I got to the hospital today around 10:45; The Boy's appointment was at 9:45, and I taught a half-day of the half-day program up north. He had just been brought into an examination room for the start of the chemotherapy. He gave me a big smile when I walked in, which was reassuring. The Wife had put the numbing cream on him at the appropriate time, the drugs had just been delivered from the hospital pharmacy, so things were perfect.
Side note: The Valerie Center at the hospital is unbelievable. Best for me: the apple crumb donut in the "food" center. The coffee there is "meh" - it's from a dispensing machine, which means that one is drinking, for all intents and purposes, coffee-flavored beverage. It's the right price, though.
But, I digress.
The nurse - there were only two nurses on duty today, because two were away & one doesn't work on Thursdays - was going a little nuts because of the activity in the center. The children's life representative was a sweet young lady who established a great rapport with The Boy; she was there to provide distraction. The nurse took the needle, put it in the port, drew some blood to check that it was in, then flushed the line with saline. Except - whoops! The needle slipped out of the port, creating a big ball of sterile saline solution between the skin and the port.
The Boy, meanwhile, was screaming his head off. He was in my arms, I was holding his hands with mine and using my face to keep his head to one side. (You can't get tears or drool or anything on the needles going into the port, because infection is REALLY BAD.) When I mean screaming, by the way, I mean full-body-tensing, from-the-diaphragm, top-of-the-volume-scale yells. It was terrible.
The other nurse came in and drained the saline solution. (This isn't a big deal. It's just water and would drain on its own; but, she basically squeezed it like a pimple. The water came draining out.) The baby loved that, as you can imagine; she then hunted around for the mediport with a larger needle, found it, and administered the medicine and two syringes of stuff to disinfect and clean the port.
It wasn't the nurse's fault; until the port gets used, it stays far enough beneath the tissue to be difficult to find. It was just frustrating and horrifying to be holding my screaming baby and knowing that there's not a damn thing that I can do about it. It's frustrating that it's taking so long for the hospital to administer the toxic chemicals that will - we think - heal my son from the catastrophic illness from which he suffers.
One down, twenty-three (and a surgery) to go.