It's been a week since surgery, and today is the first time that I've been able to go without pain meds for long enough to post since, well, that last post.
I wasn't really sure what to expect as far as pain and limitation of movement. A large portion of the surgical area has been numbed, though I'm not really sure how (nerve block maybe?). It's not totally numb, so there are some odd sensations, and I think the numbness is gradually wearing off so each day I'm feeling more and more prickly sensations.
The part that actually hurts is where two tubes have been stitched to my skin. The tubes are attached to a hemovac drain, which works by negative pressure and drains the lymphatic fluid from the breast and armpit. Here's the really weird part: I can feel and see one of the tubes under my skin just above where my breast used to be! And I thought the weirdest thing I'd be looking at was a boobless chest! Wrong.
Okay, perhaps I should have warned you that this post might gross you out.
Everyday the drain has to be emptied and the fluid measured. Once the fluid is below a certain amount for 24 hours, the drain can be taken out. I'm pretty sure that's going to hurt like the dickens. My follow-up appointment is tomorrow morning; I'm hoping the tubes and drain will be removed then because the fluid measurements have been pretty low for the past 2 days. I'm not allowed to drive or lift my arm above 90 degrees until the drain is removed; hence, the hope.
The tubes are like 3 feet long, so I've kept them looped up and binder clipped to my waist band. I'm using one of those honkin' big binder clips. I've been living in yoga pants and Rhett's old shirts, so I've been as comfortable as I can be, given that I have two tubes sutured to my side.
The pain has been pretty minimal today, but I've been pretty much popping the pain killers at 4 hour intervals for the past 4-5 days.
The suture site (where the tubes are) has a dressing that has to be changed everyday. How fortunate I am (and Rhett is) that I have nurse friends. Not that nurse has to do it, but it's nice to get a professional assessment each time the dressing is changed. The worst part of this whole recovery ordeal is having the surgical tape removed from the the area that is partially numb. It's such a bizarre feeling it makes me nauseated and light-headed.
I'm still quite upbeat about it all. Though one thing I've noticed is that having a flat chest makes a round belly all that much more noticable. Gonna' have to do something about that for sure.
BonnieBlue seems to be doing okay. I hate it that she's watching so much TV this week, but there's not much else I can do. She has asked to see my chest, and I've shown her with my bra on (the bra covers the impressive scar). She was totally nonplussed. Kids are so much better at this stuff.
Rhett is doing well (I think), too, especially since nurses are taking care of the dressing changes. He took all of last week off but went back today. I tease him about it "being hard on him," but I'm sure it is. I think it's hard to watch a loved one go through something like this. I know I'd rather it be me than him or BB.
Thanks again to everyone for all the prayers and positive thoughts!