Posted by: julia
on Jul 12, 2016
Time for a patient patient update. I’ve been laying low since getting home last week, and trying really hard to not. Do. Anything. (Besides sleep, eat, read, talk, look at Facebook, watch videos and lay about.) It’s harder than it sounds (hence the need for patience). I am trying to keep a good attitude about it and I have declared this the month of “Julax”, in which Julia relaxes throughout July. At least I have plenty of good books to catch up on and lots of lovely friends and family who come over to keep me entertained (which definitely helps the days go by). And every day I feel a little better and can do a little more. Slow and steady. Slow and steady.
In general, recovery is going as well as it can go. The first week was pretty rough and I was pretty weak and uncomfortable, but it’s slowly getting better. This was definitely the hardest surgery so far and it will be at least another week or two yet until I can stand up straight (I have been walking around hunched over like a little old lady because my stomach is so taut) or reach over my head or pick up anything over 5 pounds or drive. The good news is that I’m off the narcotic pain meds and able to manage my pain just by taking Tylenol, and that when I went in for my post-op visit today (first time I left the house since returning from the hospital) the nurse said that everything was looking good. The bad news is that even after today’s visit I still have 3 out of the 6 post-surgical drains in (I was so hoping to get them all removed today but it looks like I will have to wait another week, argh). But overall I am progressing satisfactorily, if slowly. So yay for that.
Posted by: julia
on Jul 04, 2016
[This was posted to Facebook while I was awaiting my official release after four days being in the hospital after my DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery. I'm posting it here too for posterity.]
I am being a very patient patient but I am so so ready to go home. Hopefully that will happen later today once the docs do their rounds. (Yay Independence Day!) I've done a lot of resting and healing in the hospital, and every day is better than the one before. I won't lie, it's been boring as heck but at least it hasn't been too painful (yay pain meds). There certainly is a ways to go before I can even stand up straight or move around without shuffling, but the trajectory is heading in the right direction, and I'm very happy about that. I know I'm in for a good solid month of Julaxin' and truly keeping it slow and steady...and you all can feel free to keep reminding me of that!
Posted by: julia
on Jun 05, 2016
Met with a new UCSF plastic surgeon yesterday, Dr. Hani Sbitany (which is a pretty awesome name in my opinion). He is the DIEP flap reconstruction specialist there. He was very nice and he and his colleague Dr. Z (also very nice, but unfortunately I'm forgetting her full name) answered lots of questions for me and were overall very reassuring. Looks like I do have enough belly tissue to donate in order to get me to a D cup when this is all over (which will look similar to what I had after the initial reduction I did back in November).
They confirmed some things I did know (e.g. it will take about 6-8 weeks to recover, with the first 3-4 weeks the hardest and most restrictive due to the abdominal stuff, and there will likely be one more relatively minor surgery after this one to address any remaining adjustments) and told me some things I didn't know (e.g. it's a 12 hour surgery, the donor tissue will be placed on top of my pec muscles not under them like the expanders, there will be several new scars, and they'll be moving my belly button several inches down). Dr. Sbitany didn't see any reason to wait any longer so we went ahead and scheduled the reconstruction surgery for June 30th. That's the timing I was hoping for (I want to be healed up in time for Burning Man at the end of August) so I'm happy about that.
Now I just have to screw that battered courage of mine to the sticking place once again and remind myself that I'm a good healer and that the end results will be worth it. I know I can do this. Still grumpily and futilely wishing I didn't have to, though.