My Fears About Getting My PICC Line Out


I really never thought this day would come. The night before I am scheduled to get my PICC line out. This is my 10th PICC line and I am scared.

I am not scared of how it is going to feel. I am actually quite excited to get it taken out. I am scared because it was the only thing that made my invisible illness visible. Having something attached to me for three years has made me feel seen and more understood by the people around me, instead of being completely invisible. It has made my friends, family and professors much more sympathetic and understanding. I am scared being without a PICC line will diminish how I feel because there is nothing noticeable about me being chronically ill.

Having an invisible illness has been tough for me as I smile through the pain and get through every day. People saying I look fine is tough and they think when you say you are not OK, you are saying it for attention. Having something to “prove” I was not OK was easier than being completely invisible.

I am scared to see what lies ahead being PICC line-less and still having my invisible illness.

Getty Image by adrianova_


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Lyme Disease

disability parking space

When a Man Yelled at Me for Parking in a Disability Space Because I 'Look Fine'

So, today it happened. I’ve heard about it happening to others with invisible illness, and I thought I had mentally prepared myself. But I was wrong. A man yelled at me for parking in a disability space because, and I quote him, “you look fine to me.” Here’s what happened: I had a doctor’s visit [...]
A screen shot of a GIF of Taylor Swift, reacting with hands in the air and her mouth open wide.

14 GIFs That Perfectly Describe the Frustrations of Lyme Disease

I have been battling a chronic tick-borne infection for almost three and a half years now and there are certain experiences I’ve come to know that most of us share. I’ve put together some of these frustrations – and while this tick-borne disease isn’t funny, I hope these give you a laugh. 1. When you [...]
A photo of the writer at the beach, sitting on rocks and watching the waves.

When Your Life's Timeline Is Interrupted by Illness

Today is my birthday. Twenty-five years old seems to be a big milestone, but it’s one that I’ve been dreading for the last few months as it’s approached. When I’ve mentioned this to people they didn’t seem to understand why I wouldn’t be looking forward to a birthday, or why instead I could be dreading [...]
22 'embarrassing' symptoms of lyme disease we don't talk about

22 'Embarrassing' Symptoms of Lyme Disease We Don't Talk About

If you live with Lyme disease (and/or co-infections), you know it can produce a number of frustrating and undesirable symptoms. Although there’s no reason to be ashamed of any symptoms or side effects you experience, it can still be a bit embarrassing when brain fog causes you to forget what you were saying mid-sentence, or [...]