Two weeks already?! How is that possible?! I distinctly remember asking my breast surgeon back in February how long the recovery was, and he said something along the lines of “oh you’ll be bored and ready to go in two weeks.” That is definitely the truth! At least mentally. I also remember back when my wise friend Nicole reminded me there’s a difference being “bored” and being “ready?”… Damn her for being right (or in her words, clairvoyant!) The mentally ready versus physically not predicament is upon us!
I am quickly reminded many times a day by my lovely chest how I need to take it easy… Like when you can’t open a bottle of Vitamin Water or cut up your own food. Don’t take your pec muscles for granted… you’d be amazed how much you use them without realizing it!!
Everyone who knows me keeps assuming (admittedly with good reason) that I’m overdoing things chomping at the bit to get back, but I promise I’m taking it easy. I really don’t have much choice! We went out to Target and lunch yesterday and I was on the verge of tears in the car I was so ready to get back home and to the couch. So really trying hard to not overdo it. But it’s hard when you feel like you’re doing very little. See also: speed bumps suck. Dads that weave all around a parking lot to avoid them rock.
I’ve been off prescription pain meds since post-op day 7, only taking Tylenol. It would be so much easier if it was a “pain” that medication could fix. But it’s not. I remember recovering a carotid endarterectomy patient last year and when I asked him if he was in pain he said “no, I’m just profoundly uncomfortable.” That’s the best way I can explain this… In particular, the expanders. And so much of it is movement-related, so it’s a constant effort of trying to find the balance. I was both comforted and discouraged reading some blogs yesterday that this feeling can last the entire time you have expanders. With that said, I just keep telling myself “this is temporary!” And that it will all be worth it.
While the drains are still not bothering me, I’m ready to ditch them and be freeeeee!! Just weird having additional appendages! I hope they come out Thursday… I am encouraged by this:
What’s that you ask?! That’s the beautiful liquid gold of serous drainage… Finally not red or even pink! So making progress indeed, but not sure they’ll make the cc cutoff. Fingers crossed! But google “seroma” and you’ll have the renewed sense of patience I have after hearing those horror stories!
A few other rambling of thoughts for today…
• I remain so impressed with my incisions. The scabs are almost all off and whoa. Strong work, Boob Dudes! I’ve been taking pictures of the progress and straight on you can’t even see them they’re so hidden on the sides. As for the open area on my right nipple (I really hate that word. Need to find a better substitute!)- Friday it looked much worse, but after a picture text to my plastic surgeon with resulting reassurance and a few days of treatment it is now looking much better, thank goodness. Yay for pink granulation tissue! Patience is the name of the game around here!
• Phantom itching = WTF?! It’s so weird. I can’t feel anything on the surface of either breast, but they still itch. Yet scratching I can’t feel. So weird.
• Also on the weird nerves note, I mentioned this before but the nerves/nerve degeneration under and a little bit down the insides of my upper arms is a very strange tingling/burning that I hope improves soon! Clothing rubs in an unfortunate way.
• Muscle spasms are there but much less – I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to type that!! Those 2 drains I had pulled last week (1 & 4) were really triggering them, come to find out. They do tend to be worse in the morning for whatever reason – the expanders feel so much stiffer right when I get up, it’s like my pecs have to change position from laying to being upright
• I highly underestimated the power of the uniboob. That’s right. You know what I’m talking about. The sports bra-induced uniboob. None of my pre-surgery ones fit with the non-moving expanders! And even one size up is still tight. And expanders vs sternum? Expanders always win.
• While much improved from my attempt to sleep in my bed last week, sleep itself is still very rocky and interrupted. Thankfully my trusty Facebook girls that have been through this and blog stalking assures me that’s normal with expanders. They just suck. It’s hard to get comfortable and stay asleep. I’m doing okay back in my bed with even MORE pillows… Made it so it’s impossible to turn over while asleep! And hanging out in the recliner during the day is still “my spot.”
• I added a new page to the blog that’s currently a work in progress – “Mastectomy Must-Haves.” I perused many of these prep lists in the weeks before my surgery and want to add my contributions to the PBM blogosphere. Just my $.02 from my surgery experience…
• Having family come in town this week was brilliant – it’s keeping me from going absolutely stir crazy! And so helpful that my Aunt TRULY understands what this is like, especially the expander suckage. She’s so helpful and is up for whatever – even just sitting on the couch watching Friends! Hoping we can do a few light outings later this week, including a special dinner to celebrate my parents’ anniversary.
• I’m starting to realistically think about my return to work. It’s all dependent on these darn drains… And driving. That has to happen too. I was hoping for some half days next week but it’s looking like it will be post Labor Day most likely… I realllly don’t want to push things too fast. And even though I don’t work directly with patients anymore, it IS still a hospital. I was filled in on the latest “this wouldn’t have happened if Diana was here…” moments this weekend… Feels good to be missed! Craziness will ensue mid-September so I want to be ready for that!
That’s about it for now… Check in with my plastic surgeon Thursday to address the three Ds: drains, driving, and doing stuff (aka weight/activity restrictions). I’ll update more then!
Have a great week!