The surgery was a success. It feels tight and difficult to breath deeply. My arms move freely, but I can’t make any twists or turns. I have spent most of my time on an incline, with my right arm elevated incase of swelling. They gave me a blowing device to gauge my lung capacity and exercise my lungs, which I’m doing almost hourly.
Post surgery, around 3pm when they wheeled me into my hospital room, the pain was a solid 10 for the first few hours. The morphine drip didn’t appear to be working, they gave me something for muscle spasms that did help. Michelle and Bill were with me through dinner. There was some nausea. I was terrified to stand up to use the bathroom, thinking the pain was too much to tolerate. I did, eventually, get up and go with help from the nurses.
Day two in the hospital I started to itch all over, a side effect of morphine. They unhooked me from that and we switched to oral pain meds – hydrocodone and valium. That is working much better to take the edge off the pain. Misses Martha, Noelle and Blair came to visit and proceeded to lather me in lotion and scratch the morphine itches away – one on each leg, one on my back and head. Was pure heaven. Michelle and Jeanne came for dinner and the time in the hospital passed very quickly. The nurses gave me benedryl for the itches and its completely gone now.
Saturday morning Bill came about 9 and they taught us how to wrap the wounds and care for the drains. The plastic surgeon gently unwrapped the ace bandage and gauze wrap to reveal the new me. I couldn’t look. Bill said it wasn’t as bad as he thought it might be. I only have a simple dressing on me, a gauze under lining and an ace bandage over it. There are steri-strips covering the incisions, which could fall off in time. They’d like for me to shower each day, and have the bandages changed daily. We are going to wait until later this afternoon to tackle that.
I have 4 drains, two on each side. Nurse Bill (Gaylord Focker) is emptying them, striping the lines of any clots and we record the amount of discharge from each port. Once the drain produces less than 30 cc of fluid in a day it can be removed. I see the plastic surgeon on Thursday, in hopes they will take several of these little plastic balls off my sides.
Before we could get discharged we facetimed a few friends and family. Checked in on the kids and their northwoods adventures, and managed to catch my cousins and our nephew Ian, just quickly, before we headed out. The ride home was bumpy and uncomfortable. I was greeted by lots of wonderful gifts and surprises – a back rest for the bed – a book rest for reading in bed – a beautiful sherpa blanket and a soft cozy shawl – a book to keep me occupied and an unbelievable orchid that must have 100 blooms. Miss Blair came to check on me while Bill ran around and filled prescriptions. I fell asleep right after she left. Bill came home from his game around midnight and we checked the drains, had some pain killers and called it a night.
This morning I’m still feeling the overall tightness. Getting in and out of bed is slightly easier, or I’m getting the hang of it. Our kids are gone until Wednesday so I have nothing to do but rest and focus on me. Bill ran out for some food. He’s got a game today, but will be home early evening. Susan came to get the low down on our needs. She used rubbing alcohol to clean off as much of the iodine and tape residue as she could see. She’s going to come back this afternoon and help me shower and redress the bandages. Bill will be home early evening to help me through the night with the drains and pain meds.
It’s all very surreal. The surgeon Dr. M said the devil and all his babies are out of me. I can’t believe I’m home already. I can’t believe what I just went through. I can’t believe how much more there is to do. But, baby steps. One day at a time. At the very least I’m upright, eating, and very well entertained. So there’s much to be thankful for.