Hand grenade and Drain tube…

I thought I was well prepared for my surgery on 9/11…and…I kind of wasbut I have never had a surgery where “it wasn’t done after the surgery” That might sounds weird… what I mean is;  Usually after a surgery; You’re done! You’re in recovery! But this time when I woke up, I had 2 tubes attached to me. And it felt like I wasn’t done…

MY MIND HAD REGISTERED THE INFORMATION. My surgeon had told me exactly what was going to happen…but until you experience it …it’s just words…bla,bla,bla…tubesurgeryafterwards…bla, bla…just words… I remember saying “Yes, I get it” “Aha, I know…” “I understand…” …and that is all true…but the experience is what’s making it real. I knew I was going to have a drain tube attached to me, and I knew I was going to have this “thing”, looking like a hand grenade, with pain meds, attached to me. I knew it…

 I can’t recall when I first paid attention to my new “best friends” Mr. Q.(pain pump) and the Tube (drainage)…

Maybe it was when I first had to go to the bathroom (or I was told to go to the bathroom) the nurse showed me the black bag I had beside me. It looked like a hand grenade (as I was told) in a bag (called ON-Q) It’s a balloon type pump filled with a medicine to treat the pain. It blocks the pain in the area of the procedure. Very nifty! ”Here’s your little bag. Hang the bag over your shoulder…It will disburse pain meds every hour”. Even though it was a little scary having something hanging from your body…from your skin…freaky! and annoying (don’t know how many times I yanked this tube by mistake! Yikes!) “Mr. Q” became a good buddy though! Thank God for him! I only had to take extra pain meds at night. After 5 days, Mr.Q  was dead, empty…flat as a pancake. It didn’t matter how much I shook him, gave him resuscitation, mouth to mouth – He was dead! I was sad…

My other ‘best friend’ the Drain Tube. At the end of the drain tube is a little plastic bottle that fills up with your inside guts…lol…not really…but it drains fluid from the surgery area… The first three times the nurses helped me to empty the plastic bottle. Thank God! Which was about half filled with body-red-liquid. It was not really the color of clear blood, but more a mix… like muddy-obscure liquid. Hard to describe. They showed me exactly how to empty the bottle… How to squeeze the plastic “ball”. Empty it of air. Put on the top, so the squeezed bottle would expand and suck out the liquid from the drain tube into the bottle…All of this had to be documented to a “Drainage Record Sheet”. Check!

It was leaking a little bit from the incision area. The Doctor said this was normal. The first day, and night, it leaked through the dressing (called Dermadond. It’s a superglue for the skin), through my bra and onto the bed. I was a little nervous of going home with this leaking…thinking I would wake up in a pool of blood…Or (worst case scenario) I would totally be drained of all my blood…a slow death…This is how it’s going to end…I know – Very Dramatic! He,he,he…

It was not ”The End!’

I learned I was going to get Home Care for a week after the surgery. I gladly accepted. I asked my neighbor, Joan Norell, (a respiratory therapist) to be here…I just felt more comfortable having a second person present.

The nurse was an elderly woman with many years of experience. Very sweet.  She looked at my surgical area, the tubes, the Dermadond and the dauby- mess underneath the plastic…I got the feeling she didn’t really know what to do… (What???) She didn’t have the right equipment with her (had not received the correct instructions for me, specifically) She looked, and looked at the area…She suggested I go back to Cleveland Clinic, or Urgent Care, to exchange the dressing…She called the Doctor ‘On Call’ at Cleveland Clinic, and send him a picture of my surgical area. After a while she said: I can do this! I just needed the right equipment.  I felt so safe and secure in her hands…NOT! But…I told her to come back the next day! (I’m a brave woman!)

She was filled with self confidence the next morning! She took charge and knew what she was doing…very different from the day before. Joanie came as well. I wanted her to be present…just in case…It took a while to change the dressing…it was many strips of tape that needed to be pulled off, and to be careful of the tubes…plus the discomfort…But she did it! With Joanie’s help!


After this I asked Joanie if she could help me to change the dressing from now on… she said “Sure!”

No more Home Care!

6 thoughts on “Hand grenade and Drain tube…

  1. Uäck! Rör som leder in i kroppen och som ens innehåll rinner ut i…Bläh! Men tur att det funkar och finns ändå! Jag har sett sånt här förut, när jag jobbat som läkarsekreterare, legat på sjukhus själv osv så jag kanske skulle vara mer beredd, men kanske svimma lite då och då, när det handlar om ens egen kropp…. Hej och hå! Det är som du skriver en sak att höra talas om det och en helt annan att UPPLEVA det. Och det gäller allt! Lärdomar, lärdomar…. Kram!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s