I had my 5-month post-op appointment on July 9th. I braced myself for the worst (i.e.: another steroid injection in my right boob). The doc came in to check me and said I looked good, even though I did have a slightly pink spot under my left areola. I finally had my phone charged during my visit and could show him the photos of those weird, itchy bumps I get randomly and then disappear. He said I probably developed an allergic reaction to something (what’s new) and asked me if I’ve eaten anything out of the ordinary, or ever been allergic to latex. I said, “I have been eating a lot of fresh parsley.” He chuckles and says he doesn’t think it’s parsley, how about latex? I said I’ve never been, that I know of, but he said I should be careful, just in case.
Then he did that test where he presses his fingers into each side of my breast…and lo and behold: no pain!!
I practically skipped out of the office. I was thrilled.
The next evening comes and that pinkish-red spot under my left areola is brighter, but I feel no pain. Jorge checks me and says I should go back. I said yes, I’d call the doctor the next day. But I’m super busy at work and forget to. When I take my clothes off that night, the spot looks even worse, this time with a pale, almost whitish area in the center of the red spot and I’m so paranoid the first thing I think is “PUS!”, so I call the doctor the next morning. They schedule me that same afternoon and I go in.
There are tons of people, and they eventually get to me. I was the last patient it seems. The doc finally comes in and checks me and says, “It looks like there’s something in there, we’ll transfer you to the other room.” The room with the examination table. Ugh. The doctor tells me to lay down with my left arm above my head. A nurse hands him a scalpel and he attempts to pierce me 3 times before he succeeds. Tears were involuntarily running from my eyes and I couldn’t stop. No anesthesia or anything to numb the area, I was so upset. Then he has to squeeze whatever’s in there…and it’s even worse!! Worst. Pain. Ever. I ask why this happened–was it from working out or cause I’d been sleeping on my side or what?? He says no, a suture must have still been in there and it never broke down and tried expelling itself so it became infected.
He says he’s going to have a nurse pack the lesion…and it was as painful as it sounds. She shoved a piece of gauze in the literal hole that he’d just dug and it hurt so bad. She put gauze and tape and pressed down and I cringed and squealed. She said, “That hurts you?” Um, they just stabbed me with a scalpel and pinched the crap out of my skin, so yes, it hurts! This is around the time I heard someone yell down the hall, “It’s already 5:00??”
I asked if they were prescribing antibiotics. She says no, to use Neosporin or Bactroban. No instructions on when to take out the packing or anything, and I was so distraught I forgot to ask. I’m walking out the door into the parking lot and by the time I realized they forgot to give me my appointment and I turned around to ask, all the ladies were outside, standing in front of the locked doors. One of them says, “Sorry, we’re closed.”
I was so upset, that for the first time ever, even after alllll the complications, I said, “Why the heck did I do this!??”
I got weird pains in the incision area and above my areola near my collar bone. I had to take Ibuprofen for the pain all evening and the next day.
Since I’d gotten no instructions, I had to Google what to do the next morning about when to take the packing gauze out and how to handle it. I was so annoyed and worried I’d do something wrong.
One of the nurses called with a “courtesy call” to give me my new appointment and with another the day after, Friday, to ask how I was doing. I said I was in pain, and that the spot was red but it may be bruising from the squeezing. She asked if it was hot, but I was outside at the Food Park with EZ and Ryan getting ready for our event that night, so I wasn’t sure if it was me or the already-gross temperature. She said not to worry, she had called in antibiotics. I would have thought it would be better to prescribe them, oh, you know: 2 1/2 days before…
So I was really careful, using brand-new towels after showering and washing my hands extra well when changing dressings. By the time I went back on Monday it was closing up, thank God.
Had my follow-up appointment today, Wednesday, August 3rd, and have improved 100%. I just hope I don’t have any other surprises so I can finally start–and continue–to work out!! This is the 4th time the doc “releases” me.
I hadn’t done a day-by-day update as of my most recent doctor’s appointment last week since there wasn’t much of a change. I guess I can update when there’s a more significant change from now on.
I finally finished my 3rd round of antibiotics last night (Bactrim). I’ve still been wearing a lycra/spandexy sports bra only when I absolutely need to (like to work, or grocery shopping). I have left the house without a bra (to the bank drive-thru, to the corner store with Jorge–but I didn’t get down, heh). NEVER in my LIFE have I ever had the nerve or confidence to leave the house without a bra on, not even to check the mail 😆 !
The rough, dark scab I had on my left “T” intersection fell off today! The triangular area is slightly red, but not scary red, and very soft to the touch. The scab on the right had already fallen off (I hadn’t even noticed because it wasn’t as severe as the one on the left). So now both “T” intersections match! Now I’m just waiting for the vertical scars to look slightly less pink. And around my right nip, too 😕 ? I just noticed that about 2 nights ago.
I’ve noticed that my boobies have begun to “drop” a little more, which means they aren’t as swollen and are settling into place. The weird points (dog ears?) that I was really upset about at the end of each incision near my underarms seem to have smoothed out a bit more, perhaps due to the “dropping”?
I still have redness/sometimes almost purplish in color spots on the “bottom” of each breast where the last bout of irritation happened, but I read that it’s due to circulation (or lack thereof) 😕 ? I’ve got a lot of scarring left from the skin irritation/rash due to the steri-strip tape, so I have to wait to get over that, too.
I won’t post a full-on boob pic, but I just wanted to show why you need to be absolutely sure you aren’t allergic to any type of adhesives/meds. I wish I had 😕 . This is what I’ve had to deal with in terms of recovering from the surgery AND the allergic reaction 🙁 .
All in all, after all these weeks, I feel pretty good, thank God. I can drive over any size dip/pothole and not feel immense pain. That darn seat belt STILL irritates, me though, so I still use my trusty pillow.
I can’t wait to be able to sleep on my stomach! I’ve found myself turning on my side in the middle of the night and I catch myself. I still have the “pillow wall” up between Jorge and I that he hates, but he flails his arms in the middle of the night and I’m terrified he’ll accidentally press down on my chest 🙁 . He already did it once, the one time I removed the wall!
Keeping my fingers crossed that this little “T” area heals well.
Wednesday, March 16 – Day 36 Post-Op
Welp. I planned to stop making daily updates about my recovery after week 5 since I was feeling better, for the most part, but I guess I’ll stop once I completely get over this…allergic reaction.
Had our women’s program all morning till lunchtime. One of our participants/instructors taught the ladies how to make giant paper flowers! They looked so awesome! I’m going to make some for the girls’ room 😀 .
I went to eat lunch with EZ and Michelle afterwards. My love is out of town working so I didn’t get to see him for lunch, of course. Got back to the office and hauled butt trying to whittle my to-do list down. I had to leave by 3:45pm to get to my follow-up PS appointment.
Got there and disrobed.
My doc came in and sat on his rolling stool and checked my bewbs. He said, “That reaction just won’t go away, will it?” I said, “Well, it had mostly gone away, then Sunday morning I woke up with these 2 new patches of irritation. I was wearing a cotton bra Saturday into Sunday, so maybe that did it?” He said, “Yes, it could be…so this is new?”
He shone a spot light on me and starts scraping/pinching at my skin. He literally scratched at the little clear suture-knot right on the edge of my nip, but he didn’t remove it. Then he proceeded to squeeze each boob and focused on the vertical incision. He asked, “What are you putting on it?” I said, “I hadn’t been putting anything since the rash was getting better. But the last two nights I was so desperate and itchy I had to put hydrocortisone again.” He said, “I don’t want you to put anything on it. Unless you really, really can’t stand the itch, then that’s okay, put some, but try not to. I’m going to prescribe an antibiotic again, just to be on the safe side. I also want you to stop wearing your sports bras. I don’t want anything rubbing or irritating.” I said, “Ok. But–I work! What do I do??” He looks thoughtful and says, “Well, yeah, only during work. I’ll see you in 1 week.” I said, “Oh, one more thing…when can I work out??” He smirks and pats my shoulder, “How about we wait a week or 2?” Ugh.
So I got home and saw the kiddos off. We made some Jiffy Pop popcorn and talked about their day and the boys joked around like always.
It’s the other parents’ turn with the kids starting today for the rest of Spring Break. The house is so quiet, I miss them already 🙁 .
I picked up my Rx, stopped at the bank and deposited some money I’d been holding onto and then came home and changed into a comfy Tee. Made myself some dinner (stuffed crabs and edamame) while I watched a movie and now I think I’m ready for bed. I hope I can sleep tonight! The last time Jorge was out of town, a couple of weeks ago, it was easy to sleep through the night because I had the assistance of Benadryl. Now I don’t!
I think Brudder’s home. I need him to get some stuff out of the washer for me 😆 .
Thursday, March 17 – Day 37, Post-Op
I called it. Had the worst night of sleep, ever. WORST.
I don’t know what the deal was, whether I ate bad crab, a sinus infection, something having to do with my boobs, but I was up from 1:30am-3:30am with terrible chills, violent ones, like I got the 2nd and 3rd week of recovery. Nothing I did made me feel better. I didn’t even have wet hair or the ceiling fan on and I just felt awful. Then my calves would spasm. I got up to pee and freaked out at my reflection when I passed the mirror! I had the most insane, bloodshot eyes I’ve ever seen! My face was all blotchy and red, too.
I got up to go to work anyway, even though now added to my despair was aching bones and I felt feverish, and a POUNDING headache.
My boss took one look at me and said, “Go to the doctor,” as did Michelle and Jorge and Ivan. I answered a few emails and then left work for the doc’s office. I get there, and both docs are out today and tomorrow! So Laura calls Dr. Avila’s office and they told me to go in at 2pm. I hope they have good news!
So I have a sinus infection, which I was mostly right about. My doc saw me and told me to stay on the antibiotic and to take Sudafed. He also checked my rash/incisions again and he said, “Wow, you see, you look so much better since yesterday. Did you wear a bra?” I said, “For about 3-4 hours while I was at work.” I can see an improvement, too. He then commenced squeezing, pushing on and scratching away at my boobs. It hurt. He warned me he was going to squeeze hard at the “T” intersection so to brace myself. I asked why and he said because he’s going to check if any fluid seeps out. But he squeezed and nothing came out so that’s good. I’m to go back Monday instead of Wednesday to determine whether everything is ok or if I need to be drained for some reason 😕 .
Spent all day either sleeping or on the couch watching Flip or Flop. I was lonely since the kids aren’t here and my love is still working out of town 🙁 . I had the worst headache still, and nausea and my eyes were still bloodshot. John got home around 9pm and was going to bring me something to eat but I told him not to; just reading the food options he texted me made me feel nauseated. So he brought me ginger ale and made me drink it. After passing out for 20 minutes I felt better from the nausea. Still have the headache and stuffed nose but at least my eyes aren’t bloodshot! Let’s see if I can sleep tonight.
Friday. March 18 – Day 38 Post-Op
Spoke too soon last night; woke up at 3:30am and my eyes were once again bloodshot. I couldn’t sleep due to the throbbing behind my eyes, so I Googled home remedies. A humidifier would have been ideal but i couldnt find it, grr. So I did the alternative: microwaved a fully-dampened wash cloth for 20 seconds and placed it over my face, only slightly covering my nose. I felt SO much better after that and finally fell asleep around 4am. I went in to work an hour late since I was so exhausted. And my eyes were bloodshot again and I still had a headache.
So my boobs were ok today. I only felt small twinges of pain on my right boob late in the day, which is the one the doctor squeezed hard yesterday 😕 . I think that small, clear knot of suture came off, too! Only a tiny piece of plastic is poking through (and snags on my shirt sometimes).
I was more concerned today with my sinus infection, bloodshot eyes, and the HIVES that I managed to pick up for some reason. I have never gotten hives in my LIFE. I’m itchy all over and was splotchy and red. My scalp all the way down to my legs itch.
I shall spend the weekend trying to get over whatever I have now. Who knows what these hives are from. The crabs I ate 2 days ago? The ginger ale John brought me last night for the nausea? My medications? Ugh. Who knows.
Saturday, March 19 – Day 39 Post-Op
I woke up feeling so much better! My head only slightly hurts, my eyes aren’t bloodshot and I think my appetite is back.
I did, however, lay in bed last night before I passed out and felt twinges on each breast. I started feeling each breast and noticed my right is “softer” than my left. I actually felt a hard spot near my nip on the left towards the top. Kind of alarmed me and I’m wondering if that’s what the doc is talking about draining? That is, after all, the nip that had been draining on it’s own where the doc assumed I had a seroma that let itself out. I’m kind of nervous, to be honest 🙁 .
The “new” rash itself looks like it’s drying up; there are even some scabby spots, which freaks me out a little, but at least it looks like it’s going away and not oozing like it had been *aherk*. I’ve been listening to my doc’s advice and going bra-less so it’s easy for me to pop open my shirt and look at my bewbs and obsess about my scars, and scabs and everything. Ahhh!
Sunday, March 20 – 40 Days Post-Op
Slept a pretty good amount overnight and I seem to be mostly over my sinus infection. My legs, however, still feel like I had an insane workout, but I think that’s due to how badly my muscles were spasming and contracting on Wednesday night. And as for my boobahs, my right one is still slightly getting twinges of pain since my doc squeezed the incision at my appointment on Thursday.
My poor boobs have mostly gotten a bad rap since the beginning due to the unforseen allergic reaction to the steri-strips. I haven’t been able to fully enjoy them because of the initial pain, the crazy, swollen, bruised way they looked when they were let free from the surgery bandages, and from the painful redness the allergic reaction gave me. Then the small seroma that caused my 2nd round of antibiotics. Then the 3rd round of antibiotics due to the 3rd bout of rashy irritation 😥 .
I don’t think I’ve come out and said that I’m happy about doing the procedure, but I truly am. A few delightful things I’ve noticed so far:
I can walk around braless with only a t-shirt and not feel gross or embarrassed. I could NEVER do that before with DD’s (and after 4 kids and breast-feeding!). I only ever took my bra off when I knew it was time to sleep, and even then, that’s only been in the last 5 years. Previously, I slept with either an underwire bra or sports bra!
Also, I can sit any way I want and not feel that ickyness of the bottom of my big boobies touching the top of my stomach. Hated that!
I shaved my legs for the first time since the surgery yesterday since I could finally hike my leg up and it doesn’t hurt my incisions to stretch my arm. (Don’t hate; I’ve worn lots of sweatpants at home and I have a lovely, patient husband 😆 .) I didn’t have to fight with my knockers to shave my legs nor did they drag over my thigh when I was trying to reach the back of my legs and get them covered in shaving cream. It was double work!
I can finally, after many, many years, wash my face with both hands at the same time! They were too big to be able to do that before, not kidding! I used to have to use one hand to wash my face and the other to keep my boobs from getting wet 🙄 .
Those are the small changes I’ve noticed so far! They may not seem like a big deal, but they were things that would really bother me before the surgery. I spend a lot of time staring at my boobies now 😆 .
Tuesday, March 22 – 42 Days Post-Op
Didn’t have a chance to update yesterday as I had 2 appointments, worked all day and then got home to make dinner (spaghetti squash), which took forever.
I got a mouthful of bleach at my first appointment at my dentist’s office 😡 ! I don’t know HOW they managed to fuck up like that, but they did. And I got a referral to go to an oral surgeon to remove my bottom Wisdom teeth. It had been a while since they’d mentioned doing that; like 2 years? More maybe.
My appointment with my plastic surgeon was at 1pm. They took me in really quickly, thank goodness. My doc looked me over and was pleased with the progress. Told me to continue on my antibiotic till I finish them and not put anything on my boobs; no ointments, creams, etc. I didn’t have to be drained from anywhere, so that’s good news! He said the “T” intersection scabs will heal and he’d see me in 3 weeks. Woo!
All day yesterday and today have been pretty pain-free. Even driving is better; hitting potholes or dips doesn’t hurt anymore but the seatbelt still bothers me so I drive with my pillow. Walked around in an old tank top today and was astonished at the difference. I couldn’t wear this tank out with my big boobs because people would STARE. Now, I look tiny!