Yesterday, I shared some photos of my drain, as well as some other things. I just happened to mention that I would tell a little more about the drain today.
This is one of the photos I posted yesterday. I completely forgot to thank McD for taking all of the photos for yesterday's post. I took a few, but he took the majority of them. Thank you, McD!
My drain was a Jackson-Pratt Drain. As you can see in the photo above, it is a small tube connected to a rubber bulb shaped like a hand grenade. In yesterday's post you could see how the drain was kept in place with some stitching.
Brittney from Our Greener Acres asked a great question.
She wanted to know what fluids are draining. I had to go do some reading in all of my pamphlets and brochures to find that answer. I knew there was blood, but I didn't know what to call the other stuff. Stuff is the only thing I can think to call it. Not trying to gross anyone out, but there was stringy gunk coming out of that thing sometimes. Eww, I know.
The fluid draining is blood, lymph, and other fluids. The drain helps reduce the risk of infection and it's suppose to keep you more comfortable. Do you see that yellowish fluid in the tube? That is lymph.
Gunk kind of builds up in the drain, so you have to strip the drain. Stripping the drain is basically holding the tube at the exit site with one hand, pinch (or peench, funny story) the tube between your index finger and thumb, squeeze tightly, and pull down the length of the tube. Everything in the drain will go into the bulb. Easy peasy!
After pouring the fluid into the measuring cup you have to create suction in the bulb. It is really easy, but let me show you something I learned.
There are a couple of ways you can create the suction in the bulb.
The first way is to fold the bulb in half, and then put the plug in it. It is really simple to do.
This is what it should look like.
The next way is a great way too.
Pop the plug out, push the bottom of the bulb up, and stick the plug back in there.
Now, let me tell you what I learned from experience. This way doesn't lay in the pocket against your abdomen area as well as the first way. For that reason, we only used the first method.
It was easy for me to do this myself, but McD usually stepped up to take care of it for me.
Believe it or not, I was not looking forward to the drain after surgery. I really dreaded it, but it was nothing. Sure, it was annoying. It hurt a little when I would accidentally grab it when adjusting my shirt, but not bad at all.
Showering or bathing with it was simple. If you'll notice in a few of the photos, there is a tab that is quite handy. I took a string and threaded it through that tab, then tied the string around my neck. You are supposed to keep the drain below the incision, but for the short amount of time it takes to shower is no big deal. We just folded the bulb, plugged it and went on down the road kicking rocks. Ok, no kicking rocks, but you know what I mean.