I am truly hoping that this will be the last post I make about my drains…at least until my next surgery…which I don’t dare think about yet. Tomorrow, I see the reconstructive surgeon and have my fingers and toes crossed that he will remove my final drain. This plastic tube that is sutured to the inside of my chest and hangs down about two feet rules my life. I have to make sure it is always secure in a pocket or pinned inside my shirt or clipped to a lanyard around my neck so that it doesn’t dangle freely and pull on my skin. I have to make sure the tube doesn’t catch on anything as I get in and out of bed, or make my way to the washroom. I have to sleep sitting up as the drain needs to be lower than my chest so the blood flows down into the bulb…or grenade as I like to refer to it. The blood that collects there has to be emptied and recorded several times a day to monitor the output on a daily basis.
I am not allowed to get the drainage site wet, so I have not been able to have a proper shower or bath since my surgery. I have to milk the tube every hour to break up clots that form and cause leakage. When I am sleeping the drain backs up and that causes seepage of blood et al through my clothes and bedding. That requires a constant clean up and bandage changes throughout the day and night. The six inch solid piece that is sitting inside my chest wall is very painful. It makes my chest feel very tight and hurts to breathe. If I try to lie back the pressure on the left side grips my chest with such intensity that I can’t move. I curse it every time I see it or touch it which is all the time as it affects everything I do all day every day. So at tomorrow’s appointment with the reconstructive surgeon I am hoping to hear that he is pleased with how the surgery went, that the incisions are healing properly and that he has a plan and timeline for my reconstruction. Needless to say, I am also hoping to hear that he will remove the remaining drain, because having a drain is very draining!
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.