3 Days Post OpI can’t believe it’s been three days since I had my breast reduction surgery! The first few days included my pectoral muscles and shoulder muscles pretty much burning every time I tried to use them. I didn’t realize how much I push up from the chair with my arms as I stood up until this time! Also, I didn’t realize how hard it was to take the gauze off. My gauze is blood-stained and sticking to my incisions because of the dried blood. I also never realized how independent I am and how much I care for other people without even realizing it— mainly because I was trained so well by my Southern childhood. Not picking up something someone dropped? Not holding open a door for the person behind me? It’s such second nature for me.
Things I’m thankful for: my mom! Momma has helped me so much with everything. She has fed me, kept me at her house, has supplied me with comfy PJ’s, has driven me to and from the hospital, and helped me with my drains, and made sure I took my medicines. She had a lot of practice with my daddy before he died. She also has a handicap-accessible bathroom and master bedroom suite for me to use.
I’ve had many friends reach out and offer to come over to visit, which keeps my spirits up. Thanks, everybody! The first day was the toughest, I was dizzy and a bit spacey from the anesthesia and pain medications. I’m getting my drains out on Monday, and having a follow-up with my surgeon. I hope I am healing to her expectations. Also, I am so thankful for FMLA and my short-term disability insurance I get through my job!
In the recovery room after the surgery, my chest was burning at first, that’s what woke me up and what I first remember. And then, I realized how my breast were repaired and I couldn’t stop smiling. I was a happy camper when Dr. Wagstrom came in to advise me that she was able to save my nipples and didn’t have to do a nipple graft that would have made them for decoration only. I am so thankful! I haven’t showered yet, my gauze is still sticking to my incisions, but I will be taking my first shower shortly. I have unzipped my support vest go see what my breasts look like.
So far, my breast look like implants and are kind of hard and square. I held one of my old bra cups up to my current breast, and there was no question my breasts are smaller! This is exciting for me. For a while, I worried I went too small at first, or that the shape of my breast wasn’t right. My surgeon advised me that the shape they initially showed up as would not be the shape they’d always be and not to freak out. My friend Rachael assured me that they would change shapes. A huge number of women have come out of the woodwork to me and my mother about having breast reductions, which was a surprise for both of us! I’m sad I waited so long to do this.
Momma has helped me with emptying my drains and recording the amount that has come out. The drains are coming out tomorrow (hopefully) and I’ll have to wear a special support bra/vest in the meantime. I made the mistake of taking a Hydrocodone instead of a Tylenol. Ugh, it knocked me out!
I decided after this to only use Tylenol, not the prescription pain pills. Hydrocodone is so addictive, this is why we have opioid addiction.
4 Days Post Op
Mom and I went for my post-op appointment. They looked at my breasts and the drains, and my breasts weren't producing so much fluid to drain out. One was producing a little less than the other, though. I was terrified of the pan of removing the drains, because I had had severe stinging around them on Sunday, so bad I almost vomited. But when they were removed, it was a relief. Afterward, they gave me a new white front-closure bra to wear. We visited my cousin Helyn who doesn't live far from my surgeon's office. We went home to prepare for Christmas and did the recipes my sister emailed me. I tried to assist my mother with slicing the potatoes, but my chest and biceps hurt so badly. I managed to finish the task, but it was difficult to do.
7 Days Post OpI've spent two afternoons at home to hang out with my cat, but my mother expected me to stay with her for the first week. My cousin Claire is staying with my mother while in mourning from her mother's death this month. Claire is an only child, so this has taken a lot of her time and attention to not only do her own mourning but meet her mother's friends and family in theirs as well. I'm glad she's here, though, but I don't want to speak too much for her.
Chrismas was low-key. I wore my emerald sequined dress from Eloquii and I did not expect how different it would look on my body since the reduction. My white sports bra showed up if I wasn't careful. I went to the Christmas Eve Mass with my Aunt Madge and my mother on Tylenol. On Christmas Day, my brother came over with two of his friends, and a whole trunk full of food from Picadilly Cafe. I had a glass of wine, but it made me sleepy. I couldn't do much to assist with heating up the food, though.
When I was able to come home to my house, it was relief. My cat does not like being separated from me for so long, and he's been sitting in my lap and just becoming a dead weight and sleeping there. He never used to.
10 Days Post Op
I got admitted to a facebook group for Breast Reduction support, and I started looking at other women's post-op breast pictures. I saw so many of them looking round and breast-like and they had fewer days post-op than me. It was upsetting: I felt like I had been disfigured. After I took my cousins to church, I tried to post my first bewb selfie (No I am still not posting here, this is family-friendly blog and page!). True story: I never taken a nude picture. This was technically my first. My first attempt at posting them in this private group went wrong and Facebook flagged it, but my second attempt worked. The people I was talking to tried to soothe me. I showed my mother, and cried, and she told me not to compare myself and my progress in healing, all bodies healed differently. I didn't think I'd heal this way. I weighed myself and I was 9 pounds down! OMG! I'm stunned-- I haven't asked how much weight they took off my breasts, but was it really 9 pounds? Or did the anesthesia do a number on my appetite, too? I had been nibbling and eating during Christmas all week. Insane. I lost 10 pounds before surgery, too.
13 Days Post Op
Stupidly, I never realized this, but there are different techniques of reducing the breasts. My surgeon probably did some internal stitching and incisions and then made the lollipop incision on my skin, because that's probably why they look square. I was warned they'd look square, but not to this degree. But when I asked about it in BR Support Group on Facebook, a lot of members told me this was normal and they were going through it, too. I really like this BR Support Group, the people here are so positive and supportive. I realize how silly it was to get upset on the 10 Day PO, and they are still healing-- mainly because I'm getting a lot of cramps and tingling inside my breasts. I worry that I'm lifting my arms over my head and pulling sutures internally, now. I thought it would only be the stitches on the outside, but I realized it can be the stitches on the inside, too. I gained 4 pounds the last three days but part of that is probably the post-anesthesia effects.
Tomorrow is my first day back at work. I work in a call center, so it shouldn't be so bad to return. I'm also trying to take down my Christmas tree, since today is New Year's Day. I didn't do much for New Year's Eve, I am still suffering some of the effects of the anesthesia, but they're more annoying than dangerous. I'm going to start exercising and eating intentionally to ascribe to some more healthy standards, now that my surgery's leave is up from work.
I'll keep you all abreast (haha, pun intended) on my updates.