Friday, March 22, 2013

That Was Easy

That implant exchange surgery was a breeze! Though I've been taking it easy this afternoon, I'm amazed by how unaffected I am right now. I can walk around, lift my arms, turn my body side to side, and even gently touch my chest on top of the bandages. I haven't taken a pain pill since over 4 hours ago, and even then, I took only one when the dosage said I could take two.

Here's my play-by-play of  today: I had a friend pick me up at 6am for my 6:30 arrival time. I went in by myself and took the stairs up to the fifth floor because I could. Almost immediately, I was taken to get myself changed into my gown-that-opens-in-the-back and souvenir non-slip hospital socks. Here's my waiting-for-the-anesthesiologist picture:
After meeting a number of nurses who verified over and over who I was and what I was there for (no accidental nose jobs or vasectomies), Dr. Baum came in and drew all over my chest, presumably to make sure I'll be symmetrical and pretty. I reminded him, "When in doubt, go smaller." By 7:30, I was wheeled into the operating room, transferred onto the table, and fell asleep within seconds of something being injected into my arm.

Unlike after the mastectomy, there was no puking when I woke up around 10:30. Pain was about a 5 on the happy face to agony scale, but I got my Vicodin pill right away. Paul had arrived, and for some reason, I felt compelled to tell him that Maggie's classmate Connor didn't want a party so he got to go to Wonderworks for his 5th birthday. (I think the train of thought came from Paul telling me that school drop-off had gone fine and I knew that there'd be a birthday treat today.) Then the nurse told me to go back to sleep.

I was much more lucid and only about a pain scale 3 when I awoke again a little after noon. The nurse helped me stand up slowly, and since I wasn't dizzy on the way to the bathroom, I deemed myself ready to go home. Unfortunately, Dr. Baum had forgotten that if I wear adhesive against my skin for too long, I get a rash, so the nurses had to call him to re-bandage me with an Ace wrap instead of tape. He took a while because he was in another surgery, but as soon as he was done, I was outta there.

We stopped for a Shamrock Shake at the drive-thru on the way home because I hadn't been allowed to eat anything before surgery and I needed a sugar boost. Then I went up for another nap while Paul went to get Maggie and Reese from their sitters. Woke up and took another pain pill, but I've been fine since. I was downstairs for a normal dinner (not even the soup I'd planned on having), and the evening has felt just like a day that never included a surgery.

If you're waiting for the picture of my boobs, here's all I've got:
There's a faint marker line right down the middle from Dr. Baum's artwork this morning. Also, you can still see the radiation burn on my right side, which may never go away completely. (Mirror picture, so you don't have to reverse sides).

On Tuesday, I go in for my follow-up and Dr. Baum will remove the bandages. Unfortunately, he had to do a C cup (I was hoping for B's) based on the size of the skin and tissue that was there, but that's totally not a complaint. Boobs are boobs, and as long as this doesn't get infected or something, I'm a happy camper.

Thanks for all of the support and positive thoughts today. I'll update again soon, but compared to all of the other stuff from the past year, this was a big piece of cake!

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