For today’s update, I’m going to describe the drains a bit. This is your warning ahead of time, for anyone that may not be interested in hearing about that side of the recovery process (it’s slightly graphic).
After surgery, aside from the tissue expanders, I had 3 drains attached to me. One was on my right and 2 were on my left (one for the mastectomy and one for the lymph node removal). These drains are attached to tubes that are inside of my body. These tubes carry fluid and tissue out of my body and into the drains. For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been carrying around these drains attached to my little tool belt. It may look like a fashion statement but it’s purposeful….you know, to carry my cell phone. 😉
Twice a day (3 times initially), Joe takes an alcoholic wipe and strips the tubes. He breaks up any tissue that is stuck in the tubes and moves along any fluid that is stuck in them. Then he empties the drains into little measuring cups and writes down the amount of fluid in each cup and disposes of it. Once the fluid is less than 30 cc for 24 hours, the drains can be removed. Every day I feel like a kid, anxious to see my output in the hopes of getting below that magic number.
It’s not that the drains are painful, they’re just awkward and a little itchy. I have to be careful everytime I move to be sure I don’t accidentally tug on one and pull it out or make it start to bleed. There is 1 stitch holding each tube in place at my side and then a large piece of tape covering the opening. My skin is still recovering from chemo treatment so it is easily irritated by the tape.
So as you can imagine, I was very excited today to have not just 1 but 2 of the 3 drains removed! Yay! The other one should be out by Friday.
It’s just another moment on this journey that I feel progress being made in my recovery and I can’t help but smile at that! Plus, the surgical tape covering my incisions was removed today so I was able to see the full effect of the incisions from surgery. I am pleasantly surprised and have to agree with my breast care surgeon when she says the plastic surgeon does beautiful work!
Happy Monday friends!