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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cancer Files: DRAIN OUT! (Again)

Jackson Pratt Drain Instructions...I remember a week ago when I was in a groggy daze trying to get ready to be discharged and the nurse was wanting to know if I am familiar with the drain that was coming out from under my right armpit.  "OHHHH yes!" was my answer.  I mean, this one is the sixth one I have had since August 15th!  I am a little familiar with what I need to do!

Being one of the least favorite things about this recovery, imagine my JOY to go in today and have the doctor remove it!  I have been a little less enthusiastic about getting up and moving around during this recovery because hey, I know what it means to be in pain and well, if sitting still is more comfortable, I am going to sit still.

I don't like sitting still but if you knew how to read the chart that I not quite so diligently filled out this time around, you would see that I COULD have had the drain taken out by Sunday (Monday since they don't see me on weekends).  Why is it Thursday before I make my way into see the doctor?  Well, there are a number of reasons being the seasoned patient that I am.

  1. As I said above, it was just more comfortable to sit in my recliner than get up and drive myself to the doctor to get the drain removed.
  2. My doctor's nurse transferred to another department so she could have better hours and be more available for her kids.  She was a ROCK STAR at removing the drains with very little pain.  Doc is currently training a new nurse and is removing the drains himself...can you say RIP THE THING OUT WITH NO WARNING?  I think he sometimes forgets that I am not under anesthesia and am wide awake.  Abdominal drains aren't as painful, but on top, they wrap around inside, and well...not fun!
  3. Thursday is a week out from surgery and I can medicate myself with ibuprofen, the best pain fighter for my body, so I took three this morning and I was ready.
  4. I was going to have to have a post op appointment anyway at the end of the week and who wants to go into the office more than once a week (if I could skip a week it is even better!)
The only reasons I can think of to go any earlier is that the most pain comes from the friction that is created when my arm moves across the entrance site of the drain under my arm (but if you pack enough gauze in your armpit, it isn't nearly as bad).  And, the other is that showers are a LITTLE less convenient with drains but with only one it isn't that bad.

So, that is my reasoning.  Tonight I am enjoying almost pain free movement of my arm and those bruises are more of a yellow color now so they are healing too.  I made my family an entire dinner tonight and cleaned up the pans (no one likes to wash pans so when I am down, they kinda pile up).  My kitchen looks nice again!

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