IVC Filters and the Clock is Ticking...
Oct 04, 2019
I have 3 days until surgery. I am actually pretty excited! I feel like this is the absolute right decision, and I am looking forward to my new life post surgery! I found out today that I have to give myself injections of blood thinners for two weeks, which I'm not super jazzed about, but I will make it through.
I went to have an IVC filter put in yesterday. For those that don't know, IVC stands for Inferior Vena Cava. It's a major vessel that runs to your heart. The purpose of the filter is to prevent blood clots. It is removable, and I will be going back to have it removed approximately two weeks post op.
The filter placement was optional, but I agreed to do it because 1. I want to do anything I can to prevent blood clots, and 2. the doctor promised I'd be sedated and comfortable. I...was not. My day was very rough.
I woke up 10 minutes before my Mother In Law arrived to pick me up, because my phone died. After the fastest shower known to man, and dressing as I walked down the stairs, I managed to get myself together. I got my period because of course I did. Check in and the initial stuff at the hospital was fine. Then, my nurse informed me that they normally don't sedate because the procedure is so quick it's hard to get people under. I explained what my doctor had told me, and she told me they could do concious sedation, a mix of Versed (basically a medical roofie IMHO) and Fentanyl (a very strong opiate). I said that was fine, because I am a lightweight, and I figured I'd be relaxed and happy.
They wheeleed me into the procedure room and had me hop on the table. Loud oldies were playing. There were a bunch of people there, including Epic support, since our hospital recently switched and people are still figuring out the system. I laid down and got "comfortable," as comfortable as you can get on a metal table. A male tech strapped my belly up, which I joked I wish I could take with me. Then, as I'm freebleeding (no undies allowed) all over the pads I had them put down for me, stranger dude starts shaving my lady bits. Did I mention the entry point is through the groin? Yay. I'm laying there exposed for the world to see. It was kind of mortifying. I don't generally have any shame when it comes to medical stuff, but having my period makes me very self-concious. Add to that a strange man is trimming my pubes and you have a recipie for "Can I please just sink into the table now and die, thanks."
The start pushing the meds into the IV. Nothing changes. Nothing. I am aware for the whole thing. They numbed me up, but i definitely felt things, including them snaking the catheter into my vein/artery. It was gross. I was so anxious and trying, willing, the medication to work. Or, at least willing myself to pass out. I started crying, and did so for most of the two hours I had to lay still (thankfully, not exposed). My MIL was an absolute angel to me, rubbed my hands and head, talked to me softly, totally mothered me in the way I needed. I'm taking my mom with me when I get it removed because even though they promised full sedation for the removal (takes longer and goes through your neck! ACK!), I still am going to need mommying.
Overall, I would not have gotten the filter placed if I knew I would be WIDE.AWAKE. I am glad that I have the additional safeguards in place against blood clots, but it was an incredibly stressful (AND LONG! SO.LONG.) day that I don't want to repeat, ever.