The time has arrived for some updates. This week has been much easier than I ever imagined. While I can’t say that it was completely pain free – far from it, but it was not nearly as bad as I was preparing for. I may have a bit higher pain tolerance than someone who has never had an operation. I had 4 very invasive stomach surgeries in the last 7 years where my stomach muscles were cut each and every time. That is where the pain is – at least in my experience.
In this procedure, my stomach muscles weren’t cut, but sewed tighter together. That caused some pain, but not like when they are cut. The actual incision area is completely numb. Actually, I’m numb from my newly placed belly button down to my hip joints. I was told that may stay that way which doesn’t really matter too much to me – I don’t think I have had much feeling in my lower abdomen since 2006.
Yesterday I went in for my follow up appointment and to have the two Jackson-Pratt drains removed. I was dreading the removal not because I was afraid it was going to hurt, but having things pulled out of your body just isn’t a whole helluva a lot of fun. Also, I had a pretty good idea that the tube for the drains were about a foot long and threaded up through my abdomen. *Insert gag here*
I was pretty nauseous yesterday from the pain medication and the antibiotics I was taking so by the time I got to my appointment, I was dreading the drain removal even more. I was terrified that I was going to throw up and tear open my incision in the process. No, not afraid of puking all over my doctor’s office – that’s why they have the tile floors.
My doctor removed my girdle, aka the sausage casing, and that was the most liberating feeling I have felt in the last 5 days. I got a good look at what was going on underneath there and I have to say, I’m very happy – even with all the swelling. There wasn’t any bruising that I could see and the incision is so thin, I can’t even imagine what it will look like in a year. She replaced all of my little band-aids from the liposuction incisions, cleaned the dried blood from my belly button and replaced the tape covering the tummy tuck incision. Once that was complete, it was time to remove the two drains. The tubes were stitched into two small incisions right below my tummy tuck incision. I was instructed to take a deep breath and let it out – she would pull the tube out on the exhale. I took a deep breath, covered my face with my hands and let out a loud exhale. I was afraid of hearing the removal as well as feeling it. One down, one to go. Deep breath in….and…whoooooooooooooooosh. Second drain out! Not bad at all. She covered the two holes with some antibacterial ointment and a bandage and then squeezed me back into another girdle.
Dr. S told me to expect some drainage from the tube sites, which I do have. Once I got home, I was beat. It was the most I had moved in 4 days and I was exhausted. After a few hours, I started to feel a bit feverish. I am no stranger to infection – I have had countless overnight stays in the hospital due to infection where I needed IV antibiotics that they ended up needing to put an IV in my foot because my veins in my hands and arms were shot. I know that a fever is the first sign and I was not pleased. I called my doctor to let her know and she assured me that she didn’t see any infection, but thought the fever was probably due to me doing so much and not being used to it. Well, as it turns out, she may have been right. After a couple of hours, the fever was gone.
Today was my first shower since Monday morning and it has made a world of difference. The only real pain I have is in my thighs – it feels like I went on a really hard uphill run. My back is the other source of pain. I am not a back sleeper and that’s all I have been doing for the last 4 nights and it has caught up to me. I may attempt to sleep on my side tonight.
After my shower, I took a couple of pictures. For the Truebies out there – it looks like I have Hep V because that purple marker won’t come off my skin and I can’t scrub. The bruises finally surfaced on my thighs today too. It looks like I got beat and kind of feels like that if I touch them. I only posted the side view – I’ll do a front view with the next shower – the picture was just a little too revealing for me to put it out there on the interwebs.