Today I ended up having to take an unscheduled trip back to the hospital. Over the past 48 hours, my left “flap” was obviously swelling. This morning I awoke and my flap was probably 50% bigger than the right. The evening prior I also had a low grade fever and, because of the swelling, some very dark bruising. Just to err on the side of caution, Dr. Louie’s team wanted me to come back in and be seen. I saw Dr. Liu (different than Dr. Louie) and was told that I had some fluid pooling around a drain site. Dr. Liu used a 60 gauge needle to drain the fluid and some blood from my left flap, and I almost immediately felt better as soon as he started to drain it. It was hard to find pockets of the fluid, so he had to move the needle around quite a bit. But I have/had absolutely no pain during the exam. It’s interesting trying to get used to having no sensation at all in my chest anymore. You anticipate pain, and there’s just nothing.

I was to the doctor and back within an hour. I was told to watch for any spreading redness as a sign of infection and any tissue turning black (necrosis). My left flap is still pretty swollen but I’m relieved to know that the skin and tissue transfer aren’t failing.

After this bit of a scare, I decided that I probably need to scale back my activities. I’m going to try and do a little less on my own and see if that helps my fluid decrease. Just because I can doesn’t mean I should.

I’ll post progress pictures tomorrow. I’m already tucked in for the night and sleepy.

Endless thanks to my BFF and personal super hero, Monell, for having the unfortunate luck of always taking me on emergency medical trips. What can I say? She’s always here when I need her. And she’s always amazing. Thank you Monell! You’re the best ambulance driver in Seattle!!!

More tomorrow.