All I Want for Christmas is a Midline I.V.
All I Want for Christmas is a Midline I.V. Well, this procedure is not exactly what I want for the holidays, but it’s what I’ll be receiving. When you have been sick for years and oral antibiotics haven’t worked, home IV care is the next resort. A midline IV (Intravenous) is a catheter (about 7” in length) that travels inside your vein, from mid arm (where most IVs are placed) to the upper arm. I will be receiving such a catheter this Wednesday and will have it in position for six weeks- oh joy! The first few days will be painful as my body adjusts, but eventually, my arm and mind will get used to having this foreign object hanging around (sorry, pun intended). No, I’m not a masochist. There’s a reason that I am receiving this lovely treatment which will carry me into the new year and that parasite, or reason, is LYME disease. A nurse will be coming to my home to administer the IV and will give me the low down on what I can (bathe, carry small objects) and can’t (shower, lift heavy things) do. I could get used to the can’t do list. With the help of my husband, the list will provide hours of entertainment and photo opportunities. My husband looked slightly pale as I told him that he will have to locate and use the mysterious object in our home that sucks up dirt. He will be hunting, gathering and preparing (might as well work it as long as I can) meals each night. He will also be in charge of lugging the grungy clothes that accumulate weekly into the dark and murky depths of our basement and try his best not to shrink or discolor everything. He will also (much to his chagrin) be playing Santa. He is not a fan of shopping as a general rule, but he despises shopping in the “spirit” of the season. Traffic. Crowds. Crying kids. Crowds. Singing elves. Crowds. Circumstances that have headache written all over them. My husband’s dear friend once offered great advice, “If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it well.” A sage in the eyes of a lazy male. Needless to say, dust bunnies will grow to dust rhinos. Dinner will be from the frozen aisle. My clothes will shrink to sizes worthy of my six year old niece. Everyone will be receiving Exxon gift cards for Christmas. I’m a massage therapist, so I will be out of commission for six weeks. For someone who is used to living fully in one mode: ON, until I fade very late at night into the other mode: OFF, this will be a very difficult transition. Nearly three years ago I found a rash on the back of my right thigh. My younger brother had just recovered from a spider bite infection so I knew to circle the unidentifiable rash with permanent marker. I did. I watched with curiosity as it grew twice its ugly size in ten hours. I started to feel weak and then the scariest thing happened, my athletic body could not climb the five short steps to get into my home. Felt like I needed an oxygen tank. “Something’s not right,” I told my husband. “You have to take me to the ER, now." When my positive LYME test came back, I started my first round of antibiotics. Then I went to an Infectious Disease doctor with my positive test in hand. She doubted the test results were correct and said that maybe it was Chronic Fatigue. She dismissed menso quickly she made my head spin. Three more rounds of antibiotics over the last two years and still the disease lingers. Therefore, a more serious and direct approach to zapping it once and for all is necessary. Problem is, I am a terrible patient! My genetic makeup was programmed to help others. I don’t do these things well: Sit Relax Hang out You get the point. So in order to embrace this treatment, a means to the end, I’m approaching it as my Writing Retreat. Clever, huh? So, be ready ladies, in six weeks’ time I should be free of LYME and ready to share my enormous progress. Oh, and if anyone has a suggestion for getting my husband to dust, pray tell.

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  • Lauren B. Davis

    Hang in there, Jodi. Take this as an opportunity to read many wonderful books. Lots and lots and lots of books! Have a great, and restful holiday season, and hopefully we'll see you at the January SHARPENING THE QUILL.