I had meant to write the entry below as a blog entry at first, but I ended up posting it to the thread "A Tale of Two Arm Lifts (rs & ms.sss)" yesterday instead.
Anyway, I am now including it here as originally planned
Get comfortable, this is a long one...
So here is the additional backstory info to my PS journey:
So I ended up getting a last-minute Tummy Tuck two days ago (Dec 18), along with my arm and breast lift. Back in June 2019, when I initially scheduled my procedures, I was going to get an arm lift, a breast lift (to address side boob skin), and a tummy tuck. The tummy tuck was actually partially covered by provincial insurance. Basically the panniculectomy part was covered and I we only need to pay out of pocket for muscle tightening or any required Lipo.
But sometime around August or September, I decided to forego the tummy tuck because I thought that I could live with the state my stomach was in, and I didn't want to have more surgery if I didn't really need to. So I called my surgeons office and let them know.
Fast forward four months later and I'm at the registration desk at the hospital on surgery day. I'm signing all the papers, and one of them is a confirmation surgery procedure form and lo and behold the tummy tuck is still on there. Apparently, the fact that the tummy tuck was removed was not properly communicated to the hospital. (As an aside, this is a perfect example of why confirmation of surgeries is necessary at registration!!)
I had a discussion with my surgeon: he said the OR is already booked and set up for all three procedures including the tummy tuck. So if I wanted to, we could go ahead as originally planned back in June, or not. Whatever I decided was fine with him. If I didn't want the tummy tuck, there would be some paperwork to do beforehand, but it was doable since the OR was booked for all 3 procedures, and there was time to do the paperwork/system corrections and still complete the arm and breast lifts in that time. So now I had a discussion with Mr.: It wouldn't really cost much more, and they were all set up for it already anyway, so why not? It's funny because the decision making process felt like when you're in a grocery store line and decide to buy that pack of gum at the checkout.
It's been almost 48 hours since the completion of my surgeries...here's what's happened so far:
Got to hospital at 7am and all the above happened. I got on the operating table at 9:30am, and don't know what time I woke up at recovery. The surgery was supposed to be 4 hours. All I remember was that it was 4pm when I got rolled into my room. That first night after the surgeries was relatively pain-free as I was drugged up and in bed the entire time. I slept a lot but not for very long periods of time. They put these leg type massagers on my legs that work kind of like a blood pressure cuff. Each one inflates a chamber with air starting from ankle to thigh, to squeeze my leg nicely and then deflates. Then the other one on the other leg does the same thing. Its to promote circulation and prevent blood clots. I've had them on the entire time (except when going to bathroom or taking a short walk) and I LOVE THEM. I want to buy one of these contraptions for home! The nurse said that I am the first patient she's met that likes these things. Which I find hard to believe because these things are awesome.
Now the next day I felt the pain for the first time when my drugs wore off and I had to get out of bed to go to the washroom (they took my catheter out). Oh. My. God. When I twisted my body and put my foot on the ground, I felt like I was being stabbed in my hip with a large knife. It was so painful that when I walked I couldn't put my heel down. I had to do I sort of walk–tiptoe shuffle to the toilet. So first lesson: do not twist your body.
Because of the tummy tuck, I have to walk hunched over and this quickly puts a strain on your back. So second lesson: walk with the help of your IV pole/cane/walker/buddy.
I have 2 drains in my tummy, which are mildly annoying. I forgot about them once when I got out of bed and pulled on one a bit which caused some bleeding. Boo.
I was surprised that I could move my arms relatively freely and pain free. I could even put weight on my arms to lift myself out of bed, type on my laptop, feed myself, and go to the washroom by myself. I may not have been very efficient, but I could do it. Also, I could brush my teeth but not my hair. Nor could i adjust my head pillows. Basically anything where I have to raise my arms above shoulder height is a no-go.
My boobs didn't/don't hurt at all. As if nothing was even done there.
I got to see all the work done when the nurse changed my dressings. My arms are tiny. My boobs are nice and perky with matching nipples (my previous breast reduction had one of the nipples wrinkle/fold over at the outer edge and my guy fixed it). My tummy is wrinkle free and my new belly button looks better than the old one. My inner thighs from the front has been smoothed out! This was an unexpected bonus My va-jay-jay, however, is quite "perky". When I look down sitting in bed it stares right up at me. My nurse said she noticed it was swollen. She said it is a combination of being yanked up and the use of the stomach binder. Didn't show it to surgeon this first day, but will remember to bring i up when I see him before I leave.
Now today I feel exponentially better. I got an a good seven hours of continuous sleep. When I woke up I could feel that my pain meds had worn off but I was able to get out of bed and walk to the washroom just fine. I can tell I'm walking much faster now and am much less hunched over. I could probably skip the pain meds from now on but I think based on @sillykitty's comments, i'll take them for another day or so. Mr. has already filled my prescriptions, so I may as well take them. I'll play it by ear.
I find that the only real pain I get is from twisting my torso. I can easily do a sit up or leg lift motion pain free, but if I twist in any way, I get a sharp pain. Everything else is bearable. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd say my pain level is about 1.5. Compare this to the pain of WLS recovery, which I would have given an 8 at its worst.
They took the IV out this morning because my swollen hands were basically embedding that entry thing into my flesh and it was starting to hurt. They tried to put a new one in twice but couldn't find a vein because I'm too swollen. They asked if I was OK with them trying a third time, and I was all, No Thanks. IV insertion hurts, man! So they are off finding an alternate antibiotic to administer without an IV.
I'm supposed to be discharged sometime today but honestly I'd rather stay because I love these leg massager things. Plus I like the adjustable hospital bed!
Anyway just hanging around now waiting for my surgeon and next instructions.
P.S. I ate 1/2 an omelette & a peach yogurt cup so far today.