My buttonhole closed up

I have had 7 months of problem-free txs with my bh’s, but tonite my ven. site was not receptive to the bh needle. I had noticed that the last several txs, a little blood would escape when I did the scab removal. I have been on a slightly higher heparin dose as I had had a problem with my returns. Although I have no bleeding problems post tx, I had wondered if the increased dose of heparin was the cause for the slight amount of bleeding seen during scab removal. I finally decided to go in with a sharp. It went in no problem and the tx went fine. I was somewhat nervous, because I hadn’t used a sharp for so long now, but it came back to me no problem, like riding a bicycle. Wondering if anyone else has had this experience and can shed some light on why the bh was closed up and if going in with a sharp 1 time is enough to clear the problem, or does it sometimes take more than one attempt? It has been so comforting using bh’s knowing that they will not infliltrate and one can move one’s arm more freely during tx. I had to muster up my courage to go back to my old friend, Mr. Sharp…

Well I will respond to my own question. The next tx, the bh needle went in with no problem. I was relieved that it didn’t take anymore than one tx with the sharp to correct the problem. Spoke with a nurse supposedly experienced in bh and she said when a site will not take the bh needle, it may be as simple as one tx with a sharp or could take a whole 6-8 course with the sharps to re-establish the tunnel. But if bleeding is seen around the needle site when sharp is used it is time to quit. Well, glad I had a happy outcome. I had heard others say that the day comes when there is a problem with bh, but I had been on such a long streak that I wasn’t sure if they were correct. Yes, they were. I am still looking for the reason it closed up. But glad I was able to fall back on my skill of sticking with a sharp and all is well.

Your post shows why it is so important for patients to start their own buttonholes instead of relying on staff to always start them. If you hadn’t ever used a sharp, you would have had to go in-center to let a nurse or technician stick you and that would have added another hassle to an already stressful situation. Glad that you had a successful experience. I’m sure it built your confidence so if this happens again you’ll probably worry less about it.

Hubby has had buttonholes since Oct. They have worked really well. Somenights the buttonhole needle just won’t go in . Instead of forcing it or moving it around with the chance of making it sore we just put in a sharp. The next night it will work fine with the buttonhole, The nurse told us this was normal. She said sometimes a little bit of scar tissue will be there. We developed the Buttonholes ourselves so using a sharp is no problem.

Hi Unregistered
Same thing happened to me after about 7 months and the old stress levels come back. You forget how stress free these buttonhole critters are. I went in with a sharp twice at an ever so slightly different angle as I realised I had gone off track a teensy bit. No probs anymore, touch wood.

Wondering how long each member has been using buttonholes and how many times in that period have you had to go to sharps?

There have been a number of times when I thought the tunnel had closed up, but I kept gently feeling around with the needle and found that I had just had the wrong angle-went right in. But this time, it took longer and it had a different feeling like the needle wouldn’t go in too deeply, so I knew it was blocked.

Also, read where someone said the tunnel can be damaged by going in at the wrong angle with sharp. That’s one thing I was concernd about. I just went right in from the middle of the top of the bh and it was the right angle as it opened it right up.

Have been using buttonholes since Sept. Probably once every couple of weeks have to use a sharp. If the blunt won’t go in after trying a couple of times I just go with a sharp. It is easier than moving the blunt around and making the arm sore. Sometimes you have to push hard on the blunt to get it in the vein.

Wow, not saying you are doing anything wrong, but I wouldn’t want sharps used that often on my bh tunnels. I have had lots of days when it seemed like the bh was harder to get to or closed up, but it was right there, I was just missing the entrance. Its weird, I know seems like the tunnel can’t be found, but I learned how to move the blunt until I find the opening to the tunnel. This might be harder to do on another person, but I have learned to do it on myself with accuracy. But the interesting thing is, when one of my tunnels was obstructed recently for the first time in 7 months, and I went in with the sharp, the next tx, it was like the tunnel was even better and now I can get the blunt in in less than a second- it just goes straight in with no searching for the tunnel. This sure turned out to be a welcome surprise. BHs are so great and now this one site works even better!

Am I the only one that misread the title to this thread the first time they saw it?