Wait. What? my mistake. I thought they were looking for an Interventional Radiologist. Damn. What a great job that would be.
I have been known to spend many hours with my nose buried up to my frontal sinus in a medical book, like the Merck Manual or the Physicians Desk Reference...yum! However, I became a WebMD when Al Gore invented the Internet. Wow! My career took off! Then I was able to fulfill my interest (and make money) in medicine by becoming a radiology transcriptionist, providing me with an endless supply of fascinating cases to read.
On Tuesday, the day I had my port-a-cath implanted, I had an upclose and personal exposure to the Interventional Radiology Department of UVa. To say that I thoroughly enjoyed the process is indeed an understatement. I know, I'm sick (and I mean in the I-love-this-stuff kind of way.) The department runs like clockwork - as I wish all departments did. They hooked me up to the mandatory IV and even drew my labs that were necessary for the next day's chemo - damn efficient.
At about 11 am, I said toodles to Chuck, who was eager to get to the cafeteria, and off I went with Nurse Debby to the surgical room, which was lit up like High Mass, as Mom used to say. I think it actually had stadium lights in the ceiling, along with a gigantic move-around-able x-ray machine. I had to wear a mask and have my head and face covered so I couldn't see a damn thing! I so wanted to watch, but they prefer the patient to keep her nosey little face and grubby hands out of the sterile field. Nurse Debby asked how "in or out" I wanted to be. Well, since I can't watch, I'd like to listen! She pushed in just the right amount of the ever-appreciated conscious sedation cocktail to keep me happy and fascinated. It was so cool!
An ultrasound was performed over my neck, which, according to the tech, demonstrated a "garden hose of a jugular!" Well, I do aim to please. At about that time, the interventional radiologist, Dr. A, made his appearance and got busy! An incision was made in my neck for the guidewire, and a larger incision was made in my pretty chest to accommodate the port, which looks this:
The thing is threaded through a vein to a point just above my ever-loving heart. I could have made this much more gruesome, but I just realized not everyone shares my enthusiasm for ooginess.
This is what I looked right after the procedure:
Nurse Debby suggested that I might want to stop by the cosmetic surgery department and order some breast implants. At my age, girlie, we don't need implants, we need a staple gun! Just pull 'em up and chagunck, chagunck (staple gun sound effects) right below the shoulders. $14.95 at Home Depot.