Today, after almost a year of having it in, my PICC line (which I have dubbed picckle; this is probably less hilarious than I think it is) was pulled out of my arm.
I have mixed feelings about this turn of events. I am very, very glad to no longer be living with the risk posed by having a foreign body in a major blood vessel (line infection, blood clot). I am happy to no longer have to shower with my arm covered in saran wrap. I am happy to have my arm back. I am scared shitless. While it’s true that I haven’t been on TPN for a number of months, my body will now be riding without training wheels, so to speak, when it comes to eating. And that makes me nervous, especially since my stomach has been behaving in a less-than-stellar manner these past few weeks.
This was the first time I’ve had a PICC line, and my first time I was on TPN, but it almost certainly won’t be the last. In fact, my care team has already discussed long-term central line options. For now, though, I am concentrating on how it feels to be without the line, as temporary as it may be, and re-acquainting myself with the inside of my left arm, a place I haven’t been able to touch for almost a year.
Even though there is something palpably missing, I feel whole.