Thursday, March 22, 2012

One Week Post Surgery

It’s been exactly one week since my surgery.  I’m so glad I did it but to be honest, this last week has been one if the hardest weeks I’ve ever experienced both physically and emotionally.  Surprisingly the first two nights in the hospital, were not that bad.  From what I’ve been told, I woke up in great spirits giving my husband high 5’s and cracking jokes.  It was not all fun and games, getting up to go the bathroom felt like someone was jabbing a knife into my chest and I had to ask my husband to help me with things that were definitely not in our wedding agreement.  But, all in all, the first two nights were a lot better than I anticipated. 
The real difficulties came when I got home.  I was no longer hooked to a machine that pumped strong pain killers into my blood stream; they switched me out to Percocet.  This made me extremely nervous because last time I took Percocet it made me nauseous.  The thought of throwing up complimented with the pain I was experiencing was not something I could even think about.  I asked my doctor to give me something else but she said there was no other medicine strong enough for the surgery I just had.  So, for the last week I’ve been taking half the recommended dose
Another thing that’s difficult is losing the ability to be self-sufficient.  I couldn’t get the lid off of my pain meds, open the refrigerator door, lay down without someone supporting my back and taking weight off my chest and abbs, I couldn’t even brush my own hair.  This all really sucked.  But I knew/know it’s just temporary. 

Lastly is the emotional aspect of getting my breasts removed.  I honestly thought that because I had chosen to do immediate reconstruction that I would wake up with boobs, maybe smaller but at least something.  This was only sort of true.  Because I’ve decided to keep my own nipples, my plastic surgeon put in the expanders but did not pump them up because she didn’t want to cause too much stress before insuring the nipples would survive.  Apparently a small percentage of them don’t make it because of how much trauma they’ve been through.  So, I woke up to something, just not anything that really resembles a breast.  My doctors have told me that once they start expanding, it will get much better.  *Hopefully*, I should get my first pump next Friday.  The other thing that’s a bit frustrating is the total loss of feeling I have on my chest (which I’ve been told rarely comes back).  If I touch my breast, the only way I know I’m making contact is because it’s my own hand doing it.  If someone else were to touch my chest, I would have absolutely no idea.   My husband seems to think there might be some benefit for him later on.  :-)  And, they have been very itchy (probably from the narcotics).  Imagine getting an itch but having no way to actually satisfy it. 

On a positive note, today I’m finally feeling better.  Coming out of the surgery I had 4 drains hooked up to me; yesterday I had my first post op with my breast surgeon and she took out two.  This seems to be helping a lot with the pain.  I’m really hoping to get the other two out tomorrow.  Also, I have not had a Percocet since 1AM this morning and I’m feeling okay!  This is a huge accomplishment.  I have tried for the last two days to quit but could not push through the pain.  At the hospital they ask you every hour what your pain level is (gets really annoying actually).  The goal was to keep the pain at a level 3.  I would say right now I’m at a 4 but for the first time in a week I have a clear head.  I’ll take the extra pain to not have to take the meds anymore.

I’ve come a long way in the last week!  I’m walking up the stairs and able to open the refrigerator without any help.  Getting up from laying down still hurts, but I can do it myself.  I still can’t brush my hair or open a bottle without help but I know I’ll be able to do all these things soon.  

About an hour after waking up.  My sis and me.  

First day coming home.  My niece Siena and I.  She found a pink blanket and her pink doggy to match mine.  


  1. You are amazing beautiful friend! XO

  2. Jutty, I love your blog. I feel as if I have been on a journey with you. Your mom would be so proud of you. I am proud of you and the wonderful woman you have grown to be. My prayers are with you and a very speedy recovery. Take care of yourself.

  3. you look amazing post surgery!

  4. Hi Justine - I'm an editor at Cosmo; A colleague of mine told me about your amazing blog, and I wanted to talk to you to see if you might want to share your story with our readers. if you get this, please email me at or call me at 212 649 3686. thanks so much.