It never even entered my mind that I would utter those words to anyone.
But, about a week and a half ago, those words entered into my marriage. It turns out when you have had surgery, and have drains and other tubes hanging out of your body (which end in bulbs/balls) AND you want to shower/clean up/change clothes... those words WILL come out of your mouth. Chris was wonderful and didn't even cringe when I said it... but I chuckled quite heartily at my little unintended pun.
So what balls might I be referring to? Well I had 2 different types, drains and something called an On-Q pump.
First, the drains. Having had a mastectomy, they put in drains to help drain fluid away from the surgery site. So I have one drain on each side. Here is what a drain looks like. First where it comes out of your body (it's bandaged so I don't think the picture is particularly gross).
This is a picture of what I look like on a regular day. I've been wearing camisoles that have no bra top in them (so nothing squeezing my drain sites). My little black nylon bulb bag peeks out from below my jacket or hoodie. It might be the middle of summer, but the hoodie keeps the bag close to the body and no one really notices it.
I had a third ball too. And it was my favorite ball.
This ball was filled with a local anesthetic and it was connected to two little tubes that went into my body (like 1mm in size apiece, so teensy tiny). These little tubes were kind of like the seeper hoses you'd use in a garden, only instead of letting water seep out, they distribute this local anesthetic along your incision lines. Can I get a "THAT'S FREAKING GENIUS!!!"?
I mean seriously, why didn't anyone think this up sooner? My pain was very limited/non-existent. I attribute this largely to this On-Q pump (what the device is called). So over the course of 5 days, this system pumped out 4ml of local anesthetic per hour. I used Tylenol with codine for about 3 days, then transitioned to regular tylenol for about 2 days and I was off painkillers completely. I don't like lots of painkillers, so I'm excited that I managed my pain so easily.
I don't have a picture of this ball because I wasn't smart enough to document it, but here is a picture from their website.
In summary, if you ever get a mastectomy, be prepared to juggle some balls :)