Sunday, November 16, 2008

What a scare!

Yesterday was beautiful outside and Amy, John and Angie came over to visit so the day went pretty well. I am still moving slow and everything wipes me out, but at least the house was full of lots of laughing and smiles, can't say that we have had a lot of that lately. I started my arm exercises that I am suppose to do 3 times a day, they are very slow and tiny movements trying to give me back more range of motion in my arm and strengthen the muscles. I noticed that putting my arm down to the side hurts more and feels like the nerves have been stretched too far or something. I just figured it was part of the healing process but it still hurts. I also noticed that my drains weren't filling up as much as the last couple of days but there again, since I wasn't told how much or how long it would drain, I thought that might be normal.

When I was getting ready to change for bed, I realized as I took off my jacket that my tank, camisole and bandages were soaked through with all the drainage. It scared me to death,I couldn't imagine that the drain tube could have come out without me knowing it because it is sutured in. I called the on call Doctor and waited for 45 minutes before he got back with me. We searched through all the papers that they sent us home with to see if we had any warnings or instructions for WHAT IF this or that happened, but there was nothing about this on there. Finally when the Doctor called he said that probably the drainage tube was just clogged and told us what to try, then he told us to change the bandages because you don't want that drainage to stay on there because infection. I told him that I didn't know how to change my bandage because I am completely wrapped with an ace bandage and was told not to take it off at all until Monday at my appointment. He said "well, all Doctors do it different but it's not that big of deal to change it". He must have heard how scared that I sounded and hesitant to do it so his next comment was "well, you can come into the ER if you want but I think that is a little overkill!" I won't go into my thoughts about him at that point but I was grateful that he wasn't my surgeon and once again I am shocked at the information that is not given to you after a mastectomy. I also wonder why I had to be treated like I was reacting over nothing? This has really been an eye opening experience.

When I ask Jeff or Shirley if they thought they could change my bandage, they both shook their head NO at the same time. A few hours earlier my dear friend Terry called and left a message, saying that if I needed her for anything just to call. Now since she is a nurse we called her back and she came right over. We were grateful for her expertise and then she also assured us that everything with the incision looked pretty good and told us what to keep a look out for the next couple of days.What a blessing it was that she took the time to come over. Shirley was brave and watched the whole time, I was glad that she didn't faint, I on the other hand, still can't get my nerve up to look.

So today was quite a scare, how grateful I was that I didn't have to go to the hospital and that it was something just as simple as a clogged drain tube. Wish all things were that simple to fix.


Fenchurch said...

I know what you mean about the arm exercises... after I broke my shoulder, they had me doing these teeny tiny little movements that seemed like they should be a piece of cake and I was amazed at how much effort they took and how much they took out of me.

I'm so glad you were able to get your bandages taken care of... and that you had a friend who was willing to help out. When I had my shoulder surgery, they told us that Mitch could just pull out the tube from the pain pump and change my bandages... but he's WAY too squeamish for that sort of thing. We were very lucky that Paul graciously agreed to come over and give us a hand. Thank heavens for friends in the medical field!

You know, it's sounding like there needs to be some sort of book or organization or something to help people who are recovering from mastectomies... I'm really surprised something like that doesn't exist already!

*b said...

Just thinking of you and am sorry for scary moments like this that you have to face. Still praying for you and hoping to be able to stop by this week.

Glad you are surrounded by wonderful friends and family.

Miss you dearly,


Unknown said...

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Julie N. said...

I'm grateful that you were able to have your friend confirm that everything looked okay. That must have been really frightening. I'm so sorry that you haven't received much help from Evergreen. On one of the 3-day walks I did meet a group of women who said they were part of a support group from Evergreen Hospital called Bosom Buddies - I hope this group is still around and that someone does reach out to you.
love you!

Karma said...

Just wanted you to know that I've had you in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us!

Unknown said...

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