment will take place, though tentatively it is to be in October in Nottingham.

Neither the fitting of the Hickman Line nor the stem cell harvesting was as onerous as I feared nor as problematic as suggested. I sense that the doctors and nurses always give the most cautious of predictions and it’s better to feel it’s happened more smoothly and quickly than expected rather than the opposite.

One thing I had not appreciated, in the plethora of information I was given and the outset of this second phase, was the requirement to have the Hickman Line checked.

My Line must be checked once every 7 days or less. The purpose to prevent infection and to ensure the Line works effectively. The frequency of these checks combined with the car issue and the moving house poses some problems.

(In a previous post you will note our newly bought and parked car was smashed off the road by a reckless van driver. It is likely that the damage is so great that will be a write off; we had it for just two days!. We currently have a courtesy car but once our car is written off we have just a week to buy a new car with the money!)

We have already decided that it makes no sense to transfer my treatment to MK mid way and resolved to keep within the Nottingham/ Lincoln system already set in motion. So although as of today we have a house in MK, I will not be moving in as of yet. This to allow for my Line to be checked locally. It means a further period of separation but needs must.

The diary of checks works as follows:

24/8 Hickman Line fitted
29/8 Stem Cell Harvest / Line Check
31/8 Neck Stitch Removed* / Line Check
6/9 Line Check
11/9 *Consultant Appointment/Line Check

The time between stitch removal and consultant appointment is too great a gap for the line check and so enforces an extra check next week, whilst the uncertainty over the car makes it best to do it here in Lincoln where I have easy access to the hospital (using mum’s car) rather than Nottingham which is more remote. So although Anita and I will have a halfway meet on Saturday to transfer house items and daughter. She will return to MK and I to Lincoln for a further week. 🙁

The Line Check itself consist of a number of things.

  1. Into each of the two lumen (lines) saline solution is injected.
  2. A mix of saline and blood extracted. This to ensure the Line is open and no clotting is occuring.
  3. Heparin -a blood thinning agent is also injected into each Line
  4. Dressings are removed
  5. Wounds are checked for signs of infection
  6. Area swabbed with alcohol
  7. Dressings reapplied

The dressings are both transparent and waterproof which allows me to shower. I will repeat the above regularly over the next few weeks.

Hopefully most in Nottingham with a commute from MK once the car is sorted!

5 thoughts on “Line Management

  1. Good luck with everything!! I had a bone marrow transplant for aplastic anaemia in 2009. I seemed to eat Hickman and Grosjean lines! I remember it all too well. X

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