Recovery – Week 1

The first night was a medically-driven sleep. Left over anaesthesia grogginess, pain killers. I was up off and on for 5-10 min at a time, but overall slept well. I am extremely grateful I bought myself a bed wedge since getting up requires a true sit-up. Drains in under the arms make it really uncomfortable to roll onto your side. The next day I got up and got moving a bit. Honestly – I was surprised I wasn’t more sore. Generally moving, as long as I didn’t move too quickly, felt reasonable.

I had numbness all across my chest that I had attributed to the nerve block. Now that the numbness is still kicking around on day 6 I know that it is just from surgery. Every once in a while I will get a quick little jab of pain, sometimes in my chest, sometimes in my armpit. As soon as I go to gently touch the area I am met with the numb sensation. I can feel the skin with my fingertips, but I can’t feel the fingertips on my skin. Bonus, the pain goes away when I do that.

During the morning and early afternoon the day after surgery, I was missing my kids. Two nights away was HARD. I also knew I wouldn’t be able to have them stay home Wednesday night, so we decided to head to my parents place for supper. I figured it would be easier for us to come and go, than to try and pack the kids up to go back to grandma and grandpas house. This is my first drive since coming home, and my physiotherapist recommended using a rolled towel between my chest and the seat belt. I luckily had a beautiful cowl made when I was diagnosed that was cushion-y enough, plus super pretty. So I have been using that.

Supper went well, the kids had been prepped ahead of time that we can’t do hugs like normal. They showed me where they were sleeping, the toys they were playing with and overall wild on later bedtimes and extra candies – it’s grandma and grandpa’s house after all! It really filled my soul to see the kids, but I was played out after about 45 min or so. Everyone melted down when it was time to leave and that broke my heart entirely. I think if I were to do it all over again, I would have just done a video chat with the kids instead.

I was able to go on a very slow walk around the block on the second day. Definitely not fast. It was hot out so I took the opportunity to stop under most trees for a short rest. The kids came home for supper (my parents graciously brought supper for everyone), and then we watched a movie as a family and everyone went to bed early. The kids needed the night at home to reconnect with us, and to be honest, we needed it too. The next evening they were going with their Aunty for the next two nights. I highly recommend using pillows so the kiddos can cuddle without causing discomfort. Even though the skin is numb a head, hand or elbow pushing into the chest or drain site still isn’t a walk in the park.

As for me, I have been able to get walking a little more each day, I am faster, and less fatigued. I am finding the most uncomfortable part to date is definitely the drains. They just feel pinchy and raw. It took until day 4 for the fluid coming into the drains to turn to the pink color they describe, and now on day 6 it’s more the clear/yellow fluid.

I am grateful that I had the surgery, but now the real work starts in trying to adjust my body image. Yes I wanted those traitors GONE, but it doesn’t mean this part won’t be hard…

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