Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy Recovery: One Month Out, Part Four

Win a Dress from Shabby Apple!

Happy Valentine's Day!


I thought I'd do a monthly summary for anyone reading who might be considering the expander surgery.  For those not interested in this, here's a pass: TL:DNR. This is the fourth of five summary posts.  The other posts are here, here, and here.

The surgery.  When signing in, I requested a private room. In the pre- op room, an AMAZING nurse started my IV without my really noticing at all! The plastic surgeon came to draw on me and told me that she could make it so that my scars would be on the bottom of my breasts-- so essentially invisible. My mom had flown up prior to the surgery, and she and my husband were allowed to stay with me until I was wheeled off into the OR.  I remember going in and being very cold, noticing that my previous- day's pedicure had smeared noticeably (shit!), and chatting a bit with the nurse anesthesist. And then I woke up.


Look, mom! No breasts!

I was attached to a pain pump that I was instructed to push if I felt the slightest amount of pain.  Here's the truth: I was sore in my throat and chest-- as if I'd done a crazy workout and huffed and puffed the whole time-- but I was never quite in pain, and never have been. There was, however, the very real discomfort of the Jackson- Pratt Drains, of which I had two, one on each side.  My left drain gave me the only true pain I had throughout the entire process, and that was because a suture had been left too long and stuck me like a tack when putting my arms down. That got VERY tender and later made showering and milking the drains painful.

geometric prints= hidden booblessness?

Though I hadn't eaten in over a day, I kept having to pee from the saline drip. Like...20 times (I am not exaggerating).  I was annoyed by the IV, and nervous about pulling it out during bathroom trips.

The docs and residents came to check on me often, and the two days I was there were a blur of sleeping, fashion magazines, and...I can't remember. My mother was there every moment, and helped with getting my clothes on, helping me out of bed the first couple of times, helping me with whore's baths during the hospital stay, and taking down info for my care once I got home.  My husband picked up my scripts (percoset, a stool softener, and valium to relax the muscle) and drove us home.

*This summary is the fourth in a series of five posts on the subject.  For others, use the search function to search "prophylactic bilateral mastectomy."*
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