This is Miss M right before drifting off to sleep the night of surgery – as you can see from the time stamp (which is off an hour because I can’t figure how to make it adjust since the start of DST!), it was just after 1am and she was happily (wish you could see the smile – but protecting her privacy is more important) sipping her chicken broth and nibbling a saltine.
As you can see, they sent us to the hotel with a compression system for Miss M’s calves. If you’ve had major surgery, chances are you’ve had one of these devices, as well. One calf inflates, as it deflates, the other inflates. It is a method to help prevent blood clots. So are the compression stockings Miss M is sporting here. Dr. Egrari’s staff are excellent about paying attention to all of the important details!
After a very good first night post-surgery’s sleep, we had a quiet, relaxing morning. Just for reference, this is what the pill schedule is like:
6:00 am – 3 sublingual Arnica (for bruising) – nothing to eat or drink for 15 minutes before or after
6:15 am – 2 Bromelain (for swelling) – nothing to eat or drink for 15 minutes before or after
6:30 am – Valium (for muscle spasms)
7:00 am – Zofran (for nausea)
7:00 am – Percocet (for pain)
7:00 am – Cephalexin (antibiotic)
After that was time to empty the drains – stripping both of the drain tubes and then emptying the bulbs. I was also keeping an eye on the Foley catheter’s collection bag – I’d noticed around midnight that there was a slight pink tinge to the fluids. I did take her temperature – no temp, yay! – and continued to monitor. It’s really not that unusual for there to be a tad bit of a pink tinge when catheterized – but also didn’t want to ignore it. By the time we were getting ready to head to Dr. Egrari’s for Miss M’s post-op appointment I emptied 1600 cc’s. Yep – those kidneys are working!
Miss M did a great job that morning sipping more broth, water, and nibbling crackers.
Honestly, we were surprised at how quickly the morning went. Before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head to Dr. Egrari’s.
The goals at this appointment: check all incisions, change gauze dressings, remove Foley catheter, return compression device, evaluate overall progress, go over medications, assess drains, pain pump, and provide further education.
Honestly – Miss M not thrilled at the thought of having to walk from the hotel room, back down the hall, down the elevator, get into the car, drive to the Surgery Center (literally, half a mile down the road), then get back out of the car, go back up the elevator, and walk from the elevator to the exam room (about 15 steps from the elevator) – and then do it all in reverse to get back to the hotel. BUT – she was really surprised at the conclusion of all of that how well she’d done and by the fact that the pain factor was SO much less than she’d anticipated.
I want to warn you – the following pictures will feature incisions, sutures, and some nudity. If you can’t handle this sort of thing – now is the time to finish up this post – don’t read on – just close the window. Miss M is pretty emphatic that she wants people to know what it’s like to go through this experience, and is sure she wants the pictures posted. (She has remarked several times how important reading the experiences of other patients have been to her. She wants to do her part to pay it forward.) So, I will post them. Honestly – in my own opinion – beautiful, amazing, gorgeous results. Of course, I love surgery, and blood, and incisions, and needles, and tubes and all of that sort of thing – I think it’s pretty cool. So – keep that in mind. If you are weak of gut – go no further.
You are now duly warned.
…and – using my best stern Mom voice possible – HONOR this woman’s privacy if you happen to know her true identity. AND – respect the fact that she chooses to share these images SPECIFICALLY for the post-WLS patient who is seriously considering reconstructive plastic surgery. She is a kind, wonderful, intelligent woman and should be honored for her choice to share her journey here.
AND IF I CATCH A SINGLE ONE OF YOU DOING ANYTHING INAPPROPRIATE (word or deed) WITH THIS INFORMATION I WILL MAKE SURE APPROPRIATE ACTION ENSUES.
Bandages coming off…
Bandages mostly off…
Bandages all off. You can see the two JP drains, the pain pump tubing, and the cute new little belly button.
…and the beautifully reconstructed breasts:
For reference, here’s the before shot:
After Miss M’s post-op appointment we made our way back to the hotel. SO much easier going without the Foley to juggle!
And it was a big deal – the whole make it to the appointment and back to the hotel and learn how to sit down on the potty and get back up again – all without using the arms because of the breast work. BUT – people – Miss M is a star. I’m so proud of her. She’s done nothing but work through every single challenge with determination and a completely positive attitude.
The afternoon and evening consisted of naps, sips of iced water, getting up to go potty, snacks, and getting meds in on schedule.