72 hours since my surgery has come and gone. Much of the entire 2nd day post-op was spent sleeping. While the pain was minimal, exhaustion had got the better of me, and I decided to retreat to my room to recover in peace. Day three was much more eventful: home care was by today and pulled out the hideous surgical drains that were hanging out of either side of my chest.
Removal? Not fun. The right side slipped out the way it was supposed to, with only a minimal rope burn feeling as the drain was pulled. The left side? Holy hell. The fibres of tissue had already started to embed themselves in the drain, so when it was pulled on, it ripped and bled. There was some swearing and yodelling involved. The left drain, and the extra pressure required to removed it, also made a hell of a mess. I was glad to be done with the drains, as plastic sacs of blood/waste products leaking from your body is gross.
I’m still taking a heavy duty course of antibiotics, but my pain relief has been significantly titrated back. I am now only taking T3 as needed, and so far, that has only been once today, post drain-removal.
One of the most frustrating things for me about this surgery is being prohibited from showering for 10 days, so that the sutures can remain dry. Showering is an obsession of mine, and being forced to sponge bathe is less than enjoyable. While nobody else has complained about my smell, I cannot wait to leap in and scrub down. So. Disgusting.
Did you know that stores hide everything you need on the top shelves when you can’t lift your arms up? Every. Single. Thing. I needed at the store today was above my shoulders. I couldn’t reach. My kids couldn’t reach. No staff to be found everywhere. I nearly crumpled in a heap on the floor, sobbing,when trying to mentally levitate a bottle of Draino into my hands earlier today. Then the milk was above shoulder height. I had to try to close the back of the van. Everything seemed to be a battle. Thank God for old ladies, who consistently seem to be willing to help me when nobody else is.
On the battle front, things are looking a little less swollen, and starting to seem less alien. My husband has asked (mindlessly, to the detriment of his own health) several times today if “it feels nice to have a small chest now?” and “Are you enjoying having a smaller chest?” Nice? Enjoyable? Nice isn’t what I’m feeling, buster. Oh yes. These stitches are REALLY enjoyable!
For the What to Expect When You’re Expecting A Breast Reduction ladies, here is what 72 hours later looks like:
Front: 72 hours post-surgery (clothed)
Side view: 72 hours post surgery (clothed)
Side View: 72 hours post-surgery, after drain removal (bandaged)
My finger is pointing to where the drain site was. You can see more definition now that some of the swelling has gone down. I’m also not as puffy from sodium IV now..
The biggest surprise has been the minimal pain. I was expecting to really be taken out by it. I couldn’t fathom how I was going to cope with it. The pain and post-op recovery was the biggest source of anxiety when electing to do this surgery, and it seems funny now that it’s over and done with, and most aspects of my life (beyond showering, lifting and cleaning house) are unaffected.
The next 2 days will simply be spent healing. Wednesday brings me a dressing change at the day clinic at the hospital. Next Monday I see the surgeon for suture removal and the go-ahead to shower.