Sunday, December 2, 2007

Three Days After

I finally got up the nerve to remove the dressings and take a look at Dr. B's handiwork. Considering how much he had to remove, and the paucity of raw material (I have less than an A cup), it doesn't look too bad. I have two incisions, one on the breast itself, and the other on the inside of the armpit. The swelling and bruising has increased over time, and my right arm has limited mobility.

Now for the really gross part: the drain. The device, which I now know is called a Jackson-Pratt drain (link not safe for the squeamish), consists of a flexible silicone bulb attached to a long tube, part of which is stitched into the incision. The bulb is meant to be squeezed flat and capped, and the resulting suction helps drain the wound. That means that every six hours or so, I empty the bulb into a specimen jar and note how many cc's of stuff leaked out of me. It's a simple but ingenious device, and if I pin the bulb under a jacket, nearly undetectable. However, it's a pain in the ass to try to shower with it, as I was advised I could. I ended up binding it to my torso with the only thing I could find, some clear packing tape. Later, my husband scrounged up a little gauze and surgical tape, and we were able to dress it properly. I think sponge baths are the way to go from now on.

1 comment:

Jagmenace said...

Oh! I am not brave enough to look at the drain, but when I come by tomorrow, I'm going to bring some tegaderm covers that might work...