PICC Related Anxiety: A Success Story
These pictures were taken a year apart, almost exactly to the day. My face in the top picture is the result of yet another distressing PICC line placement, during which I had the most severe anxiety attack I’ve had to date. I’ve had some very traumatic experiences, and even though it’s not considered a “serious” procedure, it’s something I dread more than just about anything else I can imagine.
But look at the bottom picture!
That’s a very drugged-up, but very happy me because this PICC placement went beautifully! Last year, my social worker and I came up with a plan that I’ve been envisioning for the entire year since my last procedure.
In clinic, I talked with my CF team about my anxiety surrounding this, told them about what happened last year (a story most of them are familiar with anyway, bit it was important for me to speak it out loud again) and I then had a lengthy discussion with the nurse practitioner and IR nurse before even entering the room where my line would be placed. I also practiced some breathing/grounding techniques, and you guys…. it was amazing!
For the first time in nearly a decade, I went into this procedure with absolutely no fear or anxiety. This is SUCH A BIG DEAL!
I’d never wanted to have these kinds of conversations because I thought my fears would be viewed as silly or unreasonable. But every single person I spoke with was on my team that day. They were validating and sincere and, together, we conquered one of my biggest fears.
It is not lost on me how fortunate I am to have people constantly rallying around me, helping me along this journey.
Do you struggle with anxiety related to PICC lines or other procedures? If so, have you found ways to work through that anxiety?
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