Tuesday, February 28, 2012

6 Days Post-Op - Back at the Hotel

"I'm taking her home with me,
All dressed in white;
She's got everything I need,
Some pills in a little cup."

 -- A Perfect Circle, The Nurse Who Loved Me
I've been out of the hospital for three days now (since Saturday)! =D

On Friday, I was able to get up and walk around a bit. I managed to make it to the door to my hospital room and back (with help of course). Moving around stretched sutures and hurt a bit, but mostly it was just exhausting. Those few steps made me feel as though I'd run a mile. Later I tried again and made it out the door and down the hall a bit before returning. Baby steps!

Erin loaned me a small mirror, and I got a better look at the new parts. The brusing is surprisingly minor. I've seen pictures of people covered in bruises from thigh to thigh, but in my case I've just got some light patchy bruises on each thigh, and some bruising and swelling on my left outer labia.

Of course, the sutures look a bit ugly at the moment, but even the nurses were complimenting them, saying that they would heal very nicely and with very little scarring. Dr. Bowers was even asking me to send her pictures once everything's healed, so she can use my results as an example on her website. =D

After a couple of days, the drain slowed down considerably, but also started to sting pretty badly. Thankfully, on Saturday morning Dr. Bowers came in to remove it. She snipped the stitch holding it in place and slid it out. I was surprised at how long it was; apparently it had been curved up and around through both outer labia.

There were one or two nurses that we really disliked, but most of them were great. Our definite favorite was a woman named Pat. She was sweet, thorough, and genuinely invested in my well-being, but never sugar-coated things, and also took the time to make sure Erin was fed and comfortable, which helped Erin to help take care of me. We made sure to give her a hug before we left. =) 

I had thought that they would take the catheter and/or packing out before I left the hospital, but it turns out that both have to stay in until my followup appointment on Tuesday. >_<

We checked out of the hospital and headed back to the hotel Saturday afternoon. Erin helped me get dressed and gathered, then went to get the car while and one of the nurses loaded me in to a wheelchair.

The nurse wheeled me down to the front door, then helped me carefully transfer to the car, and on to the donut-shaped pillow we brought. The car ride was painful, but short, and Erin was careful to avoid jerks and bumps wherever she could. Our hotel has a parking lot in the basement, with spaces very close the elevator. The room is also pretty close to the elevator, only a few doors away, so the walk to the room was manageable.

Since we got back I've basically just been lying in bed, working through the Netflix instant queue with Erin (Memento, The Producers, Howl's Moving Castle), and playing PS3, DS, and Android games (PixelJunk Shooter, God of War II, Dungeon Siege III, New Super Mario Bros., Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, Words With Friends, Hanging With Friends, yesI'magameaddictshhhh!), while Erin reads manga online. Honestly it's been a lot like being at home, except that my lappy sucks too much to play DotA 2 or SW:ToR. Thank goodness for a room with free and decent internet access. =D

Overall it's pretty easy to stay happy and entertained, though we do both get a little stir-crazy. Erin makes almost-daily trips to Safeway or CVS pharmacy to pick up food and sundry useful supplies. I honestly don't know how I'd manage without her. She's been so amazing, doling out my meds, helping me get up and down, getting/making food, keeping me company. She's been like a super-nurse, except her shift never ends, which I feel bad about. She's too sweet for her own good; sometimes I can tell she's getting a little frazzled, and I have to remind her to slow down and take care of herself for a little while.

In the hospital, the nurses were keeping me clean-ish with washcloths, but after a couple of days at the hotel I was feeling pretty disgusting and decided to try a shower. Erin managed to wash my hair, while I spent most of my energy trying to balance and just generally rinse off. Unfortunately I pushed myself a little too hard, and ended up feeling a pretty faint and dizzy by the end. Still, after sitting down and recovering for a few minutes, it felt amazing to finally be clean again.

I'm still taking percocets for pain, which seem to be helping more and more as the pain from the stitches decreases. I still get random stinging from sutures, and strange zaps as nerves slowly re-establish themselves, but I swear that most of the pain at this point is from the catheter and packing. The packing causes lots of pressure, which is constant, but gets much worse if I try to sit up for any period of time.

The catheter doesn't help in the pressure department, and though I've gotten a little more used to the always-have-to-pee feeling, I don't think my body has. If I'm off the percocets for too long, everything gets generally tense and very uncomfortable in that area. The tubing has also gotten kinked once or twice,  before I figured out how best to situate it, and each time it has taken a bit to even figure out what was causing the extra pain.

My breasts have gotten slightly softer as the skin stretches, but they still have a long way to go. The stitches (in the creases underneath) get itchy from time to time, which is a good sign, and other than some minor aching here and there, they've been relatively pain-free.

Later today, we'll be going back to Dr. Bowers' office for the follow-up, and removal of the packing and catheter. I seriously can't wait, as I think these will ease my discomfort by a lot, but I'm also pretty nervous, because it means the start of dilating.

For a while, my body will see the new configuration as semi-foreign (like a piercing), and try to close things up. Among my bag of clothes from the hospital, we discovered my very own set of dilators (smooth medical-grade dildos is honestly the best descriptor =P), which I'll have to use routinely for a few months to keep things from collapsing. I suppose it can't be much worse than this damn packing, though. >_<

1 comment:

  1. Wow... I almost forgot about the breasts what with everything going on downstairs! How exciting it all is. :) And how scary (before especially). I've followed your progress on fb. I love you & Erin both so much, but also, you've given me a lot of strength! With my own surgery coming up, facing the unknown scares me to death. But wow, if you can go through all that, surely I can face this little head thing tomorrow. :) I'm sure you're inspiring a lot of people. xoxo