Behold, I continue to live!
I saw the plastic surgeon on Friday, and had all my stitches and staples out. The stitches weren’t too bad, and MOST of the staples weren’t too bad. The staples that were in my scalp, for instance, weren’t bad. A few of them hurt coming out, but only momentarily. The staples that came out of my armpit, on the other hand, hurt so much as they were coming out that I about levitated up off the table. Like I told a few people, I wasn’t looking forward to having them taken out, but I was looking forward to having them gone. Now that they’re gone, I can say that the staples in my arm pits were responsible for about 75% of the pain I was having. It is NICE having the damn things gone, so that in the event that I move my arm or even THINK about moving my arm, there isn’t a warning pain from my armpit.
Since I still have swelling under my chin, I have to continue wearing the face compression garment. Since my ears have been hurting like crazy from rubbing the inside of the garment, Fred cut ear holes in the sides so that my ears stick out. It’s quite the fashion statement, I’m sure you can imagine. It’s probably a good thing that I have to continue wearing it, since there are scabs on my scalp (around where the staples were) and I cannot help myself but pick at them if I have access. With the garment on, I can’t get to the scabs, which can only be a good thing.
My arms are still swollen, so I have to keep them wrapped in Ace bandages (or rather, Fred has to wrap them for me) for a few more weeks.
The good thing is that since all my incisions are healed and not draining, we were able to stop with the daily antibacterial ointment-dressing with gauze thing, and go to using gauze only when I need to protect my incision lines, such as when I’m wearing a bra.
So naturally I said to him “So, should I start wearing a sports bra?”
He stopped, considered, and said “Sure, you can if you want to.”
I wondered later why the hell I was instructed to buy a sports bra if they weren’t going to tell me to start wearing the damn thing. Because not only did I buy a sports bra, I bought about 10 of them because I was so concerned about having one that would work for me.
After the nurse removed my staples and stitches, she rewrapped my arms.
“Is that too tight?” she asked.
“No, that’s just perfect,” I said. And at that moment it was. As we headed out of the exam room and waited to make my next appointment, I came to realize that the wrap on my right arm (which is more swollen than the left) was actually a bit too tight. Okay, maybe WAY TOO FUCKING TIGHT. By the time my appointment was made and we were in the car, my right hand was tingling and going numb. I ended up taking the wrap completely off for the ride home.
“I guess it was a little too tight,” I said to Fred.
“Well, she was practically hanging off you as she came to the end of the wrapping,” he said.
So I don’t see the surgeon again for two months, which I thought was odd, but they were quick to tell me that I could call the office if I had any questions or problems or thought I needed to see him again.
With the staples out, I’m having a lot less pain and have switched to Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen during the day, saving the narcotics for nighttime.
In the past couple of days, I’ve noticed that my forearms are hurting – if I touch them, they feel bruised. Luckily, I’ve done enough reading online to know that that’s normal and will go away in time.
After my shower Saturday morning, I put on a sports bra (one of the cheap ones I got from Walmart). It got to be uncomfortable, though, so I took it off after a couple of hours. After my shower Sunday, I pulled out a white t-shirt, turned it inside-out so the seams were on the outside, pulled that on, and then put the bra on over it. That turned out to be pretty comfortable, and so that’s how I plan to wear it from here on out.
I’ve still got a lot of swelling going on – I measured myself on Sunday just for shits and giggles, and determined that if I were shopping for a bra right now, I’d need a 34G.
“They don’t look like they’re a size G,” Fred said helpfully. As if HE’d know. A lot of the swelling is under my arms, too, which of course effects the measurement.
So, to recap: I’m still pretty swollen, I have to wear the head compression garment for the next little while AND keep my arms wrapped. I have a scabby scalp. I’m mostly off the narcotics. And I’m feeling very little pain now.
If you’re going to have any kind of plastic surgery, I have two bits of advice for you:
1. Keep the hell away from that scale for at least a month. I weighed myself last week and found that I was up TEN POUNDS from the day before surgery. I am fully aware that I haven’t gained real weight – that it’s due to all the swelling. And yet, seeing ten extra pounds on the scale was a nasty surprise.
2. Don’t look at yourself in the mirror for at least a month, preferably two. Before that, you just look like a big swollen beast, you’ll obsess over how your boobs DO NOT LOOK LIKE BOOBS and your arms OH MY GOD ARE STILL SO BIG and I STILL HAVE A DAMN DOUBLE CHIN, and really. No good can come of looking at yourself in the mirror. Trust me.
Oh, and a bonus third thing I just thought of:
3. Fiber is your friend. Stool softeners are your friend. ESPECIALLY if you’re on narcotics, because if you’re not on top of things, you will be a hurting unit, trust me. Get as much damn fiber down your throat as you possibly can, or you’ll be sad. Fred made a huge pot of red beans and rice for dinner yesterday, and there’s so much left over that we’ll both be eating it for lunches all this week.
Speaking of narcotics, Fred went digging in the cupboard in the kitchen where we keep some of the spillover from our medicine cabinet, and found not only a half-full bottle of Percoset left over from my hysterectomy last year, but also some from my gallbladder surgery 4 1/2 years ago. AND some Lorcet from…. I don’t remember. Maybe my lower body lift? We always tend to save the leftover pills “just in case”, and then they sit there for years.
We’re not very good druggies, I guess.
Aw, look what I found on my hard drive!
Good ol’ Rhyme. (And good ol’ Corbie, too, of course!)
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: Damn those cats and their Snackin’ Time.
2007: Who knew that Hellcats enjoy ripping eyeballs from your face and then batting them around the room?
2006: Yeah, one of those days.
2005: So sue me.
2003: What keeps me sane.
2002: No entry.
2000: Translation: I’m going to get a gown that will cover your fat ass.