Good friend of mine. We were quite attached to one another. The separation was painful.

The Jackson-Pratt bag refers to this bulb that is attached, in my case, to the stomach area by a tube. One end of the tube is inserted in the stomach area,  the other end is attached to this bag. The bag is squeezed and plugged. Helps, I guess, that it is made of plastic. The vacuum creates the suction that drains the liquids from your recent wounds.

The nurse in the hospital would check on me regularly to empty the bag and check its colour. We were aiming for very little to drain and a clear liquid indiating that there was nothing left to drain. In my case, a bit of the opposite took place. At one point, the nurse emptied the bag, plugged it up and watched it fill up again. Did that three times. She was, to say the least,a bit bothered by that.

Dr. Kennedy decided that I should go home with the bag attached and let nature takes its course. Here we are two weeks later, and the bag has stopped draining entirely. I had the pleasure of emptying the bag two to three times a day.

Let me say that this bag was a pain from the get go. My fingers would get stuck behind the tube and inadvertently pull on it. Very painful. Then you had to attach the bag to your gown while you slept with the clip that came with it. I would have to empty it before going for a walk. The weight of the liquid in the bag made it difficult to control.

Today is the day this thing is to be removed. Not only has it stopped draining, but it is now causing pain. My guess (a correct guess as it turns out) is that the tube inside my body is now rubbing against my insides since all the liquid that held it afloat has drained.

We are ushered into a room with a bed listing at about 30degrees. I thought I was going to slide off. Took a little time for everyone to figure out the electronics. Finally lying down flat. Get a local in the stomach. Ouch!

It might help to let you all know at this point that my brother, sisters and I are all phobic about needles. We had a dog while growing up in Ethiopia. We are talking about the 50′s here. Dog dies. The powers that be think it may have had rabies and decide that the children should be treated with anti-rabies vaccines, just to be on the safe side. We get 20 injections in the stomach over 20 days. I have no physical recollection of this event, but am still phobic about needles.

So ouch it is. She waits a couple of minutes then removes the bag. More like yanks it out. I scream from the pain. Janet tells me she closed her eyes and turned her back. The pain was incredible. Lucky she did this quickly. A slow withdrawal would have been more painful. Did not feel the stitches as she sewed up the hole left behind. The community nurse would have the pleasure of removing those in a week or so.

Damn you Jackson-Pratt!

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