The holiday season is a time for thankfulness. While I am thankful for my friends and family and all that God has given me over the past year, I am also thankful for a business that I never even knew existed before I got my PICC line.
The day I learned I had to get my PICC line I was so pissed. I cried a lot and I was really confused, and then I was just sad. Fast forward less than 24 hours and I was getting ready to get my line put in and I felt a new emotion … I was scared. My roommate explained to for the first time what a PICC line actually was. I had no idea… why should I have known? I listened to her describe how it snaked up my vein and ended right by my heart. I did not want that.
My doctor had told me that I should have no trouble running so that concern was not on my mind as I went into the hospital that day. I was a little worried about it being painful, but honestly I was just ready to get it over with. Once I realized that I couldn’t get it sweaty…news to me… I thought my cross country season was over. My senior year – done just like that.
This could not be right. I was not completely sure but I knew that someone had mentioned how people got these all the time. There is no way that every person who has a PICC line just sits on their butt the whole time they have it. I put my googling skills to work that night and searched everything from “athletes with PICC lines” “working out with PICC lines” “can I run with a PICC line”. My search turned up very few results.
My google searches and late night emails to a few clothing companies for hospital patients eventually led me to a company called Care+Wear. I sent them a pretty pitiful email. It was such a shot in the dark. Surprisingly, I got a real human response. They were interested in me as a customer but also as a person.
After talking to my doctor and making a plan to run every other day, I ordered my band and got it just in time for my first race. It was perfect. Not only was it breathable and comfortable, it made me less self conscious about the giant tubes coming out of my arm. I used the band for all of my training runs, workouts, and races. This tiny little band is what made the difference between me thinking I might not be able to run my last season and me finishing my conference race.
I also wore my band around school and to a very nice dinner I needed to attend. I was so happy to have the sleek sleeve instead of the white netted one that I got from the hospital.
The co-founder of the company continued to check in on my progress and encouraged me along the way. One thing this company understands is that getting a PICC line can be an emotionally and physically draining process. The company is made up of people who either have a PICC line themselves or know someone who has one.
I remember when I started this whole process and I would talk to my roommates about how frustrated I was. They would tell me that surely there is someone that will read my blog or follow me on social media and be encouraged by my story. I agreed and hoped and prayed that I could be that person for someone. However, I would always follow this up with – “But who can be that person for me? Who has been through this that can inspire me and encourage me and tell me that I can do this?”
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