Tuesday, August 18, 2015

One Week Post-Op BR/TT

This post is coming to you from the glorious (slight exaggeration) comfort of a rented electric lift recliner planted firmly in front of my bedroom television, across from the only portable AC unit in the house, at the foot of the bed where my husband is soundly sleeping with our 3 dogs who are usually not allowed to sleep on the bed as there isn't enough room.

This is how it has been for the last week...and this is how it shall be for at least a couple weeks longer.

But at least I have smaller boobies! SEE!

Ignore the lumps in my flatish belly area...I still have on the velcro binder and two JP drain bulbs. 

I also have a flat belly...but really, lets talk about the ta-tas.

So I'm one week post-op, and am currently in the "boxy boobs" phase of the process. I was told by my plastic surgeon today that the next phase I have to look forward to is "cone-boobs"...Oh boy!

I went into surgery at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, August 10th and was released after waking from a short recovery shortly before 10pm. I was told I would be a long case. She spent over 10 hours in surgery on me in total. 7 pounds of skin and fat were removed from my breasts and stomach. I remember very, very little. I remember walking into the surgery suite and getting onto the operating table...and I remember them waking me up saying they were finished. I recall VAGUELY being wheeled out to the car. I don't recall getting into the car but I remember someone buckling me in. I remember pulling out of the parking lot and thinking for a half a second I might toss my cookies...and I remember walking into the house. And then I have a few spotty memories here and there over the following days. The dilaudid appears to have worked well.

The surgery center sent me home with a walker and those blow-up thingies for my legs to prevent blood clots. UGH...what a massive PIA those are when you have to pee!

As previously stated we had rented a lift-recliner and put it in the bedroom at the foot of the bed. Once at home, we discovered that the dogs were using ME as the path ON and OFF the bed and Kismet wanted to pounce on my chest to be with me constantly (one of my few vague memories is not having any skill the verbally communicate the fear I was feeling when he jumped on me and just starting to cry uncontrollably). So my husband set up a barricade with baby-gates and other things to block all the pouncing...and then snapped this picture:

Yep...there I am...in my own little bedroom prison. Kismet would spend the next few nights sticking his nose through the baby gates to get as close to me as he could. :(

Scott stayed home with me all day tuesday...which was fun as I figured out how to manage getting to and from the bathroom in time to pee when necessary. Believe it or not...turns out I was better off peeing in a container for the first 2 days...just was easier that way till I bought a toilet seat riser. Maybe TMI...but for those of you considering this procedure, I learned that I'm not the only one to figure this out. I thought I had prepared for everything...foiled by a damn toilet seat! GAH!

From a pain perspective, I can say the most discomfort I've felt, quite honestly, was what I kept referring to as "muscular pain", which has been explained is just an all over pain your body sort of over-compensates with when it's hit from multiple directions. It was sort of a "system overload". My pecs and abs hurt like I had been working out like a fiend....but I had NO muscle work done at all. My incisions haven't hurt to date. It was always this "muscle-like" achiness that I complained of. Frankly, it wasn't the worst thing in the world.

At some point I had the presence of mind to snap this picture (I found it on my phone tonight...)

I had my first post-op appointment on Tuesday and got my first "sneak-peak" at the new boobs and all. I'm not gonna lie, Scott took a picture and showed it to me and I was STUNNED and a little worried that I'd made a huge mistake. They look VERY small to me. I'm not convinced they are a C-cup...but he says they are. Scott thinks that I'm just not used to them a) being small and b) being in their current location (recall my boobs have NEVER been perky, so to see them all "forward facing" is very bizarre to me). He reassured me that I would get used to it, I just needed time. They are also ROCK hard, uneven, and very "franken-boob" looking...I'm definitely not pornstar material right now!

Wednesday Scott left me home alone in the morning and then Koreena dropped off the kids and my MIL sometime around 12pm. I somewhat recall Koreena waving hello from the bedroom doorway. Apparently I survived the morning by myself...though I don't recall any of it.
My MIL tending to my dressings while my youngest stepdaughter assists. The little one was "ALL IN" with helping from the moment she walked in. She wanted to see EVERY. GORY. DETAIL. I kept telling her she didn't need to stay and that she might want to leave...she was not having it at all. 

The eldest stepdaughter wanted to be by my side every other moment that did not involve a dressing change...initially. She wanted nothing to do with the gory details at first, but wanted to be glued to my side so much that I actually didn't get near as much rest as I should probably have gotten. But she was so, so, so sweet. And by day 3...she wanted to be involved in dressing changes as well...which was bizarre, as she WAS the squeamish one, but this may no longer be true!

Prior to surgery, Nev had been tasked with "hair management" since I can't raise my arms high enough to do my hair. This is the style she chose for me on this day...the day before her birthday party. The result...was...well...unfortunate. But she's happy, and that's all that matters. 
Thursday and Friday were just a whole lot of me laying around while my MIL managed the kids during the day and Scott went to work (I guess...I really don't remember). Saturday I actually left the house to go to my oldest step-daughter's birthday party back up at her mother's home 40 miles away. I thought I was up for this...after all, how hard was it going to be to sit in Koreena's living room for a 8 year old's birthday party?

Well the birthday party went on FOREVER...and of course we couldn't leave because we had the guest of honor. Plus, I didn't bring any pain pills (I didn't think we would be gone the entire day), I was having massive issues with one of my drains pulling and leaking all over my pants, my binder was killing me, I had broken SEVERAL of the post-op rules (sitting too long with knees bent, got my heart rate up trying to get into the house, not on consistent pain management, Scott had lifted one my arms VERY high on assisting me into the house, etc.), it was just a horribly long day. But I survived. I was sore and exhausted when I got home.

Sunday I recouped from Saturday, but started feeling stronger. Unfortunately, more of my favorite in-laws were due to visit my MIL but because I had done too much the day before I was pretty much sequestered in the bedroom. This was a big, fat bummer.

Monday I went with my MIL and the kids to the mall (I got a scooter) so that she could buy them some back-to-school clothes. This actually was way more activity (even with the scooter) than I should have done...oopsie.) But again....feeling stronger...very little pain...and now clear to start taking NSAIDS again if I want. At this point I'm taking 1-2 Vicodin a day and that's it.

And here we are, Tuesday...I walked out of my bedroom with no crutches for the first time in a week this morning (I typically walk around my house with no crutches...just using walls for stability). I made breakfast for the kids, my MIL gave me my last assisted sponge-bath/dressing change and we went to my 1-week follow up, where things are looking just dandy. My rock-hard boobs are just barely starting to soften and have dropped a teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy, bit. The swelling has gone down a tiny bit (but not much...it takes six MONTHS to know what a "final result" is supposed to look like!).

So far, I am pleased with the result. I have a LONG way to go...but I think I will ultimately be thrilled.

Oh...I should probably mention things related to my band...since that is how most of you know me.

First of all, I did get MOSTLY unfilled (but not totally) the Friday before surgery. So I think she left 2 or 4 cc's in there...I can't honestly recall. I haven't been too concerned about it (obviously).

The port is apparently in the same original location...since it was sewn to the muscle. But the lump of scar tissue I had grown under my skin is now gone and the scar that used to indicate where the port was is also gone. I have to wear a tight binder across my tummy for 6 weeks that is agitating the HELL out of my port as the swelling goes down each day. Not much to be done about that...it is what it is. The port has to be there, the binder has to be worn.

I'm supposed to be on 90 grams of protein daily for optimum healing nutrients. Hello familiar diet.

Finally...as of today, even though 7 pounds of fat and skin were removed from my body, I am currently 14 pounds heavier than I was the day of surgery thanks to fluid retention. Surgeon told me not to bother with the scale...but when I couldn't get my shoes on yesterday, I just HAD to know, purely for entertainment purposes...what the number was. I'm okay...I'm not scarred by the scale. I have other scars to manage right now.

I need to stop blogging now and get some rest....but some time I need to write about the time the dog almost ate all my dilaudid. In the meantime...please enjoy these additional pics I wanted to share but am too tired to incorporate into this blog. :)

Cedara wearing one of my old bras...stuffed with dog toys. Yep. Dog toys. 

Nev dressed head to toe in various birthday goodies. I love this silly pic of her. 

I realized the night before surgery that I was going to lose one of my favorite scars of all time...my Atari Car Scar...you can sort of see it in the top photo. It was the scar that remained from the chest-tube placed after my heart surgery in 2002. It always reminded me of an Atari car from a driving game from the 80's. I'm sad to see it go. Not sad enough to cancel surgery...but sad...still...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

1 work day and the weekend left to go

  • I have all my pre and post-op meds in hand.
  • I have submitted paperwork to HOPEFULLY get time-off work approved with pay (uncertain till after the first week passes...that's not nerve-wracking at all!)
  • I'm in possession of a post-surgery compression bra.
  • I have scar oil and lotion on hand.
  • I have a rented lift-recliner being delivered tomorrow.
  • I have purchased protein shakes and bars to ensure I get the requisite 90 grams a day post surgery for "better healing".
  • The check to the surgeon has cleared the bank.
  • I believe (though not 100% certain) that I have passed all the pre-op stuff, including the cardiac clearance (the final piece I'm still waiting to hear on, but I'm assuming no news is good news?....ugh...I hate assumptions.)
  • I have been busting my ass to finish things up at work....I couldn't possibly be leaving at a worse time.
  • My husband has tuesday off work to take care of me. My mother-in-law, a retired RN, arrives on Wednesday to stay for 1 week.

  • And my band is being emptied tomorrow at noon.

Maybe I should have my husband take some before pictures tonight?

Am I forgetting anything?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

6 Days till TT and Boob Lift!

It will all be self pay...just not enough of "me" left for insurance to justify anything else. But I want it. I will post more after surgery in the weeks I have off work for recovery. Right now I'm super busy with the kids, work, dogs, and a data management program I signed up for because apparently I'm insane.

More soon!