Real Fit for Real Life
Featuring everything & anything to help you & your family live a fit, full, delicious, joyful life
Let me preface by saying, I began writing this post on October 1, picked it up again a couple days later, so if it sounds a bit bipolar in positivity and energy, that’s why…
Praise be, I’m 8 days post-op and finally feeling like the pain is manageable. I did hear that week 2 is the turning point, so I was mentally prepared for a difficult first week and it most definitely lived up to the hype.
Passing Out Like a Pro
I attempted my first shower on day 3, and it went badly. For the record, I am not allowed to take a bath for several weeks I think, so besides a wet wipe, I don’t have many options for cleaning of the body. I didn’t want my squeamish husband seeing me in that state, so I told him to just keep checking on me. I stepped into the shower and barely got my undercarriage soaped and rinsed before I knew I was going to pass out. The perk to having already passed out twice last week was gaining expert detection skills. Fortunately, at the same moment I turned off the shower, Hubby walked in to check on me. I said, “I’m going to pass out,” quite matter-of-factly, as he handed me the towel and tried to help me dry as I began to go weak. I think it was a mix of my babesia, the pain levels, the meds, and the pure shock of seeing my naked body unwrapped in all its bruised and swollen glory for the first time. He had me sit on the side of the tub, but I knew that wasn’t low enough in space— my body wanted me down to the ground. I briefly lost consciousness as he somehow managed to get my naked, wet, deadweight body onto the bed. It felt so nice to be on the bed— it’s the ideal spot for passing out, I must say. After a few minutes of letting the blood flow back to my heart and brain, I was able to gingerly, painfully get all my bindings back on. I hadn’t even washed my hair. I no longer cared to. New goal: see how long I can delay taking my next shower.
Pain Is the Worst
With the help of wet wipes and a pony tail, I was able to successfully delay said next shower until day 5 or 6— it’s been a blur. But this time I managed to not pass out. Progress. Managing the pain has been rough because many FL surgeons, including mine, avoid prescribing opioids. I was prescribed Ibuprofen 800 mg, Gabapentin (for nerve pain), Zofran for nausea, and Cyclobenzaprine (muscle relaxer). I was already on an antibiotic for my babesia. I’m also allowed regular Extra Strength Tylenol. For the extensive surgery I had done, it feels insufficient. But to be honest, I never really loved the times I’ve been on codeine— it makes me feel so fuzzy and disconnected- and I was able to stay fairly regular in the potty department, so overall, besides the tremendous pain, I would say the non-opioids were okay. One of the meds, I think the gabapentin, gave me a searing headache, which seemed like a cruel joke on top of all the other pain, so I tried to quit it early, but that was also a bad option because my body really needed the extra boost of pain relief the gabapentin gives to the Ibuprofen. So I chose the searing headache.
Adventures in Post-Op Appointments
My 1-week post-op appointment was a bit frustrating and disappointing. Firstly, the waiting room was pretty full for these Covid times— as someone with underlying health conditions, I take this Covid thing seriously, and I don’t take kindly to doctors not staggering their schedule to keep the waiting area population down. Apparently, plastic surgery is always busy. Even during a pandemic. My hubby had to basically just drop me off, so I sat alone, partially drugged, mask on, anxiety-ridden- when someone in the back stepped out front to announce that my surgeon was running 45 minutes behind. I was annoyed. I had carefully scheduled my drugs, my naps, my food intake, all around this appointment time. My husband had taken off work. And he still had to get my daughter to band practice. Feeling a bit dizzy, I did something unusual— I actually got up and advocated for myself. Walked up to the receptionist and apologetically said, I can’t wait that long. I’m dizzy. She said she would see what she could do, and after a few minutes I got called back. Doctor wasn’t ready for me yet but they could get me into an unused room with a broken bed and offer me water and a snack (which I declined because I had my own water and I was too queasy for munchies). She handed me the paper gown to put on, front side open, left the room for a second, and just as suddenly returned to find me tangled in the twisted gown, my bruised and battered boobs peekabooing while I fumbled to figure out where I had gone wrong. I felt bad she saw me like that— I didn’t want to traumatize her- but she untwisted it for me and got my pitiful arm in the correct hole then whisked me off to the next room.
There a PA came in, quickly explained a few things, then removed my steri-strips off my incisions. Now I really felt exposed. She left just as soon as she had entered but said she’d leave the door partially open so I could yell for help if I needed it. I sat and waited and waited. At one point, someone walked past and shut my door. Now who would hear me yell? Finally the surgeon came in, gave everything a looksy, said everything looked good, gave me a few instructions, asked me, any questions? I knew I had some. What had they been? Ummmm. And he was gone. I knew he was playing catch-up, so I understand. He was frazzled and busy. At one point I mentioned that I had passed out a few times already- just wanted some comfort from him, or to say, yes, that happens sometimes, or anything. He just kinda nodded, his mind already busy.
Later, I remembered all my questions:
Anyway, I had no intention originally of going into this much detail. The storytelling got away from me, but it leads me to a couple main points: 1.) Advocate for yourself. This has always been hard for me. I’m much better at advocating for others, especially my kids, than I am for myself. I’m too much of a people-pleaser, worrying about being high-maintenance or pushy. But I finally have learned at age 44 that I need to speak up for myself. Especially when no one else is there to speak up for me. Mamabear MYSELF. Take care of that frightened, hurting girl inside me. She deserves it. 2.) Plastic surgeons aren’t my favorite, based on my limited experience. My advice is to avoid them if you can. Not to be mean, but the nature of the field just makes them a little different. Generally, they aren’t warm and hand-holding. They view you as a mass of physical flaws they’d like to fix. And like I said, they are just as willing to put toxic implants into your body as they are to take them out. Actually, most don’t want to take them out because they don’t know how and because they find the result to be atrocious. The normal female breast, with its natural shape, sag, assymmetry is seemingly abhorrent to them. I’ve read countless stories of women consulting for explant and having the cruelest things spoken to them by plastic surgeons. That said, I’m grateful for the skill of my surgeon. So grateful! So I can’t complain about long waits and lack of warm fuzzies. At least he did great work on my body, and that’s why I paid him the big bucks. But I would love if these surgeons underwent the same procedures they’re performing. For them to feel the pain. To understand the recovery. To feel the emotional anguish of all these decisions.
As far as improvements, I am still cautiously observing them and not allowing myself to get too attached yet. I want to make sure improvements stick. Plus, I'm still dealing with a lot of pain, swelling, and bruising- so I don't yet have a clear picture. I have felt my babesia bubbling up-- sweats/shivers, face/skull pressure, muscle twitching, eye pain and yellowing-- the full moon and barometric pressure changes didn't help (trust me, I know this makes me sound like a loony-hippie-witch, but I've been doing this long enough to know these triggers are REAL and it makes sense seeing that our bodies are like 72% water). So I put myself back on the malarone for now. Hopefully that kills any babesia parasites that are currently active so that my body can focus its attention on healing. I have zero regrets about getting my implants out, because my surgeon DID do a beautiful job on making me look my best without them.
Mother of 3. Fit-philosopher. Showing my kids how to be fit via living life to the max. Newbie photographer. Simplistic cook who shares easy, healthy meals. Lover of kid-friendly hikes & getting outdoors & unplugged.