Top Surgery Recovery: A Month in Pictures

My god does it feel like forever since I’ve been here. It hasn’t really though, it’s been almost exactly a month, and do you know how I know that? It’s been 4 weeks since my surgery!

Now between the recovery and the pain meds and the inevitable POTS flare, blogging has been low on my priories list. I have however, been taking a lot of pictures.

*warning* Some of these are of my bandages and incisions, so if you’re squeamish or avoid NSFW stuff, I’d stop here.

Are we all ok from here out? Excellent! Here we go!

This is 24 hours after my surgery. The bundles on my grafts stayed on for another 6 days!

We have a tradition that I get a new stuffed animal after a surgery. This is Shel the Unicorn, who is very soft, with a super stimmy horn!

Not to be outdone by Shel, Angel checked in on me whenever he was allowed. The cats had to live in our office for a few weeks, so they wouldn’t accidently disturb my grafts or my incisions. 

You may not be able to tell from my face, but I so excited because my drains are coming out- and that means that for the first time in 9 days, I can shower!

Here I am discovering one of the best parts of Top Surgery: being able to look down and see my feet without boobs in the way!

After this type of surgery, you have to wear a surgical compression garment, which are sensory hell (especially knowing now that they game me the wrong size!). This picture was taken when I was finally able to wear an athletic compression shirt instead, and what a relief it was!

Chronic illness doesn’t care about gender or surgery, so this is my modified Physical Therapy  set up, so hopefully my POTS will continue to improve!

I hate to end on a depressing note, but reality is what it is. One of my grafts failed, and that is both painful and upsetting. The healing is slow, and we won’t know what it will look like until it’s totally done.

That was quite a ride, eh? And it’s still going.

My sad, rejected graft still has a lot of healing to do. I’ll also have to decide how I want to deal with it if the damage is super obvious.

I also start classes next week, I’m finally finishing my Bachelor’s! It’s been 12 years since I’ve been on a campus or in a classroom, so this should be interesting.

Look forward to ‘Autistic Adult Student’ posts coming soon to a blog near you!

6 Word Story pt. 25

So I didn’t do a 6 Word Story roundup last week. In my defense, most of the stories would have gone something like ‘ouch, pain, naptime, where’s my ice?’, and that’s not exciting for anyone. What is exciting (at least for me!) is that I’m feeling a lot better. On Thursday, I didn’t use my cane for a whole day, which is a big deal considering I’ve been using it for almost 7 months. Fingers crossed, but it looks like this is one medical problem that will resolve itself!

No more surgeries as far as I know, so stay tuned for business as usual!

 

  • Post surgery tradition is a stuffie.
  • Self, platonic, and romantic are all love.
  • Nothing distracts me from the pain.
  • Nap like you don’t even care.
  • Rain rain go away. No. Seriously.
  • Smelling books is a sensory experience.
  • Today I walked without my cane!!!

 

5 Post-Surgery Necessities

I promise that I’ll lay off the medical stuff as soon as my steri-strips come off (which should be in the next few days!), but until I can go a whole day without screaming because a cat stepped on my incisions, you’re stuck with post-surgery me.

This list is less of a practical guide for after surgery needs and slightly more tongue in cheek, although if you find any of this useful, well great! What a happy surprise!

Two surgeries in two months has gotten me into a bit of a routine (which all you Neurodivergent folks know can be kind of dangerous), and without further ado, here are my post surgical necessities.

1. Pancakes: One of the suckiest things about surgery is that you can’t eat or drink anything after midnight the day of. Now, I can handle the no fluids things pretty well, but I get seriously crabby when I’m hungry. Especially on days when my surgery is scheduled for 11 am, and I have to spend the whole morning with my stomach doing hungry backflips. It was after this incident that my wife made a deal. I make it through surgery, and we go and get pancakes afterwards. I love pancakes enough that this is enough incentive for me to get through the hunger pains with only minor bitching. On top of being a good bribe, pancakes are carb-y and syrup-y, and if you add in some eggs, you could even call it a well balanced meal. All I care about is the deliciousness though.

2. Stuffed Animals: It is a tradition in my family that after surgery, I get a new stuffed animal. This started about 8 years a go when I had urinary tract surgery. My mother-in-law bought me a stuffed tiger that I named Hobbes. To this day, I sleep with him every night, and the rest I suppose, is history. A stuffed animal is necessary for me, because when I’m exhausted and in pain, all I want is something soft to snuggle. And I think that they’re a great visual representation of the surgery, instead of just remembering the pain and the scars. Luckily I don’t have surgery that often, or I’d have a zoo!

3. A Movie Marathon- Post surgery sucks. Everything hurts, and thanks to leftover anesthesia and pain meds, I don’t have the mental energy to do things like read or knit. But my brain still needs some stimulation, and this is where having a to-watch plan comes in. I use the word movie marathon, which totally works- Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings all work great for this. TV shows do too. X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are two of my favorites. For me, I just need to make sure I’ve got at least 72 hours with of stuff to watch, otherwise I’ll just watch Moana on repeat like last time (which isn’t bad, but it means I’ve got You’re Welcome stuck in my head for weeks.)

4. Ice. All the Ice: This is the most practical one. Not only does ice make things feel all icy and numb, but it confuses your nerves so at least if you’re in pain, it’s because your skin is freezing, not the giant gash on your leg. We’re in possession of several of these, that we rotate through the freezer, and are a thousand times better than the contraptions that they send you home from the hospital with. These thing require you to fill them with a ton of actual ice- which I don’t know about you, but my freezer doesn’t have enough room to make, and while they insist that they seal waterproof, that is a lie. And the last thing that you want when you’re taking a restorative nap is to have ice cascade down your chest. Believe me, I’ve suffered enough for all of us.

5. Pets: There is nothing better than a snuggly animal when you feel like crap. Both of my cats seem to be able to know when I’m under the weather. Spike in particular zeros in on any trace of blood, and seems to think that it’s his job to eradicate it. Which is not sanitary at all. But does he listen? No. Angel hovers. No matter where I am, he’s within about 4 feet of me. If given the opportunity, he’ll spend all of his time gently patting me with his paw, which he seems convinced is helpful. They both try, they really do. However, there is nothing like taking a nap with a warm cat on your chest, and the most healing thing post-surgery plenty of naps.

So here we are. Hopefully at the end of my surgery road, and moving on to topics unknown! If you’ve had surgery, and have any post-surgery must haves, let me know! (although I’m hoping that I’ll never need it).