These drains are very common after surgery. It helps pull fluid away from the area so it can heal better. They are generally left in from a few days to a couple of weeks depending on the circumstances. I have had mine for 13 months... yes, you read that right... months. I try not to complain about JP (that's what I call him... and yes its a he). He's kind of a part of me now. It is gonna be weird the day they take him out.
I've had to have this appendage so long because my surgeon (the FABULOUS Dr. Rutstein) can't get to my problem and fix it because my abdomen is a wreck. So JP keeps me from developing an abscess and getting an infection. So JP is a good guy to have around. However, when there is a foreign object in a body for so long, particularly one developed to only be there for a few weeks, certain issues arise. One of those reared its ugly head today, and that's what prompted this blog. JP clogged.... and when he does, it hurts.
Well, a few months ago, JP was being a real pain in the butt...er... abdomen. He was clogging way more than usual, he smelled...oh boy did he smell, and the tube and bulb needed a replacement. The tube, which is generally pliable was hard as a rock. So JP and I went in to Dr. Rutstein's office to talk to her about it. Rather than just replace the external tube and bulb, we decided it was time to change the entire unit. This is a relatively easy procedure. It literally takes longer to drape a patient for the "surgery" than the surgery itself. But, because it is considered a surgery, a patient has to go through a series of pre-op things to be cleared fit to cut into.
Once the procedure is scheduled, a nurse calls to go through a bunch of health questions. And this is where my story really begins.... yes, I know it took a lot to get here, but it's my blog, so there... lol. Jake was the nurse that called. I remember his name because this conversation is one I'll never forget. It went a little something like this...
Jake: Hi Stephanie, I'm Jake and I just need to go through some of these pre-op questions with you, is that okay?
Me: No problem.
Jake: Okay, great, let's get started. Do you smoke?
Jake: Do you drink?
Jake: Do you do any drugs?
Jake: Do you swear?
Me: (wondering what this had to do with my surgery) giggle... No.
Jake: Geez, do you do anything bad?
Me: No, I'm a good girl... you can ask my mom. Although I do have an addiction to Farmville I should probably disclose.
Me: Does that count?
Jake: More laughter...We see that all the time. It shouldn't be a problem. Okay, next question. I see you've had several surgeries here, so this is probably nothing new, but is there anything we should know about them?
Me: I have a colostomy. His name is Mr. Stoma.
Jake: Laughter, okay. And you have a drain now that we're replacing correct?
Me: Yes, his name is JP.
Jake: Laughter... one more character and we could have a sitcom. What medications are you currently taking?
Me: blah, blah, blah, and citalopram.
Jake: And the citalopram is for depression?
Me: Yes... because of Mr. Stoma and Mr. JP.
Jake: Laughs.... I think we just found our third character.
Jake made my day. I even laughed quietly to myself while typing that out to share with you. I had hoped he would be working the day I had my surgery, cuz he was a good time. Alas he wasn't, but he sure gave me a good story. So, welcome to my sitcom folks.... STOMA - Some Thing On My Abdomen... it's filmed in front of a live studio audience. We've been renewed for this season... but I secretly hope we get cancelled so I can start a new show called... Stephanie's Living Life.
Until next time...