Random Musings of a Banded Bad-Ass (not really)....

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bye-Bye Port {kind of an interesting story...well, maybe not}, Part One

So, as you may or may not know, I have had issues with my port site pretty much from the get-go. Following my surgery in February 2010, the port site would closed, but it was always very tender. My surgeon had difficulty locating the port for fills, and after the third fill, the wound slowly began to open up. After several failed rounds of antibiotics and packing the would, there was little improvement. We talked about a possible revision surgery, but it was not in the budget, and even though he could not do any fills, I was at a good level of restriction.

Flash-forward to last August...I went in for a visit and Dr. B. said he though the would looked better (not sure I agreed, but whatever). He told me he would see me in six months, unless I had any complications. Well, complications I had. In early December, another set of small holes opened up just below the wound site, and they gradually got larger, until they became one hole. And behind that hole--white plastic, MY PORT! Oh, crap!

Me, being in denial and thinking I could make the wound close up somehow, did not call Dr. B. right away. Plus, it was the holiday season and I was oh-so-busy. Well, of course, that wound did not close, so I finally made an appointment to see him in early February, for my 2-year Bandiversary.

He was fu-reaked out. Said he had to operate SOON, and wanted to perform two surgeries: First, he would remove my port and scope the tubing and band, to check if the infection had spread and caused an erosion (although he did not suspect so, based on my health and the functionality of the band). Then, after that wound healed in a couple of months or so, he would perform a second surgery, to add the port in another location. He said his surgery coordinator would get me pricing quotes from the hospital and two surgery centers, and that she'd call me. In the meantime, I would speak to the husby.

I got the quote a week later, and it was surprisingly low. $5K for both surgeries if I paid cash, and a considerably higher price if I went through insurance, as they would only cover the scope. Apparently Dr. B had called in some favors, and had the port donated, was giving his service free of charge, and worked out a deal with the ASC to have it listed as cosmetic, for a lower price on their end. I was actually quite pleased.

Then, we had a major family tragedy. My nephew was killed in action in Afghanistan, and it sent the family reeling. There were many, many services, ceremonies, etc. and, of course the grieving and supporting his mom and wife. Another month passed by....Eventually, Dr. B's office reached out to me, and I made an appointment for last Monday, late afternoon. I would be down in the area, as I had agreed to babysit our best [couple] friends' toddler all week, so they could stay at Children's Hospital with their other daughter, who was having surgery of her own.

Well, I could tell Dr. B. was not pleased with me. He was nice, but firm, and kind of scolded me for the delay in follow-up. He said he needed to "remove this port yesterday." He asked if he could schedule surgery for the next day or two, but I had to decline, based on my childcare commitment. I could see the blood rising in his neck, and he went on to tell me that he was leaving the country the following Wednesday, and could not wait until he returned.

He then asks about next Monday or Tuesday (although he says it's not ideal, as he does not like to perform surgery right before leaving he country). I tell him by husband will be traveling, but I can see if I can find someone else to bring me (also not ideal). THEN, as his face begins to get really flushed, he blurts out, "Or, I could just remove it right here, right now." [GASP!]

And after a couple of questions and answers, he began prepping me for a "third world medical procedure" (his words, not mine).

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW (this is way too long, I'm sorry).


  1. OMG... So upsetting to hear your port drama. I hope you get it taken care of soon. So you can enjoy your band without the complications. So sorry, this is happening to you.

  2. OMG, I'm on pins and needles! I hope you're okay!

  3. Wow I am so sorry for what you've been dealing with and I totally relate on. It going to dr and putting it off. Sorry about your nephew