Day -8: The Countdown Begins

We’re up at 6am, and I spend some time with devotions and praying before a quick breakfast and some last minute packing and we’re off to HSC.

At our 8:15am appointment the PICC line is installed and it was an easy procedure (for me) but quite an amazing process performed by two excellent nurses. First they use an ultrasound device to evaluate your veins, and apparently mine are excellent and they pick their preferred target and mark the location. Then they measure how long to make the tubing which runs from your arm (my left arm) to just above my heart, 47cm. Then the arm is draped, the area sterilized and a sensor is placed on my chest. The sensor lets them know when the tip of the PICC tubing reaches the correct location near my heart. Next I’m injected with some local freezing and then a needle is guided into the vein. A guide wire is inserted into the needle and threaded down the vein to its destination. Once that’s in place the PICC tubing is fed over top of the guide wire and then the guide wire is removed. The external end of the PICC line is attached to my arm with a StatLock which holds the tubing and seals the entry point. A gauze bandage wraps around the whole thing and I’m off for an x-ray to confirm the placement of the tip of the line. Once the placement is confirmed, I’m free to go and the whole thing takes about 90 minutes.

Check-in time at my new digs is 1pm, so we head off to Stella’s on Sherbrook for some brunch followed by a brief drop in visit with Mandy, Easton & Clark and then its back to HSC.

My Mexican Breakfast brunch at Stella’s

We’re COVID screened at the HSC front door, processed by admissions and then up to the ward on the 6th floor. At this point there is a locked door with a phone where we are screened again with a bunch of different questions before being buzzed in, basically it’s like Fort Knox. Once in we’re greeted by Shannon, my nurse for today, who shows us around the floor and directs us to my room.

My view for the next 21+days

After getting unpacked Shannon returns and I get weighed, measured, various body parts are listened to, poked and prodded and I answer a lot of questions about all kinds of medical things. We’re introduced to the Physician Assistant, Sung, who repeats the process with a few additional questions. Between the two of them they explain what will be taking place during my stay and answer all our questions. They are very nice and kind to us both and make us feel quite comfortable and reassured.

So, what does it look like, this place where I’ll be hanging out? Let me give you a tour, it won’t take long, I promise. 😉

Welcome to my room: 643
The TV and behind Shirley is my workstation.
My bed & chair

And of course no day would be complete without the hospital tray dinner of a yummy grilled chicken thigh, plain rice, and broccoli. Milk, tea and a coconut dessert. I eat it all.

Dinner #1