Saturday, March 22, 2008

Chillin' on the Couch

As you've no doubt read in Gary's message, the morning started heinously early. I drove so Gar could get a few more winks on the way to UMMC. Things seemed to move a little quicker in pre-op this time, but maybe that's because I had company. My friend who has been going through the same process was the next case after mine and was there early as well. So she came in and we compared notes and nerves. It was so reassuring to have someone there who new exactly what I had gone through and what I was about to go through.

They took me back at 7 am and once again I was staring at the two OR lamps above me. Then it was lights out. The surgery took about 4 hours. He removed the scar tissue from my abdominal incision and contoured the "dog ears" at the ends. He also took the cartilage 'stored' just under the skin in my breasts, shaped them and inserted them to give the appearance of a nipple. He also cut down on the size of the skin islands and pulled it tight so it will look round like an aereola. (I've had two friends who 'make stuff' tell me they could have crafted nipples for me in their shop... Ones that could shoot bullets! I do have strange friends!)

The one thing that had bugged me from the previous surgery (besides my manufactured love-handles, a.k.a 'dog ears') were the indentations left from where he removed the cartilage from my 5th ribs. Besides being unsightly, whenever I sneeze it would feel like my entire chest was going to come through that space. I've learned since to support the area with my hands when sneezing or coughing. Dr. Wonderful, of course, had a way to fix it. He told me that he was going to do liposuction on my real love-handles (again, I wasn't aware I HAD any!) and take the removed fat cells and insert them over the indentations to smooth things out. Okay, I must say that I am probably the only woman alive who has had fat removed with liposuction and then had it immediately replaced. Again I emerge with a net zero loss, just completely re-arranged. I'm starting to feel like Frankenstein, but rebuilt with all my own parts.

I emerged from the OR bound up like a Christmas goose. I'm wearing a Madonna-inspired bra. It looks like something out of the '50's (it is ENORMOUS), but the tips of the cups are cut out and I have gauze just laying over my nipples. I also have to wear an abdominal binder to help contour where they did the lipo on my back. So I haven't actually seen any of the work he did yet, and probably won't until Monday or so.

As far as discomfort, I was pretty woozie most of yesterday. The thing that hurt the worst was where he'd injected the fat into my chest. This morning my abdominal incision and areas that he lipo'd are hurting. I have a plethora of drugs to take, but the oxycodone he gave me really does a number on me, so I've downgraded myself to darvocet I have from last time. It seems to do the trick as long as I don't move that much.

My goal today is to rest up enough so I can be relatively independent for tomorrow. Sadly, Gary has to work. He has been so fabulous as always, getting every little thing for me, fluffing my pillows, feeding me... I got weepy last night when he was putting me to bed because I kept needing so many little things (I couldn't even reach to turn out the light.) He's done so much for me and all on little more than 1 hour sleep in something like 30 hours. He is such a rock star! I think I'll keep him.

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