September 28, 2010


this is raymond PICC-aso...aka parker's PICC line

why name his PICC? well, why not? i was going to say we encouraged him to name his PICC as we thought that would make getting it and having it seem more normal - but now that i've written that, i'm realizing just how ludicrous that sounds. ha ha, let's name and humanize an inanimate object that is surgically implanted in your arm. oh, yes, sounds real normal and comforting. then again, not much about our family is normal either. so, in goertzen world, this makes perfect sense. after all, avery named my PICC "mr picc" and she insists on always giving him a goodnite kiss at bedtime. and who can forget felix, my deceased gallbladder whose remains were donated to igenex for lyme research? so strange as it sounds, it would have been weirder if we hadn't named raymond.

why raymond PICC-aso? parker likes the name and it is the middle name of his best bud, chris. he is hoping that raymond will help him be able to see a lot more of chris in the coming months. and the PICC-aso? - well that is compliments of (taylor's GF) mara's genius creativity.

today, raymond was integrated into our life. DR H told us to expect raymond to be in our life for the next 6 months to a year. we spent the morning in appointments with DR H and then went straight from his office to the surgeons. parker was understandably really scared and nervous and so we tried to distract him with as much humor as possible in an effort to keep the mood as light as possible.

soon after our arrival, we met with the surgeon, DR C. he came in to examine parker, explain the surgery and answer any questions we might have. he was so kind and sweet. he took his time with us and this soft spoken man's caring demeanor had a very calming affect on all of us.

parker and DR C

a nurse then came in to further examine parker and prep him for surgery. she had a long list of questions she had to ask him. even though parker was really nervous it didn't stop him from being cheeky as the monotonous questionnaire endlessly stretched on.

"how much do you weigh?" the nurse asked
"68lbs. actually, 68.2lbs to be exact." he quipped
" thanks. i'll put 68 - i don't do decimals." she teased back.

the questions continued...then she asked him, on a scale of 1 to 10, what level his pain was currently at.
without missing a beat, he cracked, "it's about a 7.5 "

we all nearly lost it. it's a good thing the nurse had a great sense of humor. whilst that was going on, taylor snuck off into the hall and added a little extra something-something to the surgery line-up board:

look carefully - upper left hand corner

shortly after all our shenanigans, parker was taken into the OR.

over the past couple of weeks, i've endeavored to prepare him - we talked about the surgery, what he could expect, what part would hurt, etc; i also had him help me flush my PICC and hook up my line to my meds; and of course, we encouraged him to pick a name - and i made clothes for raymond PICC-aso. raymond doesn't actually have arms but with a few minor adjustments, i was able to make him a cool jersey.

parker's relieved that raymond is a canucks fan - even though he is american. the green gingham sleeve is raymond's raincoat. he isn't a fan of water.

i really hoped and prayed that doing all these things would help him prepare for the surgery and cope with living with a PICC long term. i remember how very nervous i was when i got my first PICC line. i've gone through an additional picc placement since and even though i could prepare him based on my own 2 experiences, i still really can't imagine being 10 and going through it. his courage astounds me.

we expected that the surgery would take only 30 to 45 minutes but it ended up taking a lot longer. over an hour. the wait was endless. even though it felt like an eternity, i did have peace and calmness through out. that was due to the power of prayer. and parker came through with flying colors and sporting the purple raymond PICC-aso

post-op and feeling pretty rough and in a lot of pain.

internal view

please pray for the insertion site to heal quickly and that parker would not develop any complications. i have had my current PICC for just over 2 years now - and besides a minor reaction initially to the inclusive dressing used to seal it and a few bouts of phlebitis, i have had no problems with my PICC. that is the exception to the rule. we're praying that parker's body will take to raymond as well as mine has to mr. picc. having a PICC line is not without risks, such as infection, sepsis, phlebitis and blood clots. due to extenuating circumstances, parker is at a greater risk for developing an infection, so we ask that you pray for protection.

before we'd even left the surgeon's office (which was in san jose), parker's smile was back (thanks in part to pain meds) and raymond was resplendent in his jersey.

ironically, the san jose sharks skunked the vancouver canucks tonight.

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