Monday, 22 April 2013

My Ding-a-ling

It is now 12 days since I was fitted with my peritoneal drain to help manage my ascites (fluid collecting within my peritoneum)

 This is affectionately known as my ding-a-ling.

 I now wear it curled around on the foam pad, covered with some gauze and the whole assembly is then covered by a large flexible plastic dressing.  It is not invisible but so what, it is part of me.
The reddening above the foam pad is where the drain was 'tunnelled' under my skin to keep it secure and reduce infection.
When the District Nurse comes to drain my tummy, she first removes all the dressings mentioned above. She then opens the new drain kit.

This picture shows the yellow clinical waste bag (collected free by local council), the collecting bag showing the connection to my ding-a-ling, and the blue pack which has gloves, dressings etc.

Here is a picture of the contents of the blue pack.

I took these pictures of the booklet that explains exactly how to use the drain and put a fresh dressing on.

When I have had chemo, I become cytotoxic.  ( cytotoxic  linky for the very interested )  Basically this means that my blood, bodily waste AND of course, the fluid in my tummy can cause damage to living cells.  To reduce the risk to the nurses I will be doing my own draining for the time I am cytotoxic.  I have a box of drain packs and other supplies here at home and the perfect step by step instructions in the booklet  ( link to booklet for EXTREMELY interested.)

I am now going to be drained three times a week so that I can be kept more comfortable. It is hoped that the chemotherapy will stop the fluid building up soon and there will be reduced need for draining. Until then, I am very pleased to have my ding-a-ling.