1(ish) Week Post Op

1(ish) Week Post Op

April 21 – 23rd, 2024

Saturday night, I sweated through my clothes again. I think it was the acetaminophen in the Norco. I don’t know if this makes any real sense, but maybe I needed that so much the first couple of nights that I didn’t sweat, and now that I’m tapering off and don’t need it so much, it’s having that effect on me? In any case, I did sleep about 10 hours, and that probably did more for my healing than the pain meds. Fun fact: adequate pain control is key to healing quickly because the stress from pain no only impacts your mood, but your heart rate, BP, appetite, and other factors that are important to keep in line so your body can focus on recovery.

When I made my way downstairs and emptied my drain (remember, only the left one was really doing anything), I had reached that <40ml threshold. In fact, I was down to 30mls in the last 24 hours. Hip hip, hooray! First, I secured a ride with my friend, Marji for the next day and left a message for Sophie (Dr. Geldner’s nurse) so she could tell me what time she could squeeze me in for Monday drain removal.

Next event of the day was getting my hair washed. Frankly, it was drastically overpriced (almost $40!), but dummy me didn’t even think to ask about the cost when I booked it. Still, it was worth it to have my hair clean and looking decent for Seder.

Sitting under the dryer at Salon Bliss

After coming home, I iced for a while. Then, I put on a real bra, non-PJ-like clothes, and even makeup! As soon as we walked in the door at Michelle’s, I announced a viewing of the gore. In hindsight, I was probably a bit abrupt about it, but I was super uncomfortable and really wanted to adjust the binder anyway. Since I still had the drains, it was still quite an effort to do that. I had to unpin them from the binder, pin them to my bra or something, re-fit the binder, then pin them back in place. I was growing tired of that hassle. Anyway, after showing off to my Aunt Barb and cousin Michelle & her daughter, Rachel, I put the binder back on. I was still uncomfortable the whole evening. I could not get it adjusted comfortably. 

We had a great time visiting with everyone, eating, and cracking up at Auri, Rachel’s toddler. She’s such a hoot! We headed home a tad early(er than we normally would have) because my energy was waning. And from standing so much, my back was seizing up. As soon as we got home, I took off my bra and realized it wasn’t so much the binder, but the combo of the binder and underwires that was so uncomfortable! Oh, to be able to ditch those underwires for good!

Once I was changed back into comfy clothes, took off my makeup, and washed my face, I joined Hubs and TG to ice again while we watched the finale of Royal Pains (our latest family binge show). I am happy to report that I no longer needed either the Gas-X or the Norco, and I returned to my regularly scheduled substances. 

Monday morning, I called the doc’s office again and got an appointment time – 1pm. Marji came and got me, and we headed to Oakbrook. First, I saw Dr. Geldner. He took a look at my incisions, we talked matzo balls & brisket. He introduced me to a new (to me) Jewish-themed parody album called Unorthodox by What I Like About Jew. Song titles include: They Tried To Kill Us (We Survived, Let’s Eat)A Little Off The Top, and Taller Than Jesus. I’m telling you, it’s right up there with Six13.

He gave me his blessing to graduate from the binder to shapewear. Hooray! After the kibbitz session, Sophie came in and took out the drains. It was totally painless and I barely felt anything.

Click to see video (not photo) of the second drain being removed.

I was free!!!

I treated Marji and myself to Sbux for the ride home. I tried the spicy dragonfruit refresher. The spiciness reminded me of a cocktail rimmed with Tajin. Gotta say, it was tasty and a fun drink, and not overly sweet. I was diggin’ it.

TG was to submit their Koro Sensei cosplay for the annual Live Arts Festival at school, so as soon as they got home from, I helped get it over to school and set up. I didn’t really do much to help, but I was sooooo tired by the time we came home. Still, after dinner, I finally got to do something I’d been waiting to do all week. I showered! Cue the Hallelujah Chorus!

After a glorious shower, I finally got a good look at myself in the mirror. There was still so much permanent marker, dried blood, swelling and bruising. And dressing/tape stuck inside my swollen shut belly button.

Behold the belly button!

After my shower, I tried on the shapewear I had in my drawer. It was then that I realized how swollen I truly was, because it was WAY too tight – same thing I wore on the cruise, and it was much more comfortable then. Even a larger size was uncomfortable, so I resigned myself to sticking with the binder. But, I desperately wanted to wash it, and it had to line dry. Since I was supposed to wear it 24/7 with only a break for showers, I ordered a backup on Amazon. It was no where near as supportive, but it was ok enough.

That night, I slept in BED for the first time in a week. I got an extra pillow to put under my knees, because I couldn’t really straighten out my torso yet. I spent the whole night on my back and woke to an interesting surprise. I ended up with a stiff neck AND shoulders. From sleeping on my back? From not moving all night? Who knows? So, first thing I did was some neck circles to loosen up.

Then, I finally got on the scale. Now, I know that as a woman, I’m not supposed to broadcast my weight in polite company, but Imma tell you anyway. I walked into that surgical center the previous week weighing in a t 165. A week later: 158! I know the surgery itself took off 5lbs of tissue. The extra 2lbs were probably because I’d not been able to eat much due to the abdominal tightness. When I checked in with Dréa, my nutrition coach, she asked me how it felt to see the 150s. I told her my brain was melting. I was so excited.

Now, my task is to keep to my maintenance calories and walk, walk, walk. Look, no FUPA!

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