Yesterday was my first time seeing the plastic surgeon since the procedure. I hadn’t had a shower, hadn’t been able to wash my hair. I’d managed to lift my arms up enough to wash under them, ran a washcloth over my body (the parts I could reach) while my husband got our little one ready, and I was very proud to have anaged to get my shirt on all by myself. The abdominal bloating made it difficult to button them. We’d overslept slightly so I hadn’t any time to put on make-up, so I sprayed some dry shampoo on my hair and did what I could to not look like a total greaseball. Looking at myself in a shirt that I normally filled out up top was a little depressing.
I cannot drive yet so my husband is having to drive me everywhere. I get terrible carsickness. I am sensitive to motion of any kind if I am not in control of it. If I don’t drive, it’s horrible. Add to the mix the really bad pinched nerve in my neck and my intense shoulder pain, daily headaches, lack of caffeine (Dr. wanted me to avoid it) and general malaise, and it just wasn’t pretty. I kept a cool washcloth on my face the whole time and it helped a little.
While waiting for the doctor, one of his nurses came in to tell me that my bandages would be coming off so that he could see the incisions. I think at that moment my blood pressure must’ve risen significantly. The clear surgical tape was SO tight. Expecting a firestorm of expletives, I asked my husband if he would take our daughter out of the room.
I don’t even know how to explain how it felt as the nurse removed that tape. I felt cold, was sweating and slightly light-headed. I maintained, however, and we got it all off. The surgeon came in after we’d finished getting it all off and only a plastic surgeon could look at my bruised, deflated breasts and say, “They look good.” The spots he was concerned about being too thin appeared fine, he said, and he even said that I could go straight to a silicone implant if I wanted. The only issue with that being that he would not be able to go as big as I’d originally wanted to go. I told him from the beginning, if I was going through all of this, I wanted to get some type of bonus (don’t get me wrong, NOT developing cancer is a HUGE bonus), i.e. larger breasts than I’d started with. I don’t want to be huge, I would just like to achieve a certain look and be happy with it at the end rather than wishing I’d gone bigger. I have the opportunity, I might as well take it, even if it means one more surgery. I’d rather have control over what my breasts look like in the end if I can. During the weekly additions of saline to the expanders, I will be able to have some control over the final result. As someone who is a control freak, I couldn’t pass it up.
So the surgery date was set for this Friday, during which the expanders will be inserted and according to my plastic surgeon, I will have “some volume” when I leave the hospital. I am excited for that. I miss my breasts. I am very much looking forward to seeing the skin filled out again, instead of flat against me.
I have numbness all around my breasts and under my arms, and I have no feeling at all in my nipples. I understood going in that this could be permanent. They have always been overly sensitive anyway, so I didn’t expect that would bother me much. I guess we’ll see as the weeks and months progress. The doctor told me that at around the 6 month post-surgery mark, I should have just about what I’m going to have. I do have the sensation of my skin drawing up when I have goose bumps, however, which is interesting.
I have drains on either side under my arms and I am emptying them twice daily, recording the amount and color of the fluid that drains out as well as my temperature. I am wearing a little terry cloth pouch that holds the hand grendade-shaped bulbs at the end of each drain. The right side drain where it exits my skin is more sensitive than the left. The nurse said there was a lot of bruising there. I assume I will be wearing them a few more weeks. We’ll see. I am looking forward to being able to sleep on my side again one day. 🙂