I went to the hospital and had my drain removed today. (That’s a Penrose Drain, to help me recover from a sigmoid bowel resection due to diverticulilitis, if anyone hasn’t been keeping up with this tumblr before now …)
The doctors have been puzzled as to why I’ve had so much output from it, which has generally been about 20 mls of gunk a day. Typically this output vanishes about 2 weeks after surgery. It’s been constant two and a half months for me.
There was only ambiguity to act upon with my decision for it to be taken out. If I sound blase it’s because I’ve thought every possibility through as to why I might still have it; have sought second opinions, talked it over with a terrific nurse who visits each week, read up about it, etc.. Every doctor I’ve met has had a different opinion, there’s no certitude. Finally I opted with those proposing to remove it, with the idea my body should recover through its own processes. If there are further complications there’s a 5% chance I may need another surgery. Or something along those lines - I’m beginning to think that this stage of medical diagnosis is very hit and miss. The risk is that the gunk output will keep occurring and become trapped inside of my body, which will trigger another infection. On the other hand, leaving the drain in for so long is not a healthy strategy at all, and was producing no result. Among other things it may have had led to a long term hole forming in my stomach, so removing it now means there’s a chance for it to heal. And there was the idea that after such an unsuccessful strategy, the proposed solution might have been the problem and that the drain itself might be causing the output.
So out they dragged it - two and a half months of difficulty, awkwardness, and pain, and still almost a metre’s length of ribbon tubing - from my intestines, in a sharp, pulling sensation. I now have a 50 cent hole in my stomach (I may post a photograph later).
Quite strange to have it removed with so much uncertainty, after 2.5 months of waiting. O well, it’s a gamble of sorts, I suppose. Ideally, in 3 weeks, my stomach will have healed itself and I’ll be returning to normalcy. If not, I’ll be in hospital, and the symptoms will have become aggravated enough for the doctors to work out what to do.