Saturday, November 9, 2013

Two Days Post Op

I love watching sports. The best part, at my age, is how impressed I am about the physical condition of these people. Football Saturday and Sunday, I watch those players get hit full force on. I watch them hit the ground in all manners of bone cracking, muscle tearing contact. They go from "full out flat on the ground" to "standing erect" so quickly that you have to pay close attention to how they do that. I find myself watching this display of strength. Do you notice this too or am I alone in this?

I think this watching of those players recovery from those hits and pop back up on their feet without a struggle relate back to the time I could sit "Indian fashion", my legs crossed each other at the knees and from this position I could scissor myself into a standing position without ever having to uncross my legs. My legs were at the high point of their "being in shape". I snow skied every day and keeping my legs in top shape was a priority for me. I could ski all day long and my legs never tired. I worked on keeping them in shape. In the summer, I laced up a pair of ice skating boots and did laps on ice at the arena which kept my legs strong for the upcoming winter ski season. I cannot scissor myself into a standing position now and have NOT been able to do that for many years, hence my obsession with watching those football players pop up from their ground position to their feet in seconds.

This is my second day post op. My instructions are to "fold my arms across my chest, the right hand touching the left shoulder and the left hand touching the right shoulder. This keeps me from using my hands and arms to propel myself upward from a sitting position from the sofa or from a lying position when getting out of bed. If you forget and use your arms, you will be in much pain; something I've already had Lesson 1 on. I should have worked on leg strength before this surgery. Biking or walking would have helped had I thought about it.  

I am careful where I sit. Pillows piled behind my back push me forward on the sofa to the edge. When I get ready to stand, I fold my arms, wiggle forward a bit, plant my feet on the floor and rock forward a few times until I rise to a standing position. My husband offers to help but I decline to accept. I need to do this alone. I need to figure out what will work in the event I'm alone here. I hate being "needy". I've never been a "needy" person. I know I have limitations right now and I know it will get easier as time goes on and I also know my limits and I'm willing to accept those for now.

I swallowed my Lortab as soon as I got to the kitchen. My new rule will be to take the damn thing BEFORE I attempt to get out of bed. Going from a lying position to standing shifts the skin on my chest and the incision sites suddenly get pressure on them and it's most uncomfortable, bordering slightly on pain.

I checked the drains this morning. The two in the right chest wall are about 10 to 15 cc's while the two on the right have about 50 cc's. The higher drainage on the right is expected as that area was where the lymph nodes were removed so the surgical site is "deeper" there thus more drainage.

If this is more information then you need, just remember, I write these blogs not only for myself but for others on this path. Just as with the blogs on my knee reconstruction, I like to write about the experiences that might help others that Google for info on this. The emotional and the physical impact on ones life is immense. The things I have read on online forums and talking to friends that have had friends go through this, talking to women that have went through this was what was a big help to me. I don't know if I could have done this electively.

An unexpected part of this is being a bit excited about the wardrobe change I will experience. I look in the mirror and see the button up shirt I'm wearing and the button holes are not gaping open from the strain of my breasts against them. This doesn't make me sad. I WANT to NOT want the reconstruction. I WANT to WANT to be satisfied with this look. If I were in my thirties, I would probably know at this time that a reconstruction would be mandatory. At my age, do I really care? Only time will tell. Many women that thought they wanted one, ended up NOT and others that stayed flat chested for two years eventually ended up having the reconstruction while still others opted out. I want to be in the "opted out" group. Only time will tell.

Do I feel lighter? I've been asked that question. Can I tell they are gone? I've been asked that question too. My answer to this is "the support thing they put me in post op is the same support I had with the bras I wore pre surgery. My breast never felt "heavy" while wearing my bra because I made sure I wore GOOD supportive bras." That's my answer right now. The difference now I notice is...I can see my stomach and feet. I notice the shirt I'm wearing is huge now on me. I don't need to buy a huge shirt to encompass my chest which then held it away from my waist and hips which didn't need all that roominess.

It's almost 0800 now and my daughter should be here soon to strip or  'milk" the tubing on the drains and empty and record the amount. Her doing this is always good for a few laughs. She borders on hysteria while doing it. The nervous laughter is loud and soon tears are rolling down her face. She will never be in the medical field. Her facial expressions when she is performing this task ranges from fright to disgust. Her exclamations are something you would never hear from a professional health care worker doing a task on a patient. I can fully understand, from my position now, what her patient would be thinking. She tries and that's the important part; her wanting to help me. I appreciate her for putting herself through this for me and  my knowing it's not easy for her.
 I watch closely as she goes about her chore and I'm as relieved as she is when the last drain is cleaned.

I'm off to the kitchen to get a fresh cup of brew...a brew I did myself this morning. All is well here and for that I'm grateful!

The little Lortab is kickin in..and I'm outta here!

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