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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My First Few 'Portless' Days

As soon as I escaped from the hospital that Friday, after my port was removed, I was ready for a nice hot shower. I had to wait 48 hours, but I was ready. After 14 months of the port being in, having to attempt to keep it dry, try not to sweat too much with it accessed, tape it up for each shower, and avoid repetitive motions, I was ready to live a 'port free' summer. I left the hospital in pain, having only spent a few hours at the Ambulatory Care Center for the procedure. My collarbone ached from the tube being pulled from around it, and the topical anesthetic began to wear off throughout the day. That entire weekend my right collar bone and upper chest ached from my body readjusting to the empty space and trauma inflicted on it. I prepared Saturday for Easter by going shopping with my mother. I wanted to get hair dye, because I tried going red before surgery as an act of teenage experimentation but I hated it and had been waiting to try and dye it back. I still could not stand or walk long without getting out of breath so I had to take breaks to walk the few feet into CVS and look through the color options. That night, after 36 hours, I decided to color my hair with my mother's help. The shower was the best I have had yet, though painful. The color toned down the red, frustratingly enough not fixing the problem completely. It was good enough to be decent for Easter pictures and I opted to color it again the next weekend to try again. Sunday morning came and my shoulder area was at the peak of it's soreness. I was well enough to take pain medicine and pull a dress on over my head. After makeup and hair were in place I was ready to head to the family Easter dinner and do some family pictures. 

Cousin portrait for Easter.

That weekend was a great time for me, realizing that the upcoming summer would be a good one. I realized that upon full recovery I would be able to shower without the tape, and jump in the pool to cool down. I would be able to have an even tan, not stay home every Monday morning for visiting nurse appointments, and start upper body exercise. I would be able to forget worries about germs and infections, not have to be on IV medicine treatments twice a day, and not have to avoid pressure from strapless dresses and backpacks on my right shoulder. The summer would be that of freedom, of healing, of hope, and of adventure. I only pray that it will be everything I dream of, fulfilling it's true potential as the summer I turned 19, survived open heart surgery, and was completely IV free. 

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