Thursday, February 25, 2016

Just a Few Snips Here and There...

Since I've been home from the hospital, I've done a lot of sitting.  And quite a bit of lying about.  I feel lazy, but that's what the doctor's orders were before I was discharged.  Sit, rest, no lifting, no housework, no shenanigans.

No housework?  Hey, I could get used to that.  For a while, anyway. 

I started off with four drains.  Drains, for the uninitiated, are tubes that carry stuff that's in your body, out a tube and into a bulb.  And when I say stuff, think gross things that you really don't want to think about.  Yep.  Those had to be emptied twice a day, the amount recorded carefully.  Once they fall below 30cc for multiple days in a row, they can be removed.  Until then, they are annoying.  I had two drains on my upper body and two on my abdomen.  If I tried to put a shirt on, there were unsightly bulges in weird places.  And forget about real pants.  I've been wearing warm up pants, for the elastic waist.  I was happy to get the top two drains removed relatively quickly, but my abdominal drains were not cooperating. 

Finally one of those pesky drains met the criteria for removal. I got an appointment for the afternoon. I got my sister in law to drive me to the doctor's office, where the nurse met me. I expected to be in and out in less than fifteen minutes, since all that was needed was to cut the stitches keeping the drain in and pullllll that tube right out. (yes, it feels very weird)   The nurse removed the binder around my abdomen and looked at the incision. 

And frowned. 

I could see her frowning in the huge mirror that was right in front of me, because plastic surgeons love mirrors.  She picked up her scissors and tweezers and began snipping scar tissue from different parts of the incision.  The nurse explained that she was cutting out the dead tissue to allow for the incision to heal better.  Not knowing anything at all about plastic surgery, I didn't argue.  I couldn't feel anything except a slight pull here and there, thankfully.  I wouldn't have been so calm, otherwise. 

Snip, snip. 

Snip, snip.  

Snip, snip.  

An hour later, the nurse finally snipped the last bit of dead tissue.  Unfortunately, now I had a hole in my belly, an open wound. I've never had an open wound before.  I would have to pack the wound twice a day, I was told, to allow for optimal healing.  Packing the wound means placing wet gauze directly into the wound.  I looked at the ugly opening as the nurse put some gauze into my belly.  Followed by more gauze.  Then more.  How deep did that wound extend?  I had to stop looking in the mirror, because I found myself feeling a bit nauseated.  

"The doctor will clean all this up when he sees you next time in July," the nurse told me. Yay.  I was given a prescription for saline and gauze and sent to the nearest pharmacy. 

I have to go back and do it all again next Monday. 


  1. July! It's good that the docs think you're doing so well you don't need another check for six months. Hope you can have the last drain pulled on Monday with no further issues.

  2. OK, I really tried to read all of this very closely. It seemed the least I could do (truly, the very least) since you actually lived it. est of luck to you with the final one, you are an amazing fighter!


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