The Tortise, The Hare and Bessie

19 Apr

This morning Hubby milked and measured drains after I took a half dose of Percocet. Then we walked a lap around the hotel floor. Soon I’ll be getting drowsy again so I’m writing to keep this as up to date as I can.

The two front drains hardly have anything in them anymore. They’ll probably come out tomorrow at my  4 day appointment with Dr. Elliott. The swelling in my brand new right breast is going down. It’s not rock hard like it was before. The skin is so soft and smooth it almost has a baby’s newness to its texture.

I still can’t get over how BIG they are. I wasn’t kidding when I told Dr. Elliott that I would have been thrilled with a C cup. It’s totally possible too that when all the swelling is gone that my new breasts will be down in that range. Right NOW I think they look like stripper boobs.

That perception may well come from having nothing there but mangled lumps of scar tissue for 18 months. Every time I look though it’s another big surprise that there’s anything there at all. I’m guessing that any breast cancer or botched boob job survivor feels the same way.

I did a bunch of reading this morning at about 4 am. Various websites have put the reduction of swelling at anywhere from two to four weeks along with bruising reduction. I’m okay with the slowness as long as there’s no necrosis or infection.  After all, the moral of THAT story is that slow and steady wins the race.

Aside from the size, I’m also amazed at how quickly the breast drains have eased up. When Ken stripped the tubes that lead to the bulbs that hold the drainage there was virtually nothing in the breast bulbs. So that’s going much faster than expected.

This morning’s walk was also MUCH easier. It’s still hard to believe that I was in the OR less than 72 hours ago. It seems like so much longer.

For anyone having this, or similar, procedure done, I’m also going to describe how to milk the drains down into the bulb at the end. Your nurse or partner starts with a sterile alcohol pad right up next to the skin around the tube. Then, holding it VERY tightly he pulls the fluid towards the bulb with one hand while using the other to keep from yanking the drain out of your body. After stripping the first section, he’ll take the stripped drain section back up next to the body and slide the gauze down to the next section, inching the drainage down into the bulb. Then, once all the drainage is down in the bulb they open it, squeeze the contents into a plastic measuring cup and mark down how much was in the bulb.

Drainage consists mostly of serous fluid and a little bit of blood. I’ve been told that a tiny bit of bleeding is normal. If the color becomes dark red or if the bulb starts filling up REALLY fast, like within an hour or less, then I have to call the Doc because something bad has happened.

That’s one more reason to take it slow and appreciate the Tortise style of healing. Another aspect of taking healing slow is the Percocet and muscle relaxer. Those two tend to make me sleep and my body, as with most others, heals faster when I’m asleep.

Hi ho hi ho it’s off to a drug induced sleep I go.

Sleeping is another matter and I’ll deal with it in a separate topic some time during my recuperation.

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Posted by on April 19, 2009 in Uncategorized


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