Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pre-Surgery Appointment

Can Todd and I be more overwhelmed?  I doubt it.  Friday Todd and I traveled to Clarian North Hospital in Indy to have all of my pre-admission testing and consults done.  We first meet with Dr. Kennedy and her nurse, Mary Jane.  Mary Jane explained to us how the hand grenade (or drainage pump) works.  I am not kidding you... the thing looks just like a hand grenade.  I will have that attached to me for a least a couple weeks.  They even give you a chart so you can measure how much stuff is seeping out of you.  Then she explained about another tube that will be connected to me.  It is a medicine pump that has a catheter inserted in my chest where the breast is removed.  This med pump release pain meds into the incision site for a few days after surgery.  Mary Jane taught Todd how to remove this med pump after it is empty.  It is a pretty neat thing.  It is called an ON-Q PainBuster.  For those of you who do research the site http://www.askyoursurgeon.org/

After meeting with Doc and Mary Jane, Todd and I went down to rehab. The PT's name is Dianne and at one point in her life she went to Manchester College for a year.  Dianne taught us all these exercises I have to do to help prevent Lymphadema and range of motion issues.  She gave us a print out of all the do's and don'ts.  Below is a list of things I can not do right away: no lifting of the kids, no vaccuming, no carrying groceries on that arm.  Then she tells me all the things that I have to change in my life to decrease my risk of lymphadema ( swelling that occurs when there is more fluid to remove than your lymph system can now manage): everytime I get a cut I have to put a antibiotic cream and a band-aid on it, use an electric shaver or a new razor everytime I shave, no more blood draws or blood pressure taken from my right arm, wear gloves when I do the dishes or clean (Melinda, Are you laughing?), avoid burns, and no hot tubs.  It was information overload. 

The finally meeting was with pre-admissions and the hosipitalist, Dr. Reeder.  He and his nurse asked me a zillion questions and did an EKG.  I was also told that my last mugga scan was good and I have not lost any more heart function!!!  Thank God!! 

Then after we meet with all of them, Todd and I went to the store in the hospital.   With our prescription from Dr. K, we got two cami's that zip up the front that also have two fake breast forms that come with each one of them.  The lady who fitted me was very excited and kind.  She showed us all the different types of fake ones and explained that as my skin heals after radiation Dr. K can write a new prescription and I can get new ones. 

2 comments:

Heather-Anne said...

Melissa that is information overload. WOW. Sounds like a great staff and doctor though.

I can see you in a couple of weeks pointing to the list...
"Nope it says I cannot vacuum. Doctor's orders. I wonder if insurance covers a maid since the doctor said so?"

Tammy said...

I think you learned a valuable lesson last week. No more housework. Ever. You never know when that darned lymphedema will flare up again....