7.07.2011

Two Weeks Post-Op

My cross-eyed Beauty, LiLu
 Two weeks down and four to go till I am back fishing from my new kayak, sleeping on my stomach, playing and enjoying the rest of the summer. I have got to remember that no matter how good I am feeling I need to be careful and take it easy. I have been doing everything my surgeon told me when I saw him to have my drains out. I called his office yesterday to ask a couple of questions about post-op care of my grafts and incisions and the receptionist called me back today with the answers. Apparently there was a few things I missed.

Now I am pretty sure that I wasn't high when I returned to the hospital to have my drains removed and see my surgeon. I wasn't asleep and I'm sure I didn't dream it. I know what I was told at the post op visit and there was no mention of keeping my incisions covered. I was told to clean the grafts, apply antibiotic ointment and change the non stick dressing every day. This was the exact opposite of what he told the nurse I was to be doing. I should have been covering my incisions with paper tape and left the dressings off my nipple grafts. Huh? Is it really possible that I got the information totally backwards?  

So now I am confused and unsure what the heck I am supposed to do to minimize scarring and promote healing. I feel kind of pissed that I missed an opportunity to minimize my scarring leaving the incisions uncovered. I have been sort of making up my own recovery plan which includes treating the nipple grafts with high potency Vitamin E cream and supplementing my diet with zinc, vitamin E and vitamin C.

I have kept the nipple grafts covered but the right one has healed up more quickly than the left. I am keeping the left covered with antibiotic ointment and a dressing until the scab comes off and I can let it live more comfortably under just a t-shirt.

Arnica ointment helped a lot the first week with pain and swelling. It was cooling and not greasy so I am happy to continue using it until the tube is empty. I began using the vitamin E cream on the incisions after having the drains out and the dressings off. Not having the incisions covered has affected the healing for sure. The right side of my chest near my armpit has begun to pucker and get bumpy so I have tried to undo the scarring damage caused by having it uncovered the last seven days: I am trying Second Skin moist burn pads. They are similar to the silicone gel pads but are about half the price.

Once my six weeks is up I will continue to work on treating the scars and might consider trying to purchase some silicone gel pads. In the mean time I will keep the paper tape over the incisions in an attempt to smooth and flatten them out. Bio oil is also something that I will try to see if I can help fade the scars.

The drain sites are still giving me a considerable amount of pain and irritation and my skin is definitely over sensitive to tht pont that wearing a tshirt feel a lot like wearing sandpaper. Things are tight and sore and achy around the incision sites and I get strange sharp electrical pains deep in the tissue every once in a while. The itching I don;t mind too much as I know it means things are healing but not being able to scratch at it because my skin is so sensitive is its own special kind of torture.

Sleeping is getting easier and I find I can roll partway onto my side now which is saving my back and helping me sleep through the night. I am used to sleeping on my stomach and hope that soon I can return to my sleeping position of choice. I will be back in my own bed tomorrow night for the first time since surgery but I'll have to share the space with a cat or two...

All in all the past two weeks have gone by pretty fast. The first week crawled by a little more slowly than the second which seems to have disappeared more quickly than I would have liked. I am feeling sad about leaving the great comfort of Mom's house and care as I don't get home as much as I'd like.

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