It’s crazy to me that exactly two weeks ago today, I was on my way to Ruff Plastic Surgery to go under the knife (and by choice!). It feels like it was just yesterday in some ways, but then it also feels like ages ago. I think when things are really tough (like they were the first few days post op) each hour feels like a day and the time goes so slowly because you just want to press fast forward, but because you’re just focusing on getting through each obstacle that presents itself one at a time, overall the time passes pretty quickly. I’m not sure if that makes any sense to anyone outside my own head, but hey.
So overall, recovery is going REALLY well. I notice improvements almost each day, and this weekend marked the first time I was completely off painkillers of any form. I switched from narcotics to Tylenol after the first several days, but was taking Tylenol pretty religiously, with an occasional Vicodin here and there as needed since. Saturday, I woke up feeling pretty good, and decided to try to go without anything that day. I was a little sore, but nothing major, and I feel like allowing myself to be a little sore is actually a good thing because it reminds me I am still healing and need to take it easy. Sunday I felt a little more sore than Saturday randomly, but still managed not to take anything and am going to try to stay off going forward unless I really need them.
In terms of other changes from this past week:
- The steristrips are now completely off the incision, so it’s no longer covered by anything. It is still pretty gnarly and scabby, so I will spare you photos until it’s less scary to look at.
- I am walking completely upright now, which means my lower back is no longer in pain from walking hunched over – thank GOD. That sucked.
- I am definitely feeling more energetic and less fatigued, which is another welcome change.
- I am going back to work at the office today for the first time since surgery, though I did manage to work quite a bit from home last week.
- Today is the first day I no longer have to wear the foam pads under my compression garment – another VERY welcome change. Those things were really hard to put in, but also made me feel really hot and stuffed like a sausage into the garment.
Speaking of the compression garment, I’ve gotten a lot of questions, so I had Matt take a picture of me in it yesterday so you can see what it looks like.
It goes all the way from just above my knees, over my torso, and up over my shoulders. It has at least two layers of material, and is designed to be very tight – think Spanx gone wild. The straps over my shoulders have eyelet hooks (like the back of a bra), and then the main closure is up the side (under my left arm) with eyelet hooks covered by a zipper. This garment used to be extremely tight (in fact, even a little hard to breathe in), but it’s actually loosened up quite a bit now, which I think is a combination of the swelling going down and it stretching out from me being in it. It’s actually not that bad, but it does make it challenging to get dressed in normal clothes (especially summer ones) because of both the top part going over my shoulders with the neckline, and it being down to my knees. I found a solution this weekend, where I unhooked the straps and tucked them into the garment just under my bra so that I could wear a maxi dress. You couldn’t even tell I had something on under it!
I went out for lunch and a movie with my friend Erika on Saturday wearing that, and then after the movie (The Spectacular Now, which was AWESOME), I looked down and saw there was something on my dress.
It took me a while, but then I realized it was the Neosporin I put in my belly button leaking through the compression garment and onto my dress! How nasty! Luckily, it happened during the latter half of our outing so I could go home and change (and stay in for the rest of the night as to not overdo it). I treated the stain last night and really hope it comes out because this is one of those dresses I loved but could never wear before because of how it clung to my body. Argh!
Here are some new progress pictures, which were taken yesterday (day 13 post op). (You can look at this post for before pics and earlier progress photos).
You’ll notice the bruising is almost completely gone on my back, which is a big change from last week. That weird triangular dent from my underwear up my back to the left of the middle is from where the foam pads were laying, and that vertical line to the right of it is the scar from my back surgery in 2006. It’s kind of hard to tell from the pictures, but the swelling is worse in my back than in my front.
Here’s a side by side of one week post op v. two weeks post op.
Not sure you can tell too much of a difference between these photos (and I realize I definitely need to be more consistent about lightening/angle/undergarments), but my belly button is definitely healing, and I’m very glad to have a belly button that you can actually see!
I have a two week follow up appointment this morning where I will discuss scar treatment and get my first Medsculpt Massage, which is a lymphatic drainage massage that I am pretty sure is not going to be nearly as luxurious as it sounds. I’m going to ask questions about what limitations I have at this point, when I can start scar treatment (which I’m pretty sure is not until all the scabs along the incision are gone), and whether I need to get a new compression garment since this one feels on the loose side now.
I’m planning to do a Q&A Post soon to address the many questions I’ve received, so please let me know if there’s anything about the surgery you’re wondering. Nothing (respectful) is off limits, though if it’s too personal I may just email you the response rather than the post it on the blog.