Today the drain tubes and bulbs were able to be removed – all remaining 3 of them…what freedom!  The sun shines brighter, the birds sing sweeter, and I’m not an accident waiting to happen anymore!

Just in case you can’t envision why I am ecstatic, let me describe this miracle of surgery.  We produce internal body fluids and blood, especially when a surgery has taken place.  If left without drains, it would fill the cavity it is in, causing great pain and swelling.  It would need to be released through either surgery or aspiration.

To prevent this, they insert soft tubes (looks like a drinking straw) that travels from point of incision, culminating in the suction bulb you see pictures, with a clip to clip on clothing to release its weight and tension.  The tube runs about4-5′ long.

Because this is a result of surgery and indication of health, you monitor the ‘output’ twice a day (12 hours apart) and lovingly  measure the concoction, recording each volume in cc on a chart.  If you are fortunate enough to have under 25cc within a 12 hour time span, the tube and bulb may be removed.

Oh, and another fun fact… every time you drain the bulb, you have to first ‘milk’ the drain tube to clean out any clots, etc… lovely.

Being an Engineer, my husband had way too much fun with this , also coding the color (ie. cider, tea, cranberry juice…yum)

Whenever you walk into a room with knobs like a kitchen or bathroom, the tubes which are looped reach out and grab them to threaten to tear them out of the stitched incision in your body… changing clothing or any function such as sitting, sleeping (only on your back so you don’t squash them),  requires you to gather these up to release the weight.

When walking, they bump against the legs, and of course the loopy tubes threaten to catch on anything nearby, so wearing an apron or silky short robe is necessary.

Well, I guess you can see why I’m so happy to be rid of these after a full week.  One step closer to ‘normal’ whatever that is…. tomorrow, a meeting with the oncology surgeon.  Saturday I can start rehab exercises to regain Range of Motion –  light at the end of a very dark tunnel.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Helene Jeanette
    Oct 19, 2011 @ 01:46:21

    Joy at every “healing” step doesn’t begin to express what I feel. Maybe gratitude covers it better. I agree with Kay but want to go one step further…affirmation. Not living in the past, but “I am whole and healthy.” Drop the C-word completely. It’s like saying “Don’t think about pink elephants.” Be who you are NOW! You re whole and healthful and joyful!


  2. Kay Wade
    Oct 18, 2011 @ 22:46:35

    Love the new subtitle! And… good job explaining the difficulty of maneuvering with all the tubes sticking out of your body. When you are years away from this, you will read this again, and laugh out loud.


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