The Ugly Truth About The Drain Tubes

The Ugly Truth About The Drain Tubes

So you ask me “What Do The Drain Tubes Look Like”? Well here they are….in all of their glory. They are ugly and look nasty but are a very important part of the healing process of the type of surgery that I had.

I was hoping to get at least one of the drain tubes out at my visit on Friday but I still had so much drainage going on that they both had to remain. To me that was actually a good sign because that means my body is healing well and the drainage is not pooling up inside and I won’t have to have the fluid aspirated by a needle.

I have to empty the drainage balls and measure the output for the doctors office two times a day. I have to honest with you it is pretty gross. I have learned that the more I walk around the house the more drainage there is which is a good thing to get it all out. Once the output of the drainage gets below a certain point in a 24 hour time period I will be allowed to have one of the drain tubes removed.

Taking a shower is a fun time. We actually have to put a shoe string through the tabs of the drain tubes and hang the shoe string around my neck. This keeps the drain tubes safe to where they will not be pulled on and trust me, you don’t want to tug any least little bit on these things because it is very uncomfortable.

If any of you are looking at having surgery like I did you need to be prepared for all of the ups and downs that come with it. There are many emotions that come in to play. I have never regretted this decision but life has kindof been put at a stand still because I am limited to what I can do. The muscle spasms are crazy because with the muscle repair that was done the muscles are in there trying to heal and I can feel them going crazy inside my abdomen.

Be prepared and make sure you have someone who can be with you to help you out at all times. I am fortunate enough that I have my daughter Kayla and my best friend Melinda who have been with me every step of the way.


One Week Post Op

One Week Post Op

Where do I start because quite honestly the first few days after surgery I do not remember. I can start by saying that I have no regrets at all for having the surgery done. The surgery is seriously no joke and the pain is a pain like no other. The incision has not been the problem but the muscle repair is what hurts the most. I never realized how much I used my core muscles until after having the surgery.

The incision runs from around the back of my left hip bone all the way around the front of my pubic bone to the back of my right hip bone. I came home with two drain tubes that are inserted down in my pubic area. The drain tubes are annoying but a must to have. I am used to being independent but this surgery does not allow you to be independent so I have had to have someone with me helping me out all week. For those of you that know me know that this is hard for me to ask for help.

I have to wear a binder around my abdomen to keep my core muscles tight and this is definitely a very uncomfortable thing but it is also very necessary. The first time I was allowed to take a shower at home and Kayla (my daughter) and Melinda (my best friend) removed the binder it was an overwhelming feeling…..I was scared that my muscles were going to fall, I got shaky and dizzy so needless to say the first attempt at a shower was not a success but I did look in the mirror at my belly and tears of joy streamed down my face. I have not had a flat belly since I was 22 years of age.

Today I am scheduled to go in for my One Week Post Op visit and I am hoping to have one of the drain tubes removed. I have no regrets what so ever and was blessed with having the best surgeon ever in Dr. Breazeale. Thank you to the entire staff at The Breazeal Clinic as well as the surgery center staff at Tennova in Knoxville, Tn. I could not have asked for anyone better as these groups of people.


12 O’Clock Hour is Upon Me

12 O'Clock Hour is Upon Me

The 12 O’clock hour is upon me and I won’t be able to eat or drink anything until late tomorrow night. Let me tell you I am a true bear when I am hungry so I am going to apologize now if I say or do anything that may offend anyone while I am waiting for my surgery at Noon tomorrow.

I love my food and I am like a baby and on a food schedule. When my schedule is interrupted oh my, it just throws me in to a massive twitter….LOL (the words of my friend Bettina).

Please keep me and my family and very importantly keep the surgeons and staff in your prayers as they perform this lengthy procedure. With Dr. Breazeale on my side I feel totally confident that all will go well!

So I am asking you all to please say a little extra prayer….I am not nervous as of right now but I guarantee when I have to strip down naked and when Dr. Breazeale starts marking on me that is when the nerves will set in and the sweating profusely will begin.

Goodnight everyone!!!


Final Two Days Leading Up to Surgery

Final Two Days Leading Up to Surgery

As the final two days are upon me for this next amazing step in my journey a lot of emotions are running through my head.

I have worked so hard to get this far and still have room for improvement. During this whole process my life has been such an up and down wave of emotions and life changing events but I have still managed to be successful.

I have never looked at my journey of finding myself, I have always known who I am. My journey has been all about creating the person I always knew that I was inside. Creating a life that is helpful to others, that Inspires others and touching lives that might not be touched by anyone else because they were never given a chance. Life is all about being the person you always dreamed of being and always wanted to be.

As I looked in the mirror this morning after getting out of the shower, tears were streaming down my face because I know without a shadow of a doubt my purpose on this Beautiful Earth is being full filled. I may be getting ready to go through a major transformation just like a Butterfly does but I will always still be who I am on the inside, that will not change. This surgery isn’t being done because I feel ugly it is being done because medically it needs to be and quite honestly I AM DESERVING AND WORTH IT!

Never cut yourself short in life. If you want something bad enough then reach out and go for it. Quit being scared of LIVING LIFE! You only have One to LIVE!




When I saw the Beat Cancer head band that Shubeez has I jumped at the chance on getting one. I was going to be participating in the Buddy’s Race Against Cancer and thought how fitting it would be to wear this amazing head band on this day. Being a two time cancer survivor this headband definitely meant a lot to me.

The headband stayed on beautifully and I was able to show it to so many people at the race including other cancer survivors as well as those fighting their battle now and family members who were participating in the race in the honor of a loved one lost.

Shubeez is such a great company and I want all of you to go out to their website and check them out. For those of you who don’t know Shubeez has partnered with Shannon Miller – Olympian Gymnast on this quest of beating cancer. Shannon herself is a cancer survivor.

Shubeez has so many wonderful items that you can use in your every day life as well as in your walk to health and fitness. Go and check them out, I promise you won’t be sorry!




My last visit to Dr. Breazeale was my pre op visit. What can I say but OH MY!!!! On this visit it was the usual medical questions that had to be answered as well as going over all of the instructions on things to do prior to surgery including what medications are ok to take leading up to surgery as well as what medications that are not ok to take.

Also, if there were any questions that I had at all this was my opportunity to ask and the staff were all willing to answer anything that I may have needed to know. Again, the staff is WONDERFUL.

After all of the questions were answered and I read all the information for what to expect before, during and after surgery Stacy, one of the RN’s said “Ok are you ready for your picture to be taken?” Of course I had already signed the release that it was ok to take my picture. Stacy commences to pulling a very small, sealed plastic baggy out from a drawer and told me that I needed to strip everything off except my bra and put this PAPER THONG on. I about died laughing right on the spot. I pulled this little thing out of the paper and was like ‘YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT”? All the while laughing. I have never been one to wear a thong so this was just hilarious to me. So, Stacy leaves the room and I am all the while laughing out load and struggling just the same to get undressed to put this little piece of paper floss on my body. It did not go so well because as I was putting the tiny thong on I broke it!! Yes, only I could tear a paper thong elastic string. Needless to say this little thing in the picture never touched my body because I could never get it on. Stacy heard me in the room dying laughing as I was having to get another small package out of the drawer in order to have my infamous photo shoot. This time I got the tiny paper thong on and was still laughing when she made it back in the room with her camera.

Stacy asked me “Are You Ready” and through laughter I said “I guess I am as ready as I will ever get”. She told me how to stand and as I was posing for me fabulous photo shoot I told her “well I really am not sure why I even have to wear this thing. It is not like you can see it anyhow and there is more hanging out then not”. That is when she laughed at me but got serious and said “Just think Andi, when Dr. Breazeale gets done with you, there will be nothing hanging out and this before picture will mean a lot to you because it will show where you were compared to where you are going to end up”. No more loose and nasty looking skin hanging from my belly, no more skin irritations caused from skin on skin. And with that I answered, “You Are So Right and I am so Excited to see the results”!

Needless to say this trip to the office was definitely one that I needed because it showed me that everyone in Dr. Breazeales office has a great sense of humor but they are also very caring and believe in making their patients feel very at ease. They want nothing more than to have happy patients with amazing results.