Monday, June 28, 2010

Uh Oh!

The first time I really remember doing something that wasn't quite the right thing to do medically was after I'd had my gallbladder removed. My course of treatment involved a rather long story that I won't go into now, but I was in the hospital on mostly a liquid diet for a couple of weeks before I finally had surgery. Keep in mind, too, that this was back in the days before they did things laparoscopically--and I have the hugely long scar from the incision to prove it too!

I came out of surgery with a stomach that looked like it belonged on the Frankenstein monster, criss-crossed with sutures and with a drainage tube sticking out. I stayed in the hospital another couple days after surgery and was eventually sent home, still with the drain. I don't know why I didn't ask, but as far as I can recall, I wasn't told exactly when the drain would be removed--or maybe it was just the drugs that left me in a fog.

As I started to get better, the drain started "pinching." I had lost weight from the light diet, and I could see that the drain was attached to my skin by one little stitch, and that stitch was as tight as could be because I'd "shrunk" while the drain hadn't. Again, I don't know if it was the pain medications or what, but I thought that if I just snipped that stitch, I'd be much more comfortable.

But I didn't do that right away, of course. I wasn't that dumb. First, I needed to think it through. But eventually, over the course of a few hours, I convinced myself that it was the only thing that made sense. So I snipped that little stitch, and the drain started sliding out. Well, then I was in a panic! I had no idea what the drain might be attached to internally, and I had this horrible image of the drain sliding out, followed by all of my intestines! I gripped the drain and tried to push it back in, but it wouldn't GO! In tears, holding onto the drain with one hand, I called Hubby at work and told him what I'd done; I was half hysterical, so he agreed to call the doctor.

Hubby came home and drove me to the doctor's office, where I didn't get nearly the lecture I was expecting. The doctor agreed it was probably time to remove the drain anyway, and he did. And while it felt kind of odd coming out, I found the drain wasn't attached to anything at all, and the removal wasn't painful! I guess it was a bit anti-climactic, but the initial sight of that drain sliding out of the incision when I snipped that stitch was scary enough to keep me from practicing medicine again--at least for awhile.

And--so far--I still have the splint on my right wrist from THIS surgery, although it's driving me crazy. My sister-in-law works for a medical facility, and she told me that in the last week or so, she's seen two patient charts with notations that the patients have removed their own casts, so I guess I'm not the only nut case! I still have to get through two more days until my follow-up appointment when the doctor will remove this splint--I sure hope I can make it!

11 comments:

Gran - Knot-y Embroidery Lady said...

Uh-oh! The power of suggestion - I wish your SIL didn't tell you that story! Do we need to do an intervention and remove all things sharp i.e., seam rippers, rotary cutters, scissors, your tool box.....

Jen in NY said...

I'll admit, I'm a little woozy after reading your tale. LOL Hang in there Kim...you can make it! :-)

Shelley said...

Snipped your own STITCH!!! Are you freakin kidding me!!! I would have passed out right there! Yep, no worry about hysterics because I'd be out cold! LOL! Hon, if you can snip your own stitch, you can hold on for two more days to get the cast off! Maybe Gran could threaten you with raw orangic food! LOL! Hang in there!

Robin said...

OMG ON YOUR DRAIN!!!!!!! That is horrifying!! Glad nothing fell out the hole, LOL. Hang in there with the splint and try to distract yourself so you will LEAVE IT ALONE. Saw a guy last night on an ER show who had made his own concrete cast and sewed up his own stomach laceration...with COPPER WIRE, LOL. Hope you're not at quite that stage yet!

PunkiePie said...

I have no "bad patient" stories but yours really made me laugh! You need to stop playing doctor. LOL!! I had a drain after my c-section with my daughter so I can understand the uncomforable-ness of the "pinching". They removed it at the hospital before I left. Feel better soon! Wednesday is on its way!

Kelly Ann said...

Okay lady step away from the rotary cutter and your cast/splint....

Teresa said...

Step away from the medical bag...be patient and everything will happen when it supposed to. Of course, as I suggest this to you, could I be patient?? Nah!!

Hang in there!

debbie said...

Ok, I'm weak from that story,:o{
and glad your splint is still intact. Hang in there girl! You can make it!

Jan said...

Oh my! You my dear are waaaaaay braver than me, that's for sure. There's no way 'jose I could have snipped that snitch!!! It's definitely one of those things in life that wasn't one ounce funny at the time, but now ... well it gets a big LOL! No bravery allowed w/the latest situation ya hear! Just sit there and behave yourself :)

dianne said...

i wasn't gonna comment cuz i was shaking my head so much (with utter disbelief at how cuh-ray-zee you are) that whatever i had to say got etch-a-sketch-erased ... HOWEVER ... the word verification is shemob and i just couldn't let that one go - bwah ha ha!!!

Heckety said...

Repeat after me: Kim is a QUILTER not a SURGEON... go on, just say it...