My stay in the clinic was one of routine: a schedule of IV antibiotics, meals, tests, and doctor visits. The only reassuring presence was my nurse, Helen. She listened to my complaints and fears, both physical and emotional in nature; she always seemed to have time for me.
During my earlier stay in the hospital, Dr Barnes mentioned that I'd need a Hickman catheter at some point. When he saw my arms, he decided it had better be done soon. He also informed me that my stay would be a total of 3 weeks, as my infection was an unidentified one, requiring 21 days of antibiotics.
The operation for the catheter, performed by Dr Leonard, went very well. But the day after the operation, reality set in. A 16-inch tube was sticking out of my chest that required special care and attention. What had I accepted?