Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Recovering at Home

I came home from the hospital Thursday afternoon.  My husband set up our comfy recliner with a sheet and my blue fuzzy blanket.  With the addition of two pillows for my arms it is quite comfortable!  Up until today I was taking my pain medication every 2 hours.  Last night I switched to 3 hours (or when I woke up),   It seemed to go okay, so I will continue on this schedule for a day or so, continuing to try to decrease the narcotics.

I was allowed to shower right away, which surprised me because I had read many places about not being allowed to shower until the drains were out.  So when I got home I took a shower, and my husband assisted with washing my hair.  It felt wonderful to be CLEAN.  He also took care of the drains up until Sunday night when I felt I could/should take that over.

I'm really looking forward to getting the drains out.  They're kind of annoying and pretty gross.  They are these tubes that are hooked up to something that wraps around my breast (on the inside) and dangled about a foot or so out of my body on each side to these bulbs where the fluid collects.  Twice a day we have to "strip the drains"  where we lotion our fingers and squeeze all the fluid/clots sitting in the tube into the bulb, then we have to empty the bulb and measure and record the fluid that was inside.  UGH.

At my most recent appointment with the plastic surgeon he thought we could get them out maybe on friday.. My husband interpreted things a little different, as in *maybe* on Friday, but more likely on Monday.  I really hope it's Friday.

He also suggested that I wear a bra, but specifically he wanted me to wear something supportive under my breast but loose around the nipple, so like an old bra should work.  Unfortunately I no longer have any good supportive bras that aren't a miraculous bra, but I found a couple old nursing bras, and they're working for now.

My right nipple is struggling to survive.  It's really scary looking, it's all dark red/purple, kind of  blackish... So I have to clean it twice a day and thickly apply a burn cream to the nipple and surrounding skin.  I think it is starting to look slightly better and the plastic surgeon seemed more optimistic about it when he saw it yesterday.

The expanders are strange, each breast has one of these expanders and they're basically the same circumference of my old breasts, but without the filling.  So they're big around but rather flat.  Apparently they had removed 500 grams of breast tissue from my left breast, and 450 from the right (the left was bigger..) then he filled about 200-250 grams into the expanders at the time of surgery, so right now my breasts are about half the mass that they were prior to surgery. 

They are really strange though.  They're HARD, and they don't move.  So it kind of feels like they're in my armpit when I try to lower my arms.  I'm assuming that is only going to get worse as we start filling them up.

I mentioned my arms and the numbness in the last post.  They've improved quite a bit.  I have almost full use of my fingers and thumbs back, but from the pointer finger to the thumb of each hand still have a tingly pain in them and my left arm still won't full extend.  It seems to get better each day, though the improvement seems to have slowed... But I am sooo happy it didn't stay where it was, that would have been life changing, in a very negative way!

Anyway, now that it doesn't make me dizzy to sit at the computer, I'll try to post more frequently.


  1. I'm so happy to read about all the improvements! Keep up the good work!! (and glad you were able to shower - it does a body good)

  2. Yes, I had been concerned about going a long time without a shower. I feel Yucky if I don't shower daily, so going 3 days was certainly long enough!

  3. Hey girl! The expanders feel funky..but I promise it gets better over time. Never perfect...but better. I've had my left one fully expanded since July and it's softened and dropped alot and my right one has been fully expanded for about a month...it's sitting a little higher and a different shape but it will chill out too. They are still hard but I guess it's more the skin gets used to having them in there? All I know is that the crazy tight feeling goes away. I can sleep on either side for awhile (I end up tossing and turning alot) but during the day I almost forget they are there! Hang in there...glad to hear you're doing better!