I took my second Xanax on the evening of my surgery day and slept like a baby. It was Christmas Eve and I so missed my family. The plan for the day was to rest, rest, and rest some more.
I woke up this morning with a noticeable decrease in my neck stiffness. I chalked this awesome feeling up as a fluke or maybe that the nerve block was lessening my neck pain. (It’s been almost 10 weeks post surgery and I have not had one episode of neck stiffness or pain 🙌🏼🙌🏼. Neck pain and stiffness has been something I have dealt with for almost 8 years now).
It was around 7am and we needed to empty my drains. When I say “we” I really mean my mother. I had 4 drains and each of them needed to be stripped and emptied into a measuring cup. “Stripping” a drain meant to simply apply pressure and squeeze the tubing as one moves their finger from the top to the bottom of the tubing. The purpose of this is to attempt to get all of the drainage out of the tubing and into the cup. We had to do this every 4 hours. It took everything I had in me to be nice and not fake scream as if my mother was causing me pain. You’re welcome mom! It was pretty painless other than when my mother stripped the tubing I could feel pressure up in my chest. I correlated the pressure to the suction of stripping the tubing. I would not consider it pain. It was more of an ache or feeling of discomfort.
Disclosure: not to toot my own horn but my pain tolerance is exceptionally high. I simply am not a wussy! LOL. It’s weird.. I can handle surgeries without narctoics but when my husband decides to randomly slap my ass I scream like a baby. I don’t dare slap him back because he will make it his mission to get me back… some way, some how he wins! 😂
I continued to take my Arnica to help with the swelling, my vitamins to help with healing, a low dose 5 day course of Keflex (an antibiotic), and Tylenol as needed. That was it!
I was wrapped in an ace wrap and had to wear my surgical bra for a total of 2 weeks. The ace wrap was annoying. I was swollen all over from surgery and the ace wrap made me feel as though I was being suffocated. My stomach felt like I was 8 months pregnant-blah. My hands, arms, and face were also so swollen. I knew this was just temporary but the feeling was not fun.
I continued to eat organic, fresh healthy foods. I had a great appetite and was not nauseated luckily. I did have one mild dizzy episode which scared my mother, but I was not worried about it. The food was delicious minus one food that I decided to try. It was called the “Bella Burger”. It sounded interesting. One bite of this mystery burger was enough for me! YUCK!!! “Bella” as in portobello mushroom! Disgusting! I ordered a burger for some meat… not a mushroom! Otherwise my food consisted of soups, salads, and hummus.
The nurse called me every morning to check in on me and to get the drainage output numbers. She told me to start walking around the hotel to help with the swelling, so I put my slippers on and began walking. I could not shower until the drains were pulled and there was not much on television, so walking we went. I did not even pack a book because when I am laid up I am unable to focus. My mind races too much on things I need to do or how I am feeling that it prevents me from being able to read and retain info.
Sleeping was quite the challenge. I had to sleep somewhat upright in order for the drains to drain. Any of you sleep upright? Nope.. didn’t think so! It is not very comfortable. I won’t complain about my sleep because despite being uncomfortable in bed I actually slept pretty good. My body had been through a lot and it was going to get the sleep it needed no matter what.
My Ohio Christmas left me with a bittersweet feeling. My family was more than willing to celebrate Christmas before I left for Ohio. My brother and my sister came into town sooner than they usually do to accommodate me. My parents were willing to watch the grandchildren open up their gifts a week before Christmas. My children of course had no problems opening up their gifts early! LOL. And my husband supported each decision that was made along the way. I was saddened that I could not be at home doing our usual family traditions, but I was relieved, happy, and grateful that I was able to have my surgery so soon. I was optimistic that this surgery was the first step to getting me back to the energetic, fun, sassy Stacy I was born to be.
Next blog will be on my post-op appointment, the scary drain removal, and the big reveal!