Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Awful Pain from the "Vampire Machine"

The Vampire Machine that attacked me!
My life has a new's what I refer to as the "Vampire Machine", and it lurks in the treatment room at Dr. Martin's office.  In real life, it's not anything out of a Charlaine Harris "Southern Vampire / Sookie Stackhouse" novel, or even related to Bill or Eric from "True Blood", but a medical grade vacuum.  Unfortunately, I had an appointment with the Vampire Machine on Tuesday.

 I noticed Monday that I began retaining fluid around my incision, and under my arm pit, so I called Dr. Martin's office.  It is fairly normal for mastectomy patients to need additional draining after the drainage tubes are removed.  Yours truly, was no exception, and had to undergo treatment from the fang-ridden, blood sucking, pain machine!
The covered needle and plastic tubing
Dr. Martin used the Vampire Machine to drain lymphatic fluids, blood and other juicy stuff from my breast area.  A sterile needle and tubing is attached to the vacuum, and then inserted into the breast area.  The vacuum was then turned on, collecting fluid into a canister.  I may complain from time to time, but I was not prepared at all of the pain that was inflicted by the blood sucking machine.  The needle was moved in different direction to suck fluid from different areas, and it was by far the most painful thing I have experienced.

I am at the stage in my recovery where much of the "feeling" is returning to my breast and arm area from surgery.  Regardless of whether it was the sensation of regenerated nerves or not, this was extremely painful.  Let me say that once hurt!  I had to take pain medication all night, and even bled through my bandages.  Please pray that I do not need to meet the Vampire Machine any more during recovery!

More than 100 cc of fluid was collected
Dr. Martin is very pleased with the way my incision is healing, and was excited about the range of motion that I have regained already in my arm.  My exercise booklet is from the American Cancer Society.  You can see the exercises here.  This appointment also served as my pre-surgical consult for my chemotherapy port.  My port will be inserted by Dr. Martin on October 3, as out-patient surgery.  Pre-op for outpatient surgery will be on September 27.

My stamina is improving everyday, as is my ability to move my right arm.  There are still some issues with tightness and swelling, but perhaps some of that is strictly from nerve re-generation.

Regardless of the reason, please pray that I have no more encounters with the Vampire Machine.  I'm traumatized...scarred for life, from this little" blood sucker on wheels".  Please pray that there is no "next time" encounter for me and this horrid machine!



tracy said...

well that just sucks!pun intended:). all fang and no hunk, thats just not fair! they could at least tape a picture of Eric Northman onto that wicked little sucker!! on a serious note, i do pray that you never have to have that done again. It is good to hear that your range of motion is improving by leaps and bounds!

Beverly said...

Oh my gosh Shelby, that sounds horrible! I'm so sorry you had to endure that and I will definitely pray for no more trips to the vampire machine. Hugs & God Bless.

Candy Bullard Forthe said...

I agree with Tracy! My prayer is that you have had your last date with the "Vampire Machine!" Praying that God will continue to give you strength & healing. Your faith is such an inspiration to me and your ability to still manage to have humor during this time is God's way of shining through you. You are an encouragement & blessing!

Laura said...

I know Halloween is just around the corner but....Vampire Machine we are gonna put a hex on you to stay away....BLAH!!!!

Anonymous said...

I will certainly be praying for you to heal quickly and no longer need the "Vampire Machine". I truly appreciate the open way you share your experiences. You are a blessing to so many others.
God Bless You,
Aunt Marilyn

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I agree with Aunt Marilyn, I am glad you share your experience with others, and I pray you get better really quick.
Take Care and May GOD Bless You and Yours.
Sybil Davidson

Lori said...

Garlic necklaces for everyone!

vickie said...

I am so sorry you had to go through that! I have not forgotten you, was on vacation last week, but you were in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you are feeling better now.
Hugs and Prayers