Put on your game face...and jump in! Despite how much my brain tells me that this is the logical way to proceed, I still had the jitters. A last email to my plastic surgeon asking about the pros and cons to a direct-to-implant (one-step) surgery. He explained that sometimes the condition and thinness of the skin doesn't make it easy to put in a full implant and said that the best candidates are for women who already have stretched skin from a prior implant or women who wish to go a smaller size than they are. He thought the expanders would be the best way to go for me. I agree... just jitters. He reassured me that I'll do just great in surgery!
Prior to my surgery, the hospital called with instructions that I was to call at 3pm the day prior surgery to find out what time I would need to report at the hospital. (I ended up needing to be there at 6:30am) The nurse said I should not eat past midnight and only have water, soda or coffee up to 4 am. I should shower the day of surgery with an antibiotic soap. I should bring loose pants and a shirt that buttons up the front.
So, Nana and Papa came to stay the night to help with the kids and school and we slept at their home just minutes away from the hospital.
Here I am pre-surgery before meeting with the general surgeon, Dr. Reading; the plastic surgeon, Dr. Ferguson; and the anesthesiologis, Dr. Bowman.
Post surgery...let's just say I was in lala land for a while and I hurt a lot! The Dilaudid that they gave me IV for pain every 4 hours was wonderful. I wish I could've taken that home with me. I was sent home with pain meds (percocet every 4 hours), but they didn't cover the pain like that IV drug! I was sent home with an antibiotic as well (every 8 hours). It was suggested that I take a probiotic at home too. I also am drinking a glass of Miralax a day (gift from a caring neighbor:)Here Dallin, a nice patient assistant is draining my drains. I will have these in for about a week if there isn't too much fluid draining after too long.
This is a picture of my new bra! It is stuffed with gauze and is super tight. I wasn't allowed to remove the bra for 3 days. The drains are taped to my sides and are embedded inside my breasts to relieve the fluids. I measure the output of fluids in my drains twice a day.
Today is Monday and I had the surgery on Thursday. Last night I didn't take any pain meds throuout the night. I feel discomfort, but not the unbearable pain anymore. I think I'll just stop taking the pain meds for now. I anticipated feeling a lot of pain for a lot longer.
This is what I wrote while in the hospital:
Arm tired. Hard to write...
6:30am arrive at IMC to check in
Peggy was RN who dressed me and started IV. really nice
Dr. Ferguson came in to see if I had any questions. picture (He drew blue marker lines all around my breasts and where the incision would be)
Dr.Reading came in to see if I had questions
Dr. Bowman anesth came in- he walked me to the OR after I kissed Dan
I walked right into the OR room and got up on the bed, laid down and had my arms laid out on the tables on either side of me, like a cross. I think they strapped down my arms. I remember Dr. Readins's smiling face. I said, "Before I am knocked out, I just want to thank you all..." Dr. Reading explained, "No problem, that's why we're here. Happy to be here..."
I remember waking up in PACU recovery, well, not really waking up. I was so groggy and vaguely remember being wheeled in my bed to my room-lots of bumps. Then Dan was here...I was in and out. He helped me to eat some food. I couldn't eat very much. He went to say hi to the kids and get his clothes for his presentation the next day.
Adam came to visit me at 11pm-Thank goodness! He saved me last night! I seriously thought I would be okay by myself-Adam is so wonderful! He handsanitized my hands, scratched my itches, held my barf bucket, emptied my urine measuring cup in the toilet, fed me meals, fed me drugs, adjusted my bed, put on and took off my covers, put on and off my leg pressure cuffs, helped me out of bed to go potty, swept the hair from myeyes, was my pain management advocate and kept my comapny with his sotries and observations. I asked him if he'd spend the night with me in the hospital and he was so quickly willing and genuinely happy to do so. With every gesture, he served me with a happy, willing heart. It would've been an awefully difficult night without Adam. Instead, it was a wonderful chance to connect with my little brother.
Dr. Ferguson came in the next morning to give me instructions:
Drain 2X day and measure. Meet him in clinic in 1 week and if I've drained enought, then he will pull my drians (should gradually go from bloody, to straw, to clear). He said since my torso and peck muscles are long, he was able to go in lower and cut less into my muscle. He said I have very thin skin and he only would fill the spacer with 60ccs so to give a little room for healing so it's not too tight. He'll see if he can fill more on Friday.
dan came to visit before his presentation. Adam ran out to get a bite to eat.
So grateful that all went well. Last night it was so painful and so hard to move my arms and walk to the bathroom. It's getting easier to day. Hopeful it will just keep getting easier!
My sweet email buddy Marge, emailed me and told me to make sure I maintain a positive attitude...just allow the house to be a mess for a few weeks. She said after 4 weeks she was able to pick up around the house.
I have had some wonderful family and friends help me through this. Friends have brought meals and offered to take my children for playdates. Last night, Adam helped me prep our dinner meal and Leslie and Preston helped to sweep and clean up my kitchen and they all helped me get my trash out. Goodness I am blessed to have such lovely people around me!