Besides the traumatic memories of my ordeal (and a lifelong friendship formed with my roomie Pat) I brought home something else from hospital three weeks ago. No, not a raging staph infection. It's called a t-tube. Sure, it sounds cute, but I'm not at all fond of it, except for the fact it is keeping me alive. It has to stay attached to me and my bile duct for at least 6 weeks after surgery, and is there for testing and any further blockages or cases of jaundice. And as my adorable surgeon keeps reminding me - if it comes out, I need another operation.
God help me - I don't ever want another operation like that again.
When I first came home, the t-tube was clamped and attached to my tummy with dressings and tapes by the community nurses who look after me a few times a week. Guess who's massively allergic to all dressings and tapes? Yes - that would be me. Allergies mean blisters mean infections, and so the dressings were abandoned and my waist was effective bandaged* to keep the tube together.
I knew there was a better solution. I had an idea to make a tube of stretch fabric to hold the main section of tube to my stomach, and a pocket for the extra clamped length which could then be tucked inside the tube when worn. I used some stashed stretch fabric, and got to work.
So now I have a very comfortable alternative to the bandage.
(needs some applique, or puff paint)
This is actually the first sewing project I have undertaken since I went into hospital at the beginning of May. And I can't believe I made something so utilitarian and ugly rather than something warm or beautiful or (publicly) wearable. The white is a bit boring though, and given I have to wash these every day, I'm going to make the next two sets a bit more exciting.
*I say "bandaged" but what it really comprised of was the cut-off top of a stretchy adult diaper, courtesy of ACT Health. It was kind of embarassing, but also laughable. Because I've discovered if you can't laugh at your predicament, you cry and that's no fun at all.
Practical indeed - good on you for thinking to make them Michelle - if you didn't have that skill you'd be back to the other option for a while - do like the stripes though!ReplyDelete
Holy cow do I know how to laugh about my predicaments. I am always in one or another. I have rhuematoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus, had a brain tumor removed, and two rods in my back.... yikes! Laughter and GOD save me everytime. This last one is a little more raw, but once again the LORD and laughter are helping me get through the death of my husband. Whenever you start feeling bad, sad, or mad, look around and find the beauty of nature or the humor of the situation. Also, you can always write me. You are in my prayers, and if I can think of a good joke I will send it your way! xxoo JudyReplyDelete
ps I really like the stripes! great thinking!ReplyDelete
Clever! And practical! Nice one!ReplyDelete
And you definitely have to laugh, much better than the alternative.
I don't know if I told you that I had the same thing when I had my gallbladder out? I totally did. I was a guinea pig for a top Sydney surgeon who was so fancy-pants he was a Mr instead of a Dr.ReplyDelete
It was awful. I know it. I feel for you; but hooray for some sewing, even if it isn't the fun kind. xx
yay for sewing! And you, Miss Smartypants, patenting your own desgin HAHAHA. I'd need a pattern! And you could also loan it to someone with a colostomy bag; keeps you warm around the tummy in winter; and gets you to the machine. Love it! PS Hope THAT made you chuckle!ReplyDelete
Oh gawd! Please keep sewing lots of utilitarian stretchy bandage thingies and make sure that t-tube stays right where it's meant to!ReplyDelete
There's no way that we ever ever ever want you to go through that again!
Great work! Sewing must have all started out with resourcefullness and practicality really.ReplyDelete
If you need a weekday visitor let me know. Fridays I am baby free, or Wed/ Thur I can bring her. I am only down the road so I can pop by super briefly if that is all you are up for. cpwork email
I honestly don't know what to say Michelle, other than you're one of the strongest people I know. I wouldn't be half as good as you are at dealing with what you've had to. I hope the next 3-and-however-long weeks go past in no time and you can be free of your "companion". :)ReplyDelete
Hooray for sewing! And for comfy solutions to keeping that thing in place.ReplyDelete
It'll be over before you know it and you'll be back to sewing fun and fabulous quilts and clothes.
Love the way you make the best of a bad situation - such a clever crafty solution! All the best for getting better quickly :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I don't get a lot of blogging time at the moment, but I like reading you. What a great idea to make your own 'bandage'. My first thought was Tubigrip, but it's probably a bit tight - jersey is a much better plan, and comes in much nicer designs! I hope you're feeling much more sparky soon. If you're off work, I'm always up for a cuppa and a chat!ReplyDelete
Happy to hear that the surgery was a success even though the interim state has obviously been a pain and will continue to be so for a few more weeks. I take it that after that it is removed and you go back to "normal"? Great job on the inventive solution to your allergy problem, necessity is indeed the mother of invention.ReplyDelete
Very clever... good luck with your recovery, and thank you for coming over to say the same to me!!ReplyDelete
yikes I missed all this business, glad you are on the mend again (or so it would seem). I love when being able to sew actually helps in real life (of course nearly all sewing helps in real life but I hope you get what I mean)ReplyDelete