6.24.2011

Top Surgery Recovery Day 2

Day One Post-Op
It's been kinda difficult trying to keep the days organized when I have been spending quite a lot of my day napping. It seems I can only keep my eyes open for a little while after taking pain meds so my day is sort of broken up into short spurts of lucidity between luxurious codeine naps.

Traveling home from the hospital was a bit of an adventure; an hour and a half on a highway. The road is pretty smooth but of course there are spots that are a little more bumpy than others. The ride took a bit of a toll on the chest as the bandage was rubbing and made the incisions burn quite a bit. Once home, I enjoyed a cup of coffee and some more pain meds which meant of course another nap. I was outside though which was nice and eventually came in for some supper. One of the side effects of anaesthetic is constipation. Ugh. So I tried to encourage my intestines to get moving by taking a short walk. That was probably not the best idea as it was pretty painful. I think I might try to keep exercise to a minimum at least until I get the binder off. Nausea has been a bit of a burden that I think is related mostly to taking medication on an empty stomach but might also be related to the amount of trauma my body has experienced in the last two days.

I have a bandage and binder wrapped around my chest, There are dressings sewn into my skin over my grafts. The binder is held in place over my shoulders with a makeshift straps. The drains are the most painful and awkward of everything so far. The tubes are stitched into my skin and run along the inside of the bandage to the drain bulbs on the outside of the binder. They have plastic tapes that I can pin to the inside of my shirt or the outside of the binder. The rubber is irritating against the skin so I have put a t-shirt on over the whole thing and pinned the drain bulbs to the inside of a long sleeved shirt that I am wearing over top of the t-shirt. This keeps the tubes from snagging on anything and pulling. I am already a little anxious about having the drains removed but will try not to worry about that for a few more days.

Emptying the drains is a pretty grim business too. I used to think I had a pretty strong stomach but somewhere along the way I have become a little squeamish.  The drains are basically a vacuum that sucks all the blood and fluid from the surgical site that would otherwise build up under the skin and cause excessive swelling and bruising. Every eight hours or so I have to open the bulb and drain the fluid into a container to be measured. I need to keep track of the amount of fluid so I measure it and write down the amount collected from the left side and the right side. It's actually kind of grossing me out but something I have to do for only a few more days...thank goodness.



1 comment:

muskokan said...

I look forward to hearing more about the recover process and those drains sound like a *****.