Today I have implemented my “No Action” plan of action (“NAPA”) in hopes of reducing my swelling, fluid output, and pain that keeps creeping up.  I have implemented the NAPA so well that I am wearing a bathrobe, post op accoutrements, and nothing else.  Maybe flip flops when walking around the house.  Alyssa helped me shower this morning, put on my bathrobe, and I’ve been the dude ever since just rolling around the house.  I haven’t gone on my walk yet today.  I was thinking about skipping it to see if it help decrease my fluid output, but it is such a painfully gorgeous spring day to be locked in the house.  So I think after I post this blog, I’ll nap and then go for a walk with the girls when they’re up from their nap.

I’m having these very weird phantom nipple pains and/or sensations.  It started happening the other day when I caught a chill getting out of the shower.  I felt all of my skin start to pimple as I was drying off and thought that I felt my left nipple constrict, like when I would get cold before (and had nipples).  It was so real that I had to look down and stare at my flaps to make sure it wasn’t happening.  But, alas, no goose pimpled skin on either flap and certainly no constricted nipples.  At least not on me.  The sensation is also starting to come back on my abdominal skin.  They told me I would have some numbness for a while but that it would gradually work it’s way back.  This sensation is not a welcomed one.  It goes from pins and needles, to mosquito bite like itching, to shooting, sharp pains.  Unfortunately, my pain medication, ibuprofen, nor the Tylenol is helping reduce these sensations.  I guess it’s a mixed blessing.  I can feel something, but that something does not feel good.

Wearing my abdominal binder has provided considerable relief for my back pain.  I wish that my nursing staff would’ve remembered to discharge me with it.  The downsides to wearing the binder are that it goes over my abdominal drains and moves up or down whenever I sit or stand.  This, in turn, tugs on my drainage tubes and sends me into a slight panic (that I’ve caught myself on something) and then just a few seconds of pain.

I also cannot handle this narcotic related constipation.  I remember being young and listening to adults talk about how important it was to be regular, particularly on bran cereal commercials.  As a child, bowel movements are something that you pay no mind.  Into adolescence and adulthood, it occasionally provides some very low brow humor but you start to appreciate that regularly having bowel movements is a sign of good health.  Not being able to go for days on end is an obscure curse I would wish on my enemies, but it is unfortunately my own problem at the moment.  I have started to try to space out my pain medication for longer stretches, giving my body some more time to process things without narcotics slowing it down.  I’ve also been taking a stool softener, eating a lot of dried fruit, and drinking as much water as I can remember to consume.  Last night my stool softener decided to finally work, but at 2 a.m.  There is nothing more terrifying than being woken from a dead sleep with the urgent need to poop.  Pre-surgery, no problem making it to the bathroom on time.  Now?  It takes me a good 2 minutes to get myself rolled out of bed, probably another 30 seconds to walk to the bathroom.  Luckily, there was no Trainspotting-esque incident.  Unfortunately, this is an everyday battle I’m facing while on pain medication.  It’s a short lived problem, though, since I was only prescribed pain medication through next week.

Below are my progress photos.  Once again, I’m giving you an out if you’re not into looking at the wreckage.



Frontal shot of healing progress. 2 drains remain in.


little to no swelling


Still swollen. Extra gauze for seepage from drain site.


Abdominal binder over my abdominal incision. Marsupial Pouch (by Turner Health Products) to hold my abdominal drains around my waist.