Friday, May 7, 2010

The Story of the Drains

Well, we’ve been “found out.”

Mary H. asked if were quite possible that we were the ones who removed the two remaining drains yesterday. And, as a matter of fact, we were.

I called the surgeon’s office yesterday morning to see if they were willing to let my local doctor do the removal to save a trip back to Greenville. They said they were. However, it seems the local doctor wasn’t comfortable doing it, because it was someone else’s medical case. (Lawsuit worries, I guess.)

So then I asked my surgeon’s nurse if it could be done outside of a medical office setting, like if an RN from our church came to the house to do it.

She said that would be fine.

And then I got to thinking about how the first two drains were removed on Monday and that all it involved was a little snip of a stitch and then a gentle tug, and about a foot of plastic tubing came out of the hole in the side of my body. It didn’t hurt, it didn’t bleed, it was no big deal.

(I started off with two drains on each side, as seen in the picture below. Can you understand why I would want them removed? )


And here again, is a picture from the Internet as to what the drains look like. Really fun stuff.


So anyway, while I was pondering whether or not I was “medically equipped” to remove the drains myself, I got to thinking about the period after Sarah’s transplant when I was put in sole charge of this array of medical equipment. If the oncologists and nurses at Duke would trust me with all of this, shouldn’t I also be considered competent enough to snip one stitch and one pull one drain?

sarah med

I decided I was.

And so I got it into my desperate, female, feverish brain that I was sick (not to mention tired) of living with drains for two weeks and that as soon as Steve got home from picking up Sarah from school, he and I were going to snip and pull as a couple. (I mean, how do you think a strong marriage is forged without a few snipping/pulling adventures?)

When I told him my plan, he was a bit hesitant but I plainly informed him that if he didn’t help me, I was doing it myself. Because I’d. Had. It. And besides, it wasn’t brain surgery, after all. It was one snip and a pull.

And so we did it. He snipped. I pulled. And I must say that it is a very strange feeling to pull a foot of plastic tubing out of each side of ones’ person. Steve was not real keen on looking at the operation but I was so desperate, it really didn’t bother me.

And then presto! I was transformed from this . . .


into this!


Well, maybe not instantly, but it sure did make a world of difference to me, psychologically AND physically.

Some of you commented that you didn’t know I was not allowed to shower while the drains were in. That is true. For TWO weeks, I did not shower. I don’t know if you’ve ever gone for two weeks without showering, but let me just say that I will never again take showering for granted. There is nothing quite like the feel of standing under splashing, clean, clear water and feeling like a human being again.

Ahhhh . . .

So anyway, a big thanks to everyone who has rejoiced with me over my drainless state and also, the fabulous ability to shower that has come back into my life.

In my next update—good and bad Nathan news.

14 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you pulled out those drains so you could let the shower run over you and down the other drain! Ah! I don't blame you one bit. What a difference that made for you! :) Jill-FL

Anonymous said...

Glad you were able to pull the last two drains out at home! I hope that you enjoyed a long shower after that.

Kristi near KCMO

bearie1 said...

I agree, if you were brave enough to do it, why not. Didn't sound like it was too hard and saved you a lot of trouble. And you got to shower one day early. I can't even imagine having to go two weeks without a shower. Waiting impatiently for the Nathan story. Hope the bad news isn't too bad. Elaine

LizW said...

Way to go, Becky! How empowering was that! I can't believe the local doc wouldn't do it. What a chicken! Tell Steve I am impressed that he was able to help. For some reason, the drains my daughter had made me feel really queasy, and since most men faint at the sight of blood, he deserves a pat on the back for helping. Hope you are still feeling good today, and taking it easy.
Not sure I like the "teaser about Nathan" - hope it is nothing serious.
So glad you are feeling more like yourself.
Prayers always,

Love Being A Nonny said...

You are brave. I think we can do things in desperate times that we never knew we would be able to do! Bless you...go take a shower!!:)

Jessica Kramasz said...

It's so nice that you are starting to sound like yourself. I can't blame you for pulling them out yourself...I once got home from the hospital after abdominal surgery only to hear the phone already ringing. It was the hospital, they had left a shunt in my arm and wanted me to come back. After having just endured a three hour surgery, a miserable time in recovery, and throwing up oin the car on the way home there was no way I was going back. My mother was took care of it for me...gotta love nurse mom! Or husband :-)

Anonymous said...

So proud of you for removing those drains!! I would have done the same thing, although my husband would not have had any part in it. He gets queasy watching medical shows on TV.
Having a shower makes all the difference in how you feel. When my kids have been sick a couple of days I always suggest that they take a shower and see if they feel better.

Raleigh, NC

randybethmo said...

My Goodness You are a BRAVE woman! I don't know if I could have done it! Well, at least I know who I can call! :) Congratulations on your new found freedom and continued prayers for you to heal quickly! Prayers from us in California!

Chris P. said...

Becky, you look beautiful!

Ann Martin said...

I agree with Chris--you look beautiful!!!! and you sound like Becky in your writing. So glad you are better and "drain free." Know what a difference a shower makes. I did not have to go two weeks but have had to go a few days without a shower and washing my hair. Praise God for His goodness.

Lizz said...

Becky, I am so happy you got those out and could shower! I bet Sarah & Steve were happy you got to shower too! Hee hee :) Just kidding! I am glad your surgery went well and you are doing so well! It is a long hard road but you are so strong and amazing! You inspire me! Love & Hugs!

Anne said...

Good for you Becky! Taking charge of those blasted drains and showing them who is boss! Awesome. And I get it about the showering. I was in a body cast once for six months. That first shower was akin to a religious experience!! And every day when I shower, I still smile... that pic of you is great - you are in the swing right??? I like to think of you there, on the porch, just healing away :)

Stitches and Thyme said...

I totally get the drain thing! After two surgeries over the past three years, both of which involved drains, I'm wish I had just pulled them out myself when they started to make me crazy!

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