Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Learning to flush the lumens

Happy Valentine's Day!  Here it is, early morning, and for some reason I can't sleep, so I decided to come out in the living room and do an entry.  I love early mornings when it is still quiet. 

So John is still doing well.  So well that the Physician's Assistant has said that he should start coming to 'day hospital' every other day now, starting on Wednesday!  That will give us a day of rest in between the days we will have to go to the hospital.  How nice.  After my chores are done for that day I will get to rest!  And John can rest.  He will like that.  We are also going to start going to go for little walks each day, because the nurses suggested that John do that.  

One thing that is interesting about John going every other day is that I will be flushing off John's lines when he is not in the hospital that day.  This will be for as long as he has the chest port in.  I have heard that some people have their chest ports in for a year!  Anyway, yesterday was the first time I did it by myself.  Well, John and I did it together, back at Hope Lodge.  I was kind of proud of myself.  It is a very simple thing to most, but kind of daunting to me, kind of scary.

In the chest port there are two lines hanging down.  At the bottom of each one is something called a lumen.  These lumens must be kept sterile.  They also must be kept clamped so the blood flow goes back to the heart.  They must be flushed with saline and heprin (I have no idea if I spelled that right) so that no blood clots form.  After they are flushed, they must be reclamped.  The saline and heprin have to be pushed through with these syringe type things.  

If you want to get a little bit of a picture, the chest port has already been surgically implanted into John.  And to stay in place it has stitches around it.  Then the lines come hanging out of the chest port.  They are tubes.  At the ends of the tubes are the lumens.  One is red and one is white.  They are used to draw blood, oradd fluids.  Their purpose is so that there is easy access to the patient, and so the patient doesn't have to get stuck hundreds of times with needles, but just gets treatment through the central line (chest port). 

Anyway, I felt very nurselike while practicing flushing out the lumen yesterday at day hospital.  Then the nurse gave us a little supplies to take to Hope Lodge to practice.  I practiced last night.  You know, John remembered more than I did, lol.  But I called 'Critical Care' yesterday, told them John would be going every other day soon, and they said they would be out on Wednesday to show me again how to do the flushing of the line, and to bring me supplies.  After they show me how to do it, then they are going to watch me do it until I get real comfortable with doing it.  I am real glad I have 'Critical Care'.  'Critical Care' is a service that comes to your home and helps you out with nurses, supplies, etc.  It is paid for by your insurance company. 

So in other news, today is the day John will get the results of the mixed chimerism test.  We are both waiting in anticipation to hear the results.  It will show how much he has engrafted.  That means they are hoping that 90% of the stem cells would be the donor's instead of his.  They did say it was still very early after the transplant and it would be okay if it was not 90% at this stage yet.  

So that's about it.  John and I are both doing well.  Today we are going to have a nice Valentine's Day.  A simple one.  We don't have presents for each other, but we are going to have a pork chop dinner together, with a baked potato and sour cream, and spinach.  Oh, and I got a chocolate cake!  Gotta have chocolate!

Well gotta run, I gotta get ready for Day Hospital with John, everyone have a nice Valentine's Day, and love one another,  Krissy  :) 


  1. Happy Valentine's Day!

  2. Happy Valentines Day :)


  3. Well done for mastering the flushing! It is daunting at first but you'll soon be doing it with ease. I'm so glad John is doing well and I hope the results will be good today. Love Jeannette.

  4. Happy Valentines day.Glad John is doing well.I hope you both enjoy your daily walks that will be nice for you both.Hope it isnt too cold over there.Have a great day.

  5. Happy Valentine's Day friend!

  6. Happy Valentine's Day!!

    I cannot wait for you to post that John is allowed to go home.  He is making such great progress.  A blessed answer to prayer.

    Hugs, LuAnne

  7. I'm proud of you too Krissy ((( happy Valentines Day to both of u ))) Rache xx

  8. Happy Valentine's Day! Hope every day is better and better.

  9. Happy Valentine's Day, Krissy. Will stay in touch to read each new post. Take care, the both of you.


  10. Happy Valentines Day to you both...

  11. Krissy, that is such wonderful news that John can go every other day to the day hospital. That will give you guys just lots of time to rest and regroup on that off day. Awesome!

    I bet you will do great flushing the lumens and will be a pro in no time!


  12. Krissy,

    It sounds as if you are doing wonderful.  Soon, dealing with the chest port will be a piece of cake for you, just a part of the routine.  Just remember, the Lord doesn't give us anything we can't handle, and you can do it!!!  YAY for you!!  AND, yay for John.  It sounds like he is doing great!  I will keep the prayers coming for you both.

    Enjoy your Valentines Day...you are both a fine testament to love....

    be well,

  13. Happy Valentine`s Day to you, Krissy and John.  Thanks for explaining all that to us, it is very interesting hearing all about it.  So you should be proud of yourself too, it can`t be an easy thing to do at first.  Take care my friend. :o)

    Sandra xxxx

  14. John is a very lucky person to have you Krissy. Take care of yourself as well my friend. Hope his test results are good. Hugs.
    Sylvia xxx

  15. Happy Valentine's Day to you and John. Glad he seems to be doing better and better everyday. Gosh, you sound so medically aware now that you'll probably breeze through nursing school if you ever decided to pursue that option. Praying for both of you.

  16. It is so good to hear that John is doing so well!  Wow, Krissy, I could maybe do the port on someone I didn't know, but here you are doing it to John.  I'm so proud of you!  I really miss you.  We are in a crisis here with 2 little girls.  More later.  I live you so much.

  17. Hi,
    Hope you've had a nice Valentine's Day. Just caught up with the journal since January 18th, and it sounds about par for the course. I've dealt with quite a few people in a similar position as John's as a pharmacist. It's a roller-coaster ride, but you seem to be coping admirably. Keep it up, both of you.

  18. happy v day to you two hope you had a good v day you both deserve it

  19. I hope you guys enjoyed your Valentine's Day dinner togrther.  Sounds like John is making progress everyday.   Critical Care sounds like a great service.   Best wishes with John's tests.  Stay strong,       Dawn

  20. glad to see things are coming along for you and John.
    Hope you had a great Valentine's day.
    I'm sure you couldn't ask for a better day than being able to spend it with John who's on his way to better health!

  21. A belated happy Valenitnes to you both! xoxoxoxoxoxox Sassy

  22. PS. Had to add that when I first read this I thought it said--How to flush the lemons! lol Yah--well that too! ;-) Sass

  23. Hello! Krissy - thank you for including me in 'John's journey with MDS
    So pleased that John is 'doing well' You should be proud of yourself helping with John's treatment. 'Critical Care' sounds a great Service.
    Hope things keep improving,for both of you...

  24. I'm so happy things are going well!! Don't know if I would be able to flush the lumens... Does it hurt with everyone pulling on the chest port...
    Your valentine dinner sounds wonderful, hope you had a great valentines!!
    Have a great weekend!
    Linda :)

  25. Hi Krissy!

    Just got caught up on your journal.  Thank God John is doing so well. My friend has a chemo port, it looks like a bottle cap under her skin.  But it doesn't have any lines coming from it.  She had to get it replaced yesterday because it was coming undone or something.

    My prayers are with you both.  I admire that you can do all that!  You're just becoming quite the nursey.  :) Yeah! Gotta keep your strength up-chocolate, chocolate!!

    Take care!


  26. Hi Krissy....Glad things are going well there and that John is improving.  You are brave to change the port "things" - one does what is needed, but I'd be squeemish too at first.  That's a normal reaction, I think.  Thanks for posting your entries.  
    Take care.  Both of you.  And I hope you all had a nice Valentines Dinner.

  27. Good for you for being so brave to do the flushing!  I had to give my daughter Neupogen injections, and it was horrible, every single time!  You are doing a GREAT job taking care of him!  JAE

  28. So glad to hear you guys are doing good. I hope you had a great Valentines day!


  29. I'm so glad to hear that things are going well !  I forgot to turn an alert on to this journal and didn't realize you'd written an entry.  God Bless you both!  'On Ya' - ma