On the 17th I was admitted into hospital for my reconstruction surgery. The surgery is DIEP Flap reconstruction. It involves taking a large piece of skin and fat from my stomach, (luckily there was plenty), and then replumbing it in to create me two new boobs. It’s very long, fiddly surgery.
In the run up to surgery, I’d caught Imogen’s cold, and I was concerned that it may be postponed. Thankfully, it wasn’t and after nearly 11 hours of surgery, I was in recovery, chucking my guts up which I had told everyone involved would happen.
The first night and next day on the ward are a bit hazy. I remember being very rude to a nurse who brought me a cup of tea. (I’m mortified about this.) Ross came to visit in the afternoon and I was pleased to see him. He decided to bring the kids in to visit, as they’d been missing me, and me them. Imogen proudly showed me her certificate she’d been presented in Golden Assembly for passing her Grade 1 Flute exam. She’d also got Star of The Week for great maths. Such was the anesthetic haze, I couldn’t remember any of this until Monday.
Over the weekend, I was encouraged to get up, have a wash, and eventually had the drains and other tubes removed. I was also taken off the morphine pump, but as I wasn’t really using it, this wasn’t too much of a drama. Every so often someone would come in and ask to “check my flaps”. This invariably caused me much amusement, but laughing about it with Ross hurt my stomach.
Monday morning rolled around, and the doctor told me I could go home if the Consultant agreed. Luckily he did, so after 11 hours of surgery, 4 nights in hospital, armed with a packet of paracetamol and some replacement dressings, I was off.
My Dad had come down the day before surgery to look after the kids, and when I got home, Grandma Julie had arrived too.
I spent most of the next week in bed, only getting up for mealtimes, and The Great British Bake Off.
My Dad returned home after 2 weeks. It was brilliant having him stay, as it meant Ross could get on with work, and the kids could stay in their normal routine.
Gradually I’ve been getting better, and am no longer reliant on the painkillers. I’ve had all my dressings and stitches removed, and the wounds are healing well. I’m hoping over the next week to start getting out for walks again, and build up some stamina. I had assumed that I would be still incapacitated at this stage, and I think I have surprised everyone, including the Consultant, with how well I’m doing.
When I saw the Consultant on Wednesday, he told me to “keep doing whatever you are doing as it’s obviously working”. So that’s what I’m going to do.