Family...the ones you live with, laugh with, and love

Family...the ones you live with, laugh with, and love
Summer 2009

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

DIEP Surgery

On April 18th I had my surgery. We had to be at the IMC hospital in Murray at 5:30 in the morning since my surgery would be starting at 7:30. Murray is a 45 minute drive from our home so it was an early start. The nice thing about being the first surgery, and the only surgery for the doctor that day, is that surgery actually started on time. Dr. Ferguson told us that the surgery would take about 8 hours. Steve was in for a long day of waiting. Every few hours the operating room would call Steve to keep him updated. But he then started to worry when it was 5 pm and the calls had stopped. After about 10 hours they then updated him but said they still were not finished. In all the surgery took 14 1/2 hours long. There were no major complications, just some minor things that occurred from my mastectomy, enough little problems that it took almost double the time.
I remember waking up in ICU and trying to focus on the clock on the wall. I finally asked the nurse what time it was and when she said it was 11:30, I said "At night?" she said, "Yes you were in surgery a lot longer than expected." It is a very strange feeling to have missed an entire day.
I was in the hospital for 5 days. The recovery was very difficult and the pain was excruciating. Because of risk for blood clots, the doctor required me up and walking the next day. It was so hard. I barely made it out into the hall and took 5 steps. I was done. My body was so weak and in so much pain. Also because I was in surgery so long and they had pumped so much fluid into my body, I gained 17lbs in water weight. My fingers were huge, my feet were swollen, my face was awful. I can look back now and laugh, but at the time it was not something I was happy about. Luckily that weight was easy to get rid of. But the extra fluid in my body made me hurt all over.
Recovery has taken a couple of months to finally feel myself again.
I now have an incision that runs from hip to hip. And major incisions across my chest. There will be a phase 2 surgery where the surgeon will go in and contour the tissue and make it look a little nicer. But that will have to wait for 3 months. I can hardly wait to be a little closer to the finish line.

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