How not to Shower with a Nephrostomy Tube 101

Damn it.

Even taking a shower is no longer normal. 

When I had the nephrostomy tube put in last week, the ward nurses sternly warned me not to get the site wet (re: become a stinky person and don't shower. In the middle of sweltering August,. Oh you nurses! You so have a sense of humour...). But I obliged, fumbling for the past days with sponge-bathing and washing my hair over the sink. 

In transplant clinic on Friday, the nurses there informed me that I could indeed take a shower, but I would need to use Saran Wrap around my mid-riff a couple of times to keep any water away from the tube, 

So today I ambitiously took the dog for a (short) walk to the local Shopper's Drug Mart and bought some plastic wrap. I even paid the extra monies to get the name-brand kind, figuring it would stick better. I arrived home, got ready for a shower, and carefully wrapped my middle not once, twice but three times. 

I looked ridiculous.

The shower, initially, was great. Oh boy does running water and soap ever make you feel clean. I was happily shampooing my hair when I looked down and noticed that in-between the layers of plastic wrap was developing a large pool of water. This wading pool was directly over my site, the same one that was and is supposed to remain immaculately dry. Dang it.

I leaped out of the shower, attempting to simultaneously remove the now  wet plastic wrap from my body, (This is more difficult to do than it sounds, trust me). Once the soaking wet plastic wrap had been successfully removed, I proceeded to replace the bandages with dry ones.

Then the decision was before me: do I now do nothing and hope for the best? Or do I call the nephrologist-on-call and explain the mis-hap? 

These types of decisions do not look like much in writing (type), but the past nearly nine weeks have been an onslaught of decision-making, from the initial choice to accept the kidney, to agreeing to short-term dialysis (when the kidney was still "sleeping" after surgery), to biospy #1, to extra blood work, to the failed biopsy #2 and then getting the nephrostomy tube. My decision-making capacities feel stressed. 

Long story short: in the end, upon Sean's insistence, I  called. The nephrologist-on-call discussed it with another nephrologist, and it was agreed that no action should be taken, but that I would need to keep an eye out for any signs of infection. 


I'm sponge-bathing from now on. I will gladly be that stinky person.