Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The many stages of recovery...

Recovery after the breast reduction was not at all what I had expected it to be. Now I am currently about 2 weeks post surgery, so I'm sure there will be even more stages added to the list. But for now, here is what I have been going through:

Stage 1 - I was so sick immediately after the surgery that all I could think about was feeling better. I didn't at all think about if the surgery was successful. I woke up really, really, REALLY hot. So much so that it was hard to breath. The nurses found a fan and plugged it in and had it pretty much right in front of me. Those poor nurses. They really put up with a lot from me. I apologized once I started feeling better. I'm pretty sure I was rude to them at some point during the post op recovery time. The nurses really were great. They were nice enough to be kind, but also forceful enough to make me do things that they knew would help me. Things like making me drink some sprite, eat some crackers and go to the bathroom. Once I had gone to the bathroom they put me in a wheel chair and took me out to the car. That is really all I needed to start feeling better. The cool air just washed over me and I felt so much better. 

Stage 2- At this point I was still not concerned with the results of the surgery. We were home and I was hungry and in pain. Thankfully my husband took the advice of the nurses and had already dropped my prescriptions off at the pharmacy. So while I laid in bed at home, he drove to Walgreen's and McDonald's. I couldn't take the pain meds until I had eaten something. For some reason the only thing that sounded good was a cheeseburger from McDonald's. I know, so lame, but it was SO good. Especially after having not eaten all day, I felt like I was eating at a 5 star restaurant!

Stage 3 - Okay, so now the pain meds have set in and I have decided to actually look at myself. I was not sure what to think. I had a lot of gauze on and tape and weird alien horns below my breasts. To be fair to my doctor, they did tell me this is how I would look. I just didn't ask that many questions about it in order to get more details, so when I looked in the mirror I kind of was disappointed.

Stage 4 - Depression and randomly crying. This has been the hardest part of the recovery stages thus far. I was feeling ugly. I seriously looked like a half human half alien character from a sifi movie! This was not at all what I had signed up for. To add to these feelings I also just wanted to cry. There was not really a reason, I just needed to shed some tears. My poor husband put up with a lot of emotions during these few days. I sure don't know what I would have done with out him there! During this stage one of my best friends, Erin, found a website with others who had gone through or were about to go through breast reductions. This was the best medicine! I was able to see that others felt the same things I did. I was not alone in my depression and crying. This immediately helped me feel better. I was able to share with Justin the things I read and explain to him that I am not the only one who goes through this part of recovery! 

Stage 5 - I think this is the stage I am currently in. I am pretty much pain free, I feel a little tightness in the breast area, but it isn't anything I feel like taking pain meds for. I am feeling really good about myself! I realized that I didn't have any clothes to wear to church, so I tried on an old dress that I haven't been able to fit into in a long time, and it fit! I loved that feeling. Then this past Sunday I did the same thing. I totally rocked a dress that I couldn't fit into before the surgery! Also, I went bridesmaid dress shopping with my friend who is getting married in April, and I was able to fit into strapless dresses!!! STRAPLESS. This has never been an option for me. I always have had to get the dresses with high backs and wide straps or sleeves, in order to cover my bra. So needless to say I was thrilled! 

I hope that the stages continue to get better. I have about 2 1/2 months still before my "alien horns" are healed up and no longer showing. The doctor told me that the slower they go away the better the healing will be. So here is hoping for a slow healing process. 

Oh and since my surgery I am way more aware of my middle section. I totally see my stomach more and feel  more of a desire to work on loosing weight! My friend, Jessica, is going to help me along the way. She is about to be certified as a personal trainer. I'm so thankful for her and the fact that she is going to help me out. I will get to be one of her first testimonies for her new job as a personal trainer! Hoping to make her proud!

Here are some after pictures. The one in the white shirt is like a day after the surgery. They have settled a bit now and don't look quite as "at attention" (as one of my other friends put it). My favorite is the one of me in the bridesmaid dress! Again, did I mention it is strapless?!?!

Picture on the left is the before picture. Picture on the right is the after picture. I was not happy in this picture. I think I must have been in Stage 4 ;)
This is the dress I ended up getting. It will be in an aqua color though. :)

I was being silly and my friend Erin snapped the picture at this moment :)


Rai and Shannon said...

So happy you are pain free, and actually enjoying your new size!! I hope things continue to get better each day! And you look great!!

Lindsey said...

So excited for you! You made it through your more difficult stages of recovery and now have so much to look forward to!!

Liesl said...

I am so glad you are recovering well and so happy! I can't wait to see you in person. You are beautiful, friend, inside and out. So blessed to follow you on this journey...wish I lived closer, though! :)