Ok, after some investigation, figure this is probably phlebitis.
Will be running it by my neuro when I see him on the 18th, just to rule out any possible nerve damage problems.
You are right about there being other causes too.
Since you had a PICC line in your left arm the pain could be due to infection in the vein in which the line was inserted. Did you have fever anytime after the insertion of PICC. Also can you feel any lump in your armpit? This lump could be enlarged lymph nodes that are tender.
You are worried about nerve damage, maybe rightly so. The area that could be damaged is the network of nerves in your armpit called ‘brachial plexus’. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brachial_plexus/brachial_plexus.htm Please go through this link to see the details of this kind of injury. Such injuries generally heal with time and physiotherapy.
I would also advise you to examine your breast for any lump, tenderness etc.
Please discuss these possibilities with your general physician and neurologist and undergo complete clinical examination.
Let me know what your doctors say. Let us know if you need more help.
Thank you for your reply. :)
I did the examinations you recommended and there aren't any painful or unusual lumps in my armpit or breast, thank goodness. I did, however, notice the vein in question was hard to the touch in areas in my arm (particularly where the acute pain radiates from) and in my armpit.
Since I could feel the catheter moving through the armpit area during insertion (that was highly unpleasant), once again I'm wondering if they didn't at least damage the vein. The guidewire also literally crumpled during one attempt. The last 2 inches of it were all zig-zagged (I looked - bad idea). Again, more opportunity for damage? Needless to say, I never want to have to go through that experience again.
There were no unusual fevers after the picc insertion or while the picc was in. I'm not sure if my immunoglobulin anomalies would make any difference in a response to infection tho. IgG1 deficient, very low IgG4, low IgA. I'm planning on having further studies done to investigate this particular issue.
Thank you for the link. The picc was placed in the brachial vein and it wouldn't be a surprise, considering the difficult insertion, if this was a contributing factor. It would certainly explain the pain and loss of sensitivity.
I will definitely be bringing this up to my neruo. In the meantime, I will talk to my doctor about getting an ultrasound of the area to rule out vascular issues. Will post as I find out any additional information.
Thank you again.
I am glad we are on the right track. I am also very sorry to learn about the clumsy attempts to put your PICC.
I would suggest you see your neurology specialist soon. I know you are going to. Yes, it will be a good idea to get your Immunoglobulin status checked once. Also please ask your physician to rule out phlebitis or inflammation of the vein as that took the most injury, is now engorged and hard to feel. More than that, I find difficult to say without examining.
Please let me know if there is anything else you wish to know and will be looking out for your posts about your health. Most important, do not worry. Solution is just round the corner.