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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Picc line questions

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Author Topic: Picc line questions
Ellen101
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I may need to go the picc line route and I was wondering if others could share their experiences in regards to insertion of the line, maintenance, restrictions etc.

I was a littel freaked out in reading how exactly the line gets inserted but perhaps I will feel better after hearing from others.

Posts: 1747 | From United States | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cht girl
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I've had my PICC line for 13 months, did not hurt putting it in, only need to flush once a day for maintenance and do a weekly sterile dressing change. I got an order from my LLMD for my husband to be trained on changing the dressing from a home infusion nurse so we don't have to pay for a weekly nursing visit if insurance stops covering, easy to do. You can't get the PICC line wet, so no swimming, otherwise, I do anything I want with it and don't really think about it, including light weight routine, etc... I think the benefit of being this well has been completely worth it, only wish I could have had IV meds sooner.....

Try to not worry, ain't no big deal!

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Maryland Mom
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I've had four PICCs over a seven year period, and honestly, it does not hurt to have them put in. And when one of my teenage daughters got a PICC for her Lyme treatment, she was pleasantly surprised how easy and pain-free it was--and she's a huge needle phobic!

I don't think I could have ever fully recovered from Lyme without IV abx, and I too felt the benefits of the PICC were huge.

With just a little practice and instruction from a home health care nurse, they are pretty simple to maintain. I had my last PICC for 18 months, never had any complications with any of them.

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marypart
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You can get a Dry-Pro PICC cover and swim to your heart's content. My son did. He used it for the shower, too.

--------------------
Son, 26, Dx Lyme 4/10, Babs 8/10
Had serious arthritis, all gone.
Currently on Valtrex
Daughter, 26,bullseye 7/11
arthritis in knees, cured and off all meds. .
Self:Lyme, bart, sxs gone, no longer treating.

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jlcd1
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where do you get that cover?
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birdie67
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So nice to hear the positives about the PICC line.

Looks like I will be going that route too, just waiting on approval from my insurance.

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Ellen101
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Has anyone had any problems with employers? I am not sure if my employer will have an issue with it. There is the potential for it getting touched/grabbed etc by others due to my line of work.

What about lifting or other restrictions? Did most of you who went the picc line route do so due to neuro issues? Most of my issues are physical pain, wondering if it will be effective for that.

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WendyK
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I've had mine in since the beginning of April. The arm and shoulder area were a bit tender for me for a few days, but now I barely notice it doing routine stuff. The home health nurse comes once per week to do the dressing change, and I do the IV each night and line flushing.

I also got a dry-pro cover. Its so much better than plastic wrap or something like that, although I think I got the wrong size - it will do for showers, but I wouldn't dare swim in it.

I was also instructed to not lift more than 10 lb with that arm or do repetitive motion type activities. I have been able to do some pretty intense work in my garden though, shoveling and things. My chest in the picc area does start to feel a bit strange/achy if I do too much, but it hasn't been bad at all.

It has been well worth the temporary inconveniences! I got the picc after a plateau'd on the orals, and made a great jump in progress on the rocephin. Good luck!

Oh, and no problems with my employer, although I don't have anyone grabbing me. Actually, until today, when I wore a shorter sleeve shirt there for the first time since getting it, I hadn't realized most people didn't even know it was there. They were wondering about the sock on my arm today though (I did find a nice coordinating one!).

--------------------
Wendy

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sammy
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Take the day off when you get the PICC placed, you arm may be sore and achy afterwards. I was stupid and worked my full regular shift after placement, my coworkers had no empathy.

Your arm may be achy and sore for the first couple days after placement. It helps to apply warm compresses to the insertion site, this relaxes the veins to relieve pain. You can also take ibuprofen if you are not already on an NSAID.

When you sleep you may want to tuck a rolled up tee shirt or small pillow between your arm and your rib cage. I found this helped a lot with pain. It helped keep me from rolling over and sleeping on my arm and it also helped keep my arm from laying directly on my ribs. You don't typically think about these things causing pain but when you wake up every day hurting you figure it out!

Invest in the Drypro PICC cover. Purchase directly from the DryPro website or call and they can help you pick the right size. They are super nice. I had a difficult time with the sizing and they assisted me. My cover sealed well and lasted well over a year. It worked great. Never had to worry.

Also, you might not like the look of cut off socks as a PICC cover. There are alternatives! My favorites were "Tubifast Bandage" by Molnlycke. It comes on roll, you cut off the length that you want. It will look good for at least a week of normal wear. You can also wash it. It is very soft, stretchy, and breathable. It is nice neat white and covers up the PICC line so that no one has to know that you have an IV.

See it here: http://www.allegromedical.com/wound-care-c541/tubifast-bandage-p551797.htm

I also liked the "Hold Tite Tublar Stretch Bandage" by Curad (it is latex free). You can find it at most pharmacies and stores like walmart. Buy the size large, it runs small. This is similar to what they will put on your arm after they place the picc in the hospital. It will help hold your extension tubing up in place, keep it from getting in the way at home. At box should only be a couple dollars at the local store.

See it here (price is for a case, that is why it is expensive): http://www.allegromedical.com/wound-care-c541/curad-hold-tite-large-p559452.html

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sammy
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I worked with children when I had my PICC line in. My job was very physical, high risk of my arm being grabbed, picc pulled, etc...

It was my personal job to be extra cautious and ever on the alert to watch the kids and protect myself. This is difficult.

I kept my PICC covered with the Tubifast for cover and the stretch net as extra security. Then I always wore long sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, and elbow sleeves. If I got hot I pushed my sleeves up to my elbows.

This way my PICC was physically protected with the covers. Visually protected with the shirts. The kids did not know that I was sick. They did not know that I had the PICC so they did not know to reach for it (or else they might have tried...).

Also, when you are going into a room with a potentially upset or violent person, always position yourself with an safety/escape route. If the tension is rising, stay calm, scoot towards the door... I'm sure you've received training.

You'll be OK. Just keep the PICC covered!

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dbpei
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Ellen, it looks like I will be starting the IV Picc line too. We can be a support to one another while starting with this treatment. Hopefully, it will be worth all the effort and expense.
Posts: 2351 | From New England | Registered: Aug 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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