Hehe HI GUYS!!! I was out having fun as it turns out, we have this festival every year here in Brisbane called Riverfire, and my sister lives right above South Bank so we had a perfect view of the fireworks and the F111’s flying overhead, so close to us!
Frogelita, I do worry a bit for you if you are considering a mushroom drain, because I know you’ve had difficulty being comfortable with a seton, and a mushroom drain is much more difficult to live with than a seton….. A seton is flexible and just a string whereas the mushroom drain is not, it just pokes straight out and is not very flexible, (but flexible enough to live with)…… but I am so glad I had one put in nevertheless because the excess sepsis I had is now being drained.
I had my mushroom drain put in a few months ago now. When I first came out of surgery I just wanted it OUT it was so scary looking and uncomfortable and I wanted it to be out within the week. I have now grown to adjust to it. It is a tube, a bit thicker than a standard pencil, and it is rubber, skin-coloured, and mine was poking out around 4 or 5 cm from my butt when I first came out of surgery. They stitch it in at first, and this is the most difficult period because the stitches can pull this way and that when you move. I have had to sit ‘on my side’ and not front-on, for months now, but I was just very gentle and brought a pillow to work to sit on at my desk. It is also difficult to walk when you first get it. as my surgeon said, “these things are difficult to live with” (the drains). It is hard to adjust but let me tell you it is WELL worth it, especially because it prevents damage to the muscle. The mushroom was inserted into my existing cavity which was there after the seton was put in and the abscess was opened up. so it goes into the existing hole, and drains from there. I had a lot of drainage initially but now just have to change the liner once a day.
The drain DOES grow out, which I think is great because it shows that its healing from the inside out – so you can SEE the results. I didn’t realise my abscess was so deep until I saw how much it grew out. After about a month I was having excruciating nerve-pains in my butt whenever I tried to get dressed, I couldn’t put my undies on, I was in tears, and even painkillers wouldn’t help, and I could barely walk from the pain. I saw my surgeon and he was willing to do another exploratory surgery but instead I found out why it was so painful - the tube had grown really long (like a tail!!) and had become about 9cm poking out, so it was being pulled left and right whenever I moved because of the increased leverage. So I took it upon myself to carefully trim it, which my surgeon said was fine. Because it had grown long it was pulling…… after the trimming it was instant relief….. If you do get one just make sure it doesn’t grow too long but don’t trim it before a month of having it.
I hope this answers some of your questions frogelita. I know when I had my drain inserted there was no one on the board who had had one, so I had a lot of questions and not many answers since there’s not much out there! It is very hard to live with and much harder than a seton, but I think its worth it, because it deals with the problem, you just have to be prepared for an ugly-looking drain and a little ‘tail’!! and you will get used to it, I just don’t want you to freak out too much when you first see it because it looks sooooo ugly and it is uncomfortable. The stitches eventually fall away but it stays in due to the mushroom shape at the top. I am scared about how easily mine will come out once I have my remicade…… they might have to put me under again to get it out…. I hope not!
Haha - the lone mushroom drain expert - I like that title!! You are so right; it’s all about being prepared. If you can get as much info as possible beforehand, you are less likely to freak out, because you are prepared for it to be tough. I know the feeling of wanting answers and searching without finding anything useful….. I wanted to know what it would look like and how it would feel. I woke from my mushroom surgery crying and in pain and asking for morphine (they left me to wake up lying on my ‘bad side’!) and I was in tears, asking the nurse what it looked like, how big it was, where it was, because I needed to be ‘prepped’ before I had the guts to look at it. Even then, when I got up the nerve to look the next day, I was freaked, after seeing the length, size, the stitches. I wanted it OUT! This crazy big foreign tube! I felt like a robot! But you learn that it is working, it is there for a reason, it is your friend even though it is uncomfortable….. You’re so right fallcolours, sometimes you have to just be as tough as you can be and keep your chin up. Being at work I think helped me with that, because I didn’t have time to wallow and feel sorry for myself, even when I really wanted to. I hope this helps somewhat Frogelita….. it is well worth it but you just have to be ready. I didn’t know how hard it would be, I thought setons were tough, but I know I did the right thing, the sepsis was too deep for it to drain with a seton.
Hey Frogelita, I didn’t want it to scare you, but I just want you to be prepared for it to be tough, because its much tougher than a seton, it is not designed to be in long-term, but mine has been as I am waiting for remicade. The stitches are uncomfortable but they dissolve after a few weeks. You have to do lots of rinsing with the shower head after going to the loo, because if you found a seton hard to keep clean, the mushroom drain is much harder to keep clean, but can be done with a shower sprayer.
In my case I wasn’t really given any other option, there was no other answer other than exploratory surgery and the possibility of a mushroom drain….. Which ended up being the case. I didn’t know much about the drain at all before I went in, and when it was explained to me, it was explained differently every time by each nurse/doctor I saw, I wish they had shown me the tube and how it looked etc. it is essentially a catheter put in for the drainage to flow out of. It is hard to live with, but it works.
I just don’t want you to get the drain and then fall to pieces, because it sounds like you are very fragile at the moment. But sometimes as I’m sure you know well, you have to suffer and put up with the pain and discomfort because at least it is solving the problem, and I don’t think there is any easy-way-out in this case. It sucks to hear the remi is taking a long time for you to get. I still haven’t heard about my application either, it’s been nearly 4 months of waiting now……. still waiting, still waiting…..
I had so much on my plate while all of my drain surgeries were going on that I didn’t really have any option other than having to suck it up and do it…… working full time I couldn’t have more than a couple of days off, and I had to return to work and suffer it. But in a way I think it helped me maintain a sense of normality.
What are your other options Frogelita? Definitely do that sensitivity test…..
And also – just because it was difficult / uncomfortable for me, doesn’t mean it will be the same for you, this is my experience and as the only person here who currently has one, that’s all it is – my experience. I would hate to put you off completely; I just want you to be prepared because you found the seton so tough.
Hang in there Frogelita, any other questions just ask J
I was hoping mine would only be in for a week or two also….. But unfortunately for me they left it in for months!! I know its for the best though because hopefully if all goes well the remi will help things heal and they don’t want to risk taking it out before then…….I completely forget that I have a seton….. Those things are bliss compared to the mushroom!
In my opinion, if it works, I’ll put up with it J
NEVER let anyone see my naked bottom though!! Can’t wait to have a tube-free butt one of these days