So it can’t be all sunshine and roses, right?
Yesterday, even though physically I am doing incredibly well for 9 days post op (well now, 10 days), I had the toughest day mentally. I knew that I would experience a rollercoaster of emotions after surgery, but knowing that it was coming didn’t make it any easier to deal with.
I took my first shower without the shower stool and was feeling great. Then, I looked down and noticed that some of the steristrips were coming off part of the incision. I was told this was fine, that some of them would start coming off naturally over the next several days, and then come Monday I’ll have to make them come off if they haven’t already. So after getting out of the shower, I snipped part of the tape that was loose away and got a look at about 2” of my incision over the hip. I started crying immediately.
I mean, logically, I KNOW that I had my body practically cut in half, but seeing that incision is really something else. Until yesterday, the whole thing was covered so I couldn’t actually see the cut mark itself, and while it is beautifully done, it was still very disturbing and strange to see it on my own body. That set me into an emotional whirlwind, and for the rest of the day I was on the verge of tears. I think I cried 9 or 10 different times yesterday, and I am so not a crier.
I think at this point in the journey, my mind is totally there and my body, is just, well, not. I am so frustrated to be so helpless and I just want to be back to my normal life.
My top complaints at the moment are:
- The damn compression garment. I have to wear the compression garment 24/7 for 6 weeks. So, 4.5 more weeks. It goes from just above my knees to over my shoulders with a v-neck covering my chest. It doesn’t go well under any other clothes, and the side has eyelet hooks underneath and then is zipped up over them. It’s really hard to get on by myself, and I am just sick of it.
- The foam pads under the compression garment. I am wearing medical grade foam sheets – 3 of them – around my midsection under the compression garment. I’ve been wearing them since right after surgery, so parts of them are covered in dried blood and disgusting. They make me feel even more stuffed into the compression garment than I already do, and are really difficult to put in the compression garment without assistance, though it’s getting easier. Luckily I can say goodbye to these on Monday.
- Waking up very sore and stiff every single morning and having to take Tylenol before I can get out of bed. Not much more to say here, but I feel like a 90 year old woman first thing every day. I usually wake up the first time and pop a few tylenol and stay laying down for a little longer before getting up, and then it’s not so bad.
- Getting exhausted from things like putting on the compression garment. Or taking a shower. The compression garment is pretty hard to put on without assistance, but I did so yesterday after taking a shower and it took me a really long time. I had to pull it up over my hips, put in the three foam sheets, make sure they stayed in place while I pulled it the rest of the way up, and then close the eyelet hooks on the side and zipper it up. It felt like what I’d imagine it’d feel like if I had just run a marathon.
- My lower back aching when I’m on my feet for too long. That’s been one of the surprising things about this surgery. My back is what hurts more than anything else! I was expecting my abs/stomach to hurt (which they did for several days), but now, it’s my back that aches like crazy. If I’m up and walking for any amount of time (which ranges from 15 minutes to an hour depending on the time of day) I have to sit down immediately and can’t finish what I was doing.
- Feeling scared to be alone because of the “what if’s”. Not really much to say here, but I live alone and being there by myself makes me extremely nervous. I’m staying at my boyfriends this week but it makes me feel like such a burden because I can’t do much and I am just always here. Ugh!
I wanted this to be as honest an account of what going through this procedure is like as possible, so you are welcome.