Thursday, March 16, 2017

My drains are gone....I've been set FREE!

POD #10 was a lovely day.  Went to my first post-op office visit with my Plastic Surgeon's nurse at 0900 this morning.  It felt a little weird to be up and putting on "real" clothes over my bra and binder.  I fixed my hair and wore makeup even.  It was kind of nice to get out.

I used my new seat belt cushions that were given to me by a family friend. They worked quite well to provide a little cushion from the seatbelt rubbing or pressing on my chest or my abdominal incision.
These cushions velcro around the seat belts.
After calling me back into a room, I noticed that she had set-up the supplies for drain removal....I was so hoping for that!  Don't forget your drain records...she needs those to determine if the output is low enough to remove them.  For me, she was looking for less than 30ccs/day of output for 48 hrs.  I easily met that requirement on all 3 drains, but she told me that she is very conservative on removing the abdominal drain early because she has seen patients need it replaced again...ugh.  But, she would assess my abdomen for swelling and  if it looked good, it could go too.

My allergic reaction rash is still VERY present but nothing like what it was.  We discussed that a bit but agreed that the steroids appeared to be working. After a brief assessment, the nurse said that all looked well...breasts were soft, incisions healing well, and no abnormal swelling. And, ALL THREE drains could come out.  Yippee!

She told me to take a deep breath or to keep talking to her as she snipped the suture in my right breast holding the first drain in place and slowly pulled it out.  I felt the tug as she snipped the stitch, but I really did not feel anything as the drain slipped out. This was the same on the left breast.  The abdominal one I felt, but it was not painful.  It's a longer drain so I felt a little more of a tugging sensation as she pulled it out.  Once each drain was out, she placed antibiotic ointment on a gauze pad and taped it over the wound.
Covered drain site on my left abdomen
These stay on for 24 hours and then I am to use gauze until they scab over.  It was really no big deal and took a matter of minutes to remove all three drains.

Once we finished that, she brought in some instructions for me regarding the next couple of weeks.  We reviewed my current medications and which ones I will stop (like the baby aspirin regimen is only for two weeks). She also told me that Monday (my two week mark), I can change from wearing this post-op bra and binder to a store-bought bra and "panty girdle" (think Spanx).  They provided me with a list of brands and photos, most available at Walmart and Target.  I am actually really excited about that prospect...this current binder and bra are supportive but bulky.
At week 3, I can start some little range-of-motion exercises for my arms.  These are important to getting full ROM back and stretching the post-op tightness out.  And, I should also be scab-free around that time and can start massaging my incisions with cocoa butter cream.

In the meantime, things look good and I feel good.  I actually felt great without the drains. Just not having them hanging around my neck on that lanyard was so freeing!

Throwing away that drain lanyard
from around my neck!
After the visit, I stopped by my NICU unit to say hello to some of the folks was nice to see everyone and get out for a bit.  Its a large unit, and I was tired after the walk.

Later this afternoon an old friend stopped by and we caught up and chatted for a long time.  She brought me a book and a stack of magazines to help me pass the next several weeks at home.  So sweet.

I also got to chat online with a friend of a friend who has also just started her breast cancer journey.  We chatted back and forth about my procedure and I tried to answer as many of her questions as I could. Sometimes it is really nice to connect with someone who has actually just been through it.

Ended the night with a movie in the living room with my boy and my mother.  All in all, a terrific...drain!

No comments:

Post a Comment