Today I finally got to take a real shower! It’s amazing what a real shower will do for a girl. She might actually run errands, finish her Hanukkah shopping and blog for a bit. I know it’s been a few weeks but I’m 3 weeks post op and doing really well. The last few weeks have been such a blur that it’s been hard to sit down and focus enough to catch people up on how I’m doing. So let me start with the first week before surgery – sometime around Nov 7th-ish…
The last time I wrote I had just found out that I was going into surgery faster than anticipated and was uber freaked out about preparing. Well, two days after that post, I ended up in my doctor’s office again. Wednesday night I noticed that the spot that we were concerned about had started to bubble out more. I went into the office first thing that next morning to show him. He ended up looking at it and told me that he had to open it up right then. Yes. I said it. OPEN it up. He prepped a room, turned on some cheesy 80s soft rock and had the nurse give me local in my left breast. To say I was freaked out is an understatement. I laid on the surgery bed convincing myself that a little local anesthetic will be perfect and I won’t feel a thing. I really wanted it to be all rainbows and unicorns but it wasn’t. He opened up the first part and then started squeezing my breast so hard I wanted to die. In fact, I started cussing like a sailor. I even looked at him while I was crying and apologized by saying, “Dr Heck, I’m so sorry but I’m going to develop Tourette’s for a minute and not sound very lady-like.” He laughed, continued packing my boob with gauze and began to sing the Richard Marx song that was playing on the radio. Pretty humorous scene even if it was horrific. He flushed the area with peroxide and then packed it with gauze. I don’t EVER want to feel that again.
That was Thursday before surgery. I went in Friday morning for them to pack it again…Saturday and Sunday we had to pull out a little bit of gauze each day and trim it…Monday got it packed again…and Tuesday again. Longest few days of my life. I was MISERABLE. My parents came into town a few days before surgery and that was a fun distraction. Dad went with me to all of my appointments and had the “I’m talking to you as a father not as a medical practitioner” talk with my doctor. My doctor didn’t seem as intimidated as he should have been, but it was effective none-the-less. I’m not sure most girls would feel as comfortable with their dad sitting in the room questioning their doctor while a nurse packs their boob with gauze and the doctor explains placement of the tummy drains as it pertains to the way women prefer to shave their privates…but nothing about this process has been normal for me and THANK GOD my father can ask the right questions and keep my doctors honest.
Wednesday morning was business as usual for a surgery day. I packed a small bag. Dreamed of coffee and cussed my doctor for an 11:00 surgery which would delay said coffee. Surgery went well and I was out in recovery pretty quickly. He cut out all of the infection and a lot of my scar tissue, put in my implants and then closed me up. They then cleaned the room, changed clothes and did my tummy tuck!!!!! YAY!!!!! The only real silver lining in this is that I got a new belly!!! He did the surgeries as if they were two separate surgeries so that he could prevent cross-contamination and try to keep my infection under control. Everything went well and I was home by 5:30-ish. Can you believe that a tummy tuck and breast reconstruction can be done out-patient?! Way cool.
Sucky part about this surgery? 4 drains. Ugh. One in my left boob, one in my right boob, one in left hip and one in right hip. I also had staples in my left boob so that if the infection returned, it was easier to open me up. Seriously hated those things. I got the first drain out from my right boob a few days after surgery. My right hip and left boob were taken out a week later. My left hip was a little more fussy so I went in Monday to have it removed and the rest of my staples. Actually, that’s a lie. I went in expecting to have the drain removed and he didn’t feel like it was ready. Instead of just telling me to come back Friday, he cut the suture and told me to either come in Friday to have him pull it or I could pull it myself if it didn’t start falling out on its own. Are you kidding me?! You think I’m gonna wait until Friday to pull this sucker out??? NO WAY. I pulled it Tuesday night. You don’t ask someone who’s dieting to walk around with chocolate in their purse. It was way too tempting. And 3 weeks without a real shower? Hell no. That drain came out as soon as I psyched myself up to have Maren pull it out. There’s nothing like having to take whore baths for 3 weeks with 4 drains hanging around you, staples in one boob and an incision from hip to hip. I was ready for that drain to be gone.
Honestly, I’m actually feeling better than I have in months. My dad even said that in the 42 years he’s been doing anesthesia he’s only seen someone wake up from surgery looking and feeling better than they did prior to surgery one other time. So you can imagine how much better I feel and look. I’m REALLY happy with my tummy tuck. I’m still swollen and getting used to seeing myself without an apron. (Apron = The skin on my belly used to hang down far enough to rest on my thighs. That’s what losing 120ish pounds will do to you.) I think I’m going to love it when it heals and the swelling goes down. They say it’ll take a few months for that to happen though. I’m wearing maternity pants until then and have never loved yoga pants so much in my life.
My boobs on the other hand…well, the jury is still out on them. It takes a number of months for the implants to drop. I woke up from surgery and all of my nerve pain was gone so I’m no longer in any real pain. They are sooooo soft. I love that part. I just don’t know if they are shaped right. We’ll see how the next few months shape up – literally. I’m more concerned with my left side still being infected so I’m not going to worry about any revisions I might need. My doctor is monitoring my boob and he says it’s looking good. I’m still kind of nervous that it’s not. I really don’t want to start over. I will definitely have to have at least one revision before I can even consider nipples. At this point though I’m feeling so much better that it’s easier now to be patient with the process. Chronic pain is a bitch and breast expanders are the biggest bitches of all. I’m just glad all of that part is behind me. Right now I’m just going to enjoy time without pain, let my body heal, enjoy Hanukkah and stay thankful for maternity pants and showers.
Comments on: "Maternity pants and showers" (5)
What a story. You are amazing. Keep healing. I hope everything continues to mend. 4 drains!!!! UGH! I don’t even want to imagine!
Yay for an update! I was thinking about you….and whoo boy! This was a story like none other! Keep healing well…
wow..I hope this is it for you and nothing but healing and smooth sailing from now on.
Hope you’re doing OK!
Hi, I stopped by to see how things were going for you. I hope that all continues well and you heal without any issues. I go for my final fill tomorrow, then the wait for surgery to get my new “set”. While going along on my own journey your strength and bravery have helped me tremendously. I did not face any of the moutains that you have had to climb, I have been very fortunate. However, prior to my bi-lateral mastectomy I knew just how difficult it could be. And because you shared your story I was comforted to know that even as bad as it could be, you were making it through one day at a time and it gave me courage to know I could too. Take care…