Of balloons and drains;
On the first daily round of my pulmonology rotation there was something pleasant to the eyes. A patient of room III5; a room strictly for pulmo-onco patients - with the requisite weary family members with tired smiles by the bedside, had three balloons tied on to his IV stand. The balloons were of different colours and sizes.
You’d think it was a gift, but one look at the bandaged scar on his right 3rd intercostal space and you’d know the reason for the presence of balloons (actually, you do not, since most patients usually dispose of them once they’re done with it). He’s had a pleural [ec malignancy] drainage and in order to have a proper expansion of the lung the patient was asked to blow a balloon and do breathing exercises.
It was nice to see the progressively larger size balloons; adeptly tied off and marked with numbers for each day post-chest tube removal, proudly displayed by his side. They might not have the cheerful disposition of helium filled balloons; all perky and uniform in size, but it makes you smile nonetheless.
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