Day 33 - Pain Buster No More

This morning when I woke up, we had a bit of a leak from one of my drains. This was the second time. The nurse said that it's totally normal - that I must have pinched the tube and the fluid just built up. It wasn't a lot -- but it was enough. My pain buster was also empty.

My pain buster - it is (was) this bulb container that had numbing medicine in it. It had two micro tubes that ran from the bulb just under the skin on my chest, numbing each side of the surgical sites. They said that it would run out on its own, and when it did - we can either pull it out on our own, or just let them pull it out on Tuesday at the post-op appointment. Since it was empty, we decided to pull it out -- one less thing for me to carry around (or forget to carry around -- which happened a few times and caused a bit of panic because I thought I was going to pull them out completely). So, after I got up, Mike helped me get cleaned up and changed out of the compression vest. Then he started pulling the tape on the right side.

After he got the tape off, he started pulling at the pain buster catheter. They were micro tubes, really, really small. When the nurse told us that we could pull them out - we assumed that we were only pulling out an inch or so of tubing. Not the case. Mike kept pulling ... and pulling ... and pulling. After about a foot of micro tubing, we finally reached the end. Holy cow. We could see the tube snake its way backward out of my chest. The nurse could have warned us that we'd be pulling out a foot of tubing -- and that we could see it! Ugh .... we both needed a minute, because there was still the other side to do. So after gathering ourselves ... we tried the other side. This side I could feel come out. There wasn't any pain, just a pressure change, thank goodness. But we finally finished, wrapped me up and we both kind of shuddered and needed to take a minute away from this early morning dose of reality.

I'm glad we pulled it out however, for multiple reasons. For one, my body must know its out because I feel ten times better. One less thing hanging out of me, and I can feel it. Two, I'm glad we pulled it out while my chest was still numb. If we waited until Tuesday, that's two days without the numbing and I most likely would have felt it more - so I'm glad for that. Three - it's another step forward. A step closer to finishing -- being better -- being done.

The numbing medicine is wearing off now, I can feel little sensations -- like a sleeping limb waking up -- the little pricklys. I'm hoping that when it is fully worn off, it won't be too painful, that the pain is controllable with just the vicodin, and then with just Advil or something not prescription. We'll see how things go -- post op is Tuesday.


  1. OMG I can't believe you guys pulled that out yourselves! I went into L&D triage to have it done (since I was pregnant). I would have passed out if we did it ourselves!


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