The daughter, her fella and Carrie stopped by. They picked up the chest of drawers (see prior posts), Carrie got her peach colored dress from the closet for the wedding they are attending this afternoon and they were gone. I had my own plans. A shower after 8 day of basin washing.
I stripped off the corset like bra thing that was placed in the operating room, dropped it into the washing machine and hit the dial to start the washer. The drainage was noted to the t shirt I had been wearing. This is not unexpected nor a sign to be alarmed though it did make me more ready to get beneath a shower and put on some fresh clothes.
I halted, stopped and picked up my cell phone and messaged the daughter. She had barely got home but responded immediately. I wanted her to be here to help with the dressings; I didn't want to be alone to see the surgeon's handiwork. I'm not usually squeamish over surgical scars. This one is different. I am dumb founded over my reactions to this. Much of it comes from observing the pictures on the internet of the post mastectomy chests.
Once again, though I appreciate all she does for me, having April do anything medical leaves me watching her in dismay. As she opened the sterile gauze pads I had purchased on my trip to the store this morning, I gently gave instructions on handling the little pads that would be placed on the drainage sites. We are not doing a "sterile" dressing change that would entail sterile gloves and a sterile field to work in. This was to be a "clean" dressing change though.
"Don't get your fingers directly on the gauze." I said to her as she began peeling off the tape that held the dressings."
"Hold the gauge by the edges. Yeah that's right." I said to her as she began ripping the paper packaging away from the new gauze she would be applying.
I watched the expression on her face for any signs that she may become sick or faint. The expressions were there though she hung tough seeing the incisions. She described what she was seeing. I inspected the old gauze for signs of infection. All was going well and I was impressed by the daughter's ability to help.
"Mom, I'm a "desert" type nurse. I would never make it in a civilized setting. That's what real nurses are for!"
When she picked up the tape, pulled out a long piece and put it in her mouth to rip a piece off I thought of her stranded in the desert using what she had in the worst possible conditions. I took the tape from her and told her "Let me help." I can just imagine a hospital patient watching her technique. This is not the desert.
"What?" she said. I'm not supposed to tear it with my teeth?"
We both fell out laughing and I did all the tape measuring and cutting to finish this task.
We got through this; my aversion to seeing myself right now and her aversion to doing anything involving bandages and drainage.
I haven't seen the husband since we began this task. I'm sure he will show up later when all the mess is cleaned up.