Drain is a pain!

Hi I was discharged yesterday with a drain in my armpit had lympth nodes removed, and I was wondering if anyone has any tips on coping with the drain, at the moment I have put it in a shopping bag, this morning my little nosey grandaughter gave me a kiss when she came visiting then dived into the bag looking for goodies poor kid got a shock ha ha, anyway I have to lug this bag around over my good arm to move around the house, what happens in a few days if I want to go out, I was thinking resturant nice food you know I deserve a treat, do you all stay in and hide the drain, any tips can you tie it to your waist? How have you coped? I keep forgetting it is attached to me any think what’s that noise? Oh yer it’s the bag scraping along the carpet lol
Please post any ideas thanks x

Hi Chico, I had a drain bag, lent to me by the hospital, it was just a thick canvas bag but did hide the bottle! If I was going out I would wear the bag over my shoulder and a cardigan over the top to hide the tubes. I know its a bit of a shock if children see it. At night I put it in a waste paper bin by the side of my bed, tip from someone on here which helped. xxx

I must admit that living with the drains is not for the faint-hearted!

My BCN supplied me with a canvas shoulder bag which was divided internally into two sections which meant that the bottle and tubes could be hidden from view. At night I stood the bag in a plastic bowlby the side of my bed just in case the bag tipped over (it never did). These bags are specially made by volunteers and were just the job.

The worst part though was measuring the contents each day - made me feel quite queasy let alone anybody else!

Tips of the day:-

  1. Wear a pair of those voluminous big knickers and tuck the drainer bag into one of the knicker legs before you go off to the restaurant


  1. Get yourself one of those shoplifting coats that have lots of pockets inside to pop the drainer bag into, but whatever you do don’t let the waiter take your coat!


  1. Wait until the drains have been removed and then paint the town red!

Good luck!

Hi Chico, you did make me smile with the tale of your poor unsuspecting grandchild! My hospital gave us little turquoise bags (I started with four drains and two bags; went home with one of each) which a girl I met during rads referred to as ‘Gucci bags’!

Anyway, I found that I could thread a belt through the handles of the bag to free up my hands, so that may be worth a try. I also used the big cardi trick.

To be honest, if you feel brave enough to go out with your drain attached, then you will be brave enough to cope with the restaurant. Otherwsie, hopefully in a few days it’ll be out (my longest one was in for 2 weeks, shortest 1 day) and you really can paint the town red.

Hi Chico,

I had my drain from ANC for 7 days but it was one of the plastic concertina types, I had a velvet drawstring bag that slippers had come in and the drain just fitted, pulled the drawstrings and tied it to my belt. Me and drain went out to see the final Harry Potter and a few restaurant meals together plus walked the dog. Have to remember to take care when you use the loo though, nearly pulled it out a few times.

Baggy shirts, jumpers help too.

Julia xxx

I had my drain all over last weekend. The BC nurse gave me a front facing bra that had a little pocket velcroed to the bottom of it and the drain bottle fitted in it. By the sounds of it I was just pretty lucky - as I didnt have to worry about carrying it - it just sat there under my boob. My neice said it looked like Id got a battery pack in!!!

I had two drains, one either side and used a small canvas shoulderbag to carry them around in. I already had the bag and could also fit my mobile phone, keys and a small purse in it so it worked very well! It went in the washing machine too so was ideal and discreet.
Good luck.

Hi thanks for all the tips, I never thought about a shoulder bag duh!! As I have at least 10ft of tube and a bag that you drain the concertina style drain into doesn’t leave a lot of room for anything else! so I think I will stop in till its taken out, Monday I think?
At Least I Iook better and the family can stop calling me the bag lady,
Now I have to find the links for constipation on this forum as that’s my next big problem!!!
Talk to you’ll soon x

Mazzalou I
I did think about the big knickers as I bought some comfy ones for my hospital stay, you made laugh with your suggestions , my goodness did you ever think you would laugh again x
Kajyan it does look like a battery pack ha ha
RevCat I am glad my posting made you smile x

Don’t worry about the long tubes , they just mean you can put your shoulder bag containing the drains into the
Sainsbury’s trolley quite happily. Don’t do what I did and step on one. It might mean an early removal, but it is better done when the stitch has been removed!!! Silly me!!!
I hope you enjoy your freedom

Hi Chico

I’m glad that I made you laugh and, of course you will laugh again as you are in very good company here. Besides laughing means less wrinkles than crying!

My hospital has a local support group who make simple cotton shoulder bags about the size of an old vinyl LP on a long strap and we were all issued them on the ward as soon as we were walking around: we went everywhere together me and that bag for several weeks!

Tip: safety pins and baggy jumpers are a girl’s best friend but be careful when you go to the loo, that’s when I almost pulled mine out.
I also put a long shoelace through the hole on each bottle and looped it round my neck to go in the shower.

Shoplifting coat LOL.

The shoulder bag and a cardy worked for me :slight_smile: I went to the cinema and no-one noticed. Mind you if it’d been a horror film, it could have been fun to get it out and wave it about lol!
Chris xx

Thank you all so much for the tips on the drains. I am due for surgery on the 19th Jan and its good to know these things before hand. I am an obsessive person who likes to be organised and know whats going to happen sad I know! My OH things im mad wanting to know all these things but its good to be prepared.
Many thanks everyone xx

I went out shopping in Oxford st with my drain ( I was in the I can have a normal life phase - what normal person goes out shopping with a drain in!!! lol) I had an across the body bad and a loose top - the bag hung a bit under it so the drain just went straight in. I was a bit worried about being mugged and someone trying to snatch my bag!!! They would have had a bigger shock when they explored the contents!! I had forgotten about this until now - this was 18 months ago, laughing is good and kills nasties, lets keep giggling!! x

Woodlandandmanor. It must be something about the air near Oxford. That was where my bag of bottles was put into the Sainsbury’s trolley more than once!!!

Ha ha laughing to myself, never thought about the handbag snatch!!! Well gonna give the outing a miss the drain bag is getting heavy, I did put one of those plastic hooks on the tiles in the bath to hold my shopping bag so I can take a bath or a hose down with the shower and the bag is not dragging on the floor, I did try the belt with the handles threw it that works if you don’t have to walk far, For now I am kept out of the kitchen as just my family looking at the bag and knowing what’s in it is grossing them out so I am told to sit down they will take care of it suits me for now!!
Take all you. Lovely ladies x

Well, now you know what it is to be a ‘Bag Lady’!!!

Ha ha Mazzalou that’s my new nickname at the moment, I am carrying it around like the crown Jewels as its getting heavy and don’t want it to pull on my stitches x

What some people will do to get out of the kitchen LOL… You have to laugh!