Happy Easter!  I shall begin this post with a few lines dedicated to the unfairness of not being able to have chocolate on this chocoholic holiday.  At the beginning of this blog, I touched briefly upon the restrictions I’d be up against before my surgery and during recovery.   Chocolate and caffeine are blood vessel constrictors.  So for patients who will or have had blood vessels transplanted, these two are off limits for two weeks prior to and ~six weeks following surgery.  Bummer.  I “unintentionally” avoided signing us up for the Seattle Families of Multiples Easter egg hunt because of this restriction.  I’m sure there were dozens of chocolate pushers there; I would’ve failed miserably at sticking to the rules.  So, boohoo me.  When’s the next cocoa-centric holiday?  Memorial Day?

We didn’t do a whole lot that was taxing today.  Out of laziness, last night slept without my surgical bra and paid the price for it. I got into bed last night, laid back, felt the flaps start heading their separate ways and was immediately reminded that I didn’t put on my surgical bra before getting into bed.  While all of my discharge and home care instructions say that I can work my way to sleeping flat on my back, I don’t see how this is even a possibility.  Laying flat involves my flaps heading for my underarms and me feeling like my sternum is going to rip out of my chest.  I digress.  I slept without my surgical bra to see if I was still sleeping with it on out of pure fear.  I shouldn’t second guess myself.  All day today my sternum, ribs, shoulders and midback have been much more wrought with a heavy discomfort than they have in the last week.  I don’t know how to articulate the pain in my sternum.  Sometimes it throbs, sometimes it’s a piercing pain, sometimes it’s a little of both.  The skin on top of my sternum is also one of the few areas in my chest in which I still have sensation, so it is almost like all of the sensitivity lost has centralized over my sternum, and now that area is hypersensitive.  I’d equate it to how the raw skin below a blister feels if you peel the blister off…but worse.  Lesson 1 learned today; sleep with the surgical bra on and I’m not ready to sleep flat on my back.

We had our very sweet neighbors over, a couple in their 60’s, for coffee and to watch the girls be cute (and kind of look for Easter eggs in the living room).  I managed the morning ritual without incident and not too much discomfort.  It was fun to get the girls dressed in matching Easter outfits, put Gummy Bears in plastic eggs, and then watch them figure out that the eggs had candy in them (we only give them candy on holidays, and sometimes not even then).  After getting them all riled up on Gummy Bears, we took them for a walk around the neighborhood to burn off some sugar and enjoy this ridiculously gorgeous day we had. The morning felt wonderful.  It was a glimpse into what my days to come will be like once I’m feeling 100%; fun and sweet!

When the girls took their nap, I did some stuff around the house and then tried to lay down for a bit before they got up.  I guess I am in an experimental mood because, despite my poor result from sleeping sans-bra last night, I decided to try sleeping on my side.  I napped, somewhat, for less than 30 minutes laying on my right side.  I can’t lay on my left side because I’m still so swollen and tender it’s impossible to even put a little bit of weight on that side of my body.  But laying on my right side produced no better result.  So, I’m sticking with sleeping on the contoured body pillow for the next few weeks (at least) because it’s the most comfortable for me to sleep on – and that’s not saying much.  After sleeping on my side, my upper body pain was pretty activated.  I walk around like a person in a body cast when I’m having a pain flare up.  I get very stiff and my motions are slow and guarded.  It looks almost as bad as it feels.  So lesson 2 learned today; no side sleeping.

Other than that, no strides or setbacks to report in my healing process.  So saddle up for your not photoshopped pictures of the day!

04/08/12 Frontal

04/08/12 Flaps

04/08/12 - Abdominal incision

04/08/12 left side

04/08/12 Right side

04/08/12 Right side incision healed / stitch dissolved

04/08/12 Left side incision healed / stitch NEVER GOING AWAY / forever swollen

04/08/12 - A little worried my drain site is always going to look like a butt hole.