So I'm on the phone to my step-mother yesterday morning when I feel something wet on my left side. I do a quick mental inventory of bodily orifices that might cause this to happen. Am I drooling? No, shirt's dry. Sweating alot in one place? Nope, I'm sitting at my desk not working up much of a sweat at all. Have I just wet myself (again)? A quick check of the plumbing indicated all was sound. OK, I'm going to have to concentrate on this. I said good-bye to Joan, hung up the phone and took my shirt off. The moisture had thoroughly soaked my left side and it appeared to be coming from under the 2"x2" gauze covering the incision that used to hold the drain. It looked like around a cup of tea colored liquid had escaped my abdomen and poured down my leg. All I could muster was "Ew, Gross!" but coming from a guy with a bag of urine taped to his leg, that's really saying something.

This wasn't on any of my lists of things to look forward to after prostate cancer surgery so I thought I better check with someone. I called the doctor's office and they told me this is pretty common. Really? I hadn't noticed it on the street before. I would have thought I'd notice scores of men shuffling down the street with their left sides soaking wet from the hip down. The doctor told me to "reenforce the dressing". I should have asked them what that meant. I assumed they ment "put a dressing on that didn't leak, you idiot". I scrounged around in our first aid supplies and found a large Nexcare bandage that I knew from experience were pretty water tight. I removed the soaked gauze and admired the slow leak in my side. One drop every 3 or 4 seconds. Not much but anyone who'd done any plumbing knows that drip will collapse a ceiling given enough time. I dabbed it dry and quickly but the bandage on. It held.

Proud of myself for fixing this on my own and not collapsing into the sheer disgust of the whole thing, I showed the dressing to Carolyn who had just returned from a bike ride. She thought I should probably let it drain - that's what we do with our cats after all - and she had some concerns about what appeared to be a growing tension around the edges of the bandage. "This is gonna start leaking" she announced.

OK, back to the bathroom. I stand in front of the sink and pick the edge back on my nice new bandage and the wound explodes showering the room with whatever this stuff is that's coming out of me. It misses Carolyn's face by inches and she shouts "Ew Gross!" though I thought it lacked the gravitas I brought to the exclamation. It impacts on the wall, the shower door the rug and yes, it's running down my leg because if it's disgusting, it's probably running down my leg these days.

I cleaned the mess up and reapplied the gauze dressings. It took until nightfall for the leak to stop. Once it had, I carefully cleaned around the incision and put my last nexcare bandage on it. The doctor can be surprised on Tuesday...


Unknown said…
Ewwwww! Gross!!

Seriously, Jonathan, that post has given me a worse case of the oogies than anything else you've written here. Keep up the good work. ^_^
Pam said…
A. I love Kyle's comment
B. You didn't gross me out. Not much does other than a lot of green mucous.
C. Always remember you have an RN in the family now.
Miko said…
Oh dear. I hope you're not working right now.
pg said…
jdp -

not too "ewwww" but a wee bit gross.

it's cool you're you and carolyn is her.

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