Remember I kept on saying Tuesday? Well it got moved a day early. I texted my surgeon over the weekend to note that there is almost zero drainage going on and what used to be a painless recovery is now having a bit of throbbing. The suction is creating pressure on the area and it is starting to throb, sometimes a shooting pain will just materialize.
One very important thing to note was I was really nervous while waiting in the reception for the surgeon. I was definitely more nervous than I was during surgery. I got so light headed that I ended up buying some chocolate (as if I encountered dementors…okay that was a Potter joke LOL) and some ionic drink. It took me about 20 mins to go back to the waiting area. Something about the unknown scares me. At this point, my expectation was my chest would look like a scene from The Walking Dead: bruised, bloody, swollen and there might even be necrosis or dead flesh.
So there I was sitting on the infamous post op reclining chair. He and his nurse started to undo the dressings on the drain site (which I have replaced twice since surgery) and once that was off, they loosened and removed the bandage. Everything was done in front of a mirror and I tried so hard not to look….but of course, can’t resist. So far, so good! No swelling, no bruising except for where the drains were sticking out. There was still some gauze over the majority of the chest so still can’t let go of my fear. They lifted the gauze and this is what I see..
My TWD expectations were obviously not met and that alone was very promising.
He then proceeded with cleaning the drain sites. And let me say this: GETTING DRAINS OUT IS THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE, IF NOT PAINFUL, PART OF THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE. PERIOD. People describe it as a quick process, like getting a parasite pulled out or a strand of (very very very thick) hair exiting your body. It felt more like a piece of rope being pulled out. And because it has been there for 4 days, it felt like my body was already trying to make the rope a part of it, like it was partly fused already. When the doctor pulled it out, I was scared that the drain would have pieces of flesh attached to it already because honestly, that was how it felt. And I remember saying my right side was problematic but it was actually my left. Can’t describe how it felt but I clenched my eyes shut in the middle of the pulling process. NEVER AGAIN.
On the bright side, once the drains were out, I immediately felt 90% better! He put steri strips on the incisions made for the drains and covered it with antibiotic ointment. The doctor then started cleaning the nipples and it felt so weird because — well — I can’t feel it. I know there was pressure but you know how nipples are amazingly an erotic spot and at this point, it’s nothing more than a dull spot. Again, it is to be expected even if I did not get nipple grafts. I got to keep my original nipple-areola complex.
Once cleaned, the doctor needed to put some waterproof dressing and ointment. It was also at this point that he gave me the go signal to shower that’s why he opted to put the dressings. But but but, he made me take a selfie first before covering everything up again. So this picture is the first official one post op..
I noticed that he did raise the nipple-areola area and he said that he did so it would align with my pectoral muscles once developed. Initially, I also planned to get a nipple reduction but it seemed like they shrunk already. My surgeon said it was to be expected since the nipple was cut off from the mass, milk ducts etc. My areola did not get any resizing and most of small bruising on my sides were caused by the liposuction. Overall, I am really happy with the turnout. Happy is actually an understatement here.
I am to wear the binder for at least 2 more weeks for at least 24 hours. He said I can take it off every now and then to relieve pressure (and perhaps he knew I needed to satisfy my selfie needs LOL). He also reminded me to do some mobility exercises to restore full range of motion on my shoulders. I can fully raise my right arm and around 75% on my left. I will be going back on Saturday morning to get the areola stitches removed.
I can now sleep on my back and my wife can hug me a bit or snuggle. She was scared of knocking the drains previously. I can now wear shirts again and I did earlier…without the binder so I can relish the moment of my chest touching the fabric. And although I can’t feel it yet, I know my nipples stood out for joy when I put on that shirt 🙂