Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Misadventures of My Tubing

A lot of people are curious about life with meds being infused intravenously 24/7. Some want to know if I can feel the liquid periodically squirting into my veins (not unless it’s very cold). Many wonder what kind of maintenance is required (I flush the lines, put in a new battery and change the bag attached to my pump every morning). People often ask where the medicine goes since the tubing runs out the bottom of my shirt (my upper right arm). Others wonder how I shower (I don’t).

Just kidding – I unscrew myself from the pump and wear a waterproof sleeve that pulls onto my arm and covers the site.

But when people ask questions about the IV, they often overlook the line of questioning that holds the most interest for me – the adventures of the tubing. The tubing that goes from the pump to my arm is approximately three miles long and has been known to get into what I’ll call misadventures from time to time. Beyond the occasional joys of clothes-lining myself when getting dressed and nearly strangling myself while sleeping, my tubing has been cause for both great amusement and sheer dismay…for it has gone where no tubing should go.

The first of these adventures was a special day spent outside – unfortunately for the tubing, I was not outside. It was dangling out my car door for well over half an hour while I drove to retrieve something from my office. Fortunately, the pump was able to continue functioning throughout the wild ride, which bodes well for me, should I ever slam a [very slim] finger in my car door.

Another favorite place for my tubing to explore is the toilet. You may be wondering whether its little swims have taken place before or after I’ve actually used the throne. Fortunately, I’ve only experienced the former thus far. However, I fully expect Mr. Tubing to take the dirty dive at some point during our relationship. Don't worry - the tubing also gets changed as a part of the daily routine!

Finally, the most shameful experience for my poor tubing to date was the birth of the term “twedgie”. My shower routine involves me undressing and starting the water before unhooking from my pump to minimize my time without the meds, which inherently requires me to spend a short time naked with my pump hanging around my neck in its special pouch. Sadly for Mr. Tubing, that leaves it dangling in perilous proximity to my posterior. One day, I leaned over to adjust the water temperature and stood back up to discover my first “twedgie” – a tubing wedgie!

Too much information? Perhaps. Particularly because I know you all now have a lovely mental picture invading your thoughts! Enjoy~


  1. Hi Andrea! Love your new blog! I'll keep my eye on it and keep wishing you luck both in your health and in your blog. Best wishes, Helen. With the Heart.

  2. Sounds like you have about as much fun in the shower as I do with the three girls in there with me! There is always someone getting pulled or pushed. And half the time one of the girls screams likes she's having something pulled out of her body!

  3. Andrea, You have a wonderful sense of humor and at the same time are sharing such personal feelings for what you are going through. Just want you know I feel priviledged to be following your blog through this journey and I keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I know how important you are to Chris and Marg and wish you the best. (I am Chris's Aunt - Knew you guys were all friends long before your health issues from the time they said "We gotta run - meeting Andrea for dinner.")
    Oh yeah . . . after I read your blog for the first time . . . couldn't get the song out of my head for two days . . . great blog title!