Today we went to the hospital at the edge of the city, (where I had the second operation, and from which I went home believing myself to have very little time left to live,) and had a PICC line inserted. This is a peripherally inserted central catheter, and I was a little anxious about having it done, because the line is put into a vein in the upper arm, and advanced until it's in a larger vein close to my heart.
These lines are used to give chemotherapy, avoiding the continual insertion of an IV into my arm every second week and then withdrawing it two days later. With care and good hygiene, a PICC line can be left in for months without problem.
I was a little anxious when we first started, but the specialist nurse was a warm and friendly woman, who laughed at my silly jokes, and was very soothing and calming. Apart from a slight pinch when the local freezing was used, it was all painless, and since I made a point of not watching while she did it, quite peaceful. I looked at the ceiling tiles, asked her about herself and how she got into nursing, and enjoyed talking and laughing with her.
On this journey, I've met some amazing nurses. I like to ask them about themselves, and have been interested to hear the various ways in which they've arrived in the nursing profession. Some wanted to be a nurse since the age of six, and never wavered. Some applied to nursing as an alternative in case they didn't get into their first-choice program.
Al-Anon has taught me that everyone has a story, and they are all fascinating, if I take the time to listen, and to really hear. I like to make the nurses laugh while they are looking after me, it's fun for us both. I figure they hear enough complaint; if I can lighten their day with some laughter, I feel better for it.
Last night the meeting topic was "detachment." I realised that over the years, I've become rather skilled at this, and I no longer carry that which isn't my burden to shoulder. I heard a Polish proverb used to describe detachment last night:
"Not my circus; not my monkey."