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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Ow! Post-picc arm pain

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Author Topic: Ow! Post-picc arm pain
Curiouser
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I had left arm pain the entire time the picc was in. Just figured it was part of the experience or from overuse.

The picc's been out for over a month now and I'm still having the same pain in the inside of my upper arm and armpit.

I talked to the PA at the LLMD's office and she suggested it was "phantom pain" and dropped the subject.

I don't necessarily buy into that because the area is tender to the touch.

Anyone else have this happen? If so, what was it?

And how do you go about getting whatever-it-is diagnosed if your main doc thinks it's all in your head? [bonk]

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If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. - Lewis Carroll

Posts: 356 | From Body-PA, Mind-elsewhere | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Curiouser
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Really POed my left arm the other day while driving to the llmd and back.

Pain's a little better today but still there.

Found the vein's hard where it hurts. I can feel it inside my arm.

It's the same place where they ran the picc.

Dunno what to do. Not quite sure it's ER-worthy but the pain is limiting what I can do.

Any ideas? Anyone?

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If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. - Lewis Carroll

Posts: 356 | From Body-PA, Mind-elsewhere | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sixgoofykids
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Sorry, Curi, with the board not working right, a lot of us aren't posting. [Frown]

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Curiouser
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Thanks Six. [Smile]

Yeah, figured as much. Just kinda worried and don't know what to do about it.

Can't be the only one who's ever had this happen.

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If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. - Lewis Carroll

Posts: 356 | From Body-PA, Mind-elsewhere | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sweet pea
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This happened to me. My boyfriend squished my arm by accident while I had it in. The nurse who had inserted the PICC told me I had phlebitis and to wrap a wet towel and heating pad around my arm. Well, she was wrong, and this made it worse.

Of course I found the answer right here on lymenet. I have scar tissue in the vein. The way to get rid of it is through massage. For some reason a professional masseuse can do a better job of it than I can. I am also exercising the arm unless it causes pain. My LLMD agreed with this assessment and treatment.

Hope that helps.

Posts: 449 | From Vermont | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Curiouser
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Sweetpea,
Thanks for your reply! [Smile]

Scar tissue hadn't occurred to me, but it's a definite possibility.

The picc insertion wasn't an easy one. They did 4 insertion attempts, all at different places. I could also feel the catheter moving through my armpit area.

During one attempt, the guidewire literally crumpled. I looked - bad move. The last 2 inches of it were all zig-zaggy.

Those are definitely reasons why there'd be scar tissue in there, in addition to the catheter rubbing on the inside of the vein.

I think I'm going to push for an ultrasound on the arm. Whether it's scar tissue, phlebitis, or something else, that should settle that question.

If nothing else, it'd ease my anxiety a little about there being something really serious going on in there.

Am also going to mention this to my neuro when I see him on the 18th to rule out any possible nerve damage.

Thanks again! [Smile]

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If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. - Lewis Carroll

Posts: 356 | From Body-PA, Mind-elsewhere | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sweet pea
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That sounds horrible. It was hard enough for me to deal with a successful insertion, I'm pretty squeamish.

Hope the ultrasound solves the mystery!

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herbalfrog
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I had a picc line inserted eleven years ago; after six misses they got it in. Yes, my right arm and right shoulder hurt for about eight months. No signs of imflammation(redness and heat of affected area). I exercised the arm and neck continuously and the pain disappeared and has not returned. I now have a Bart port in place, which only needs flushing once a month when not in use. After the initial incision heals, it is easy cake and much safer.

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Else

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