Okay folks, I’m doped up on Oxycodone as I sit here with my legs strategically positioned to cause me the least amount of pain possible trying to recover from yesterday’s Thigh Lift.
Okay so I’ve always said that when I got to the end of these plastic surgeries that I would discuss it all honestly and bluntly, so that’s what I’m going to do…
So first let’s talk about pain. But to do that we need to establish my pain threshold. I’m a whinny little twit when it comes to pain, if it hurts in the slightest I’m going to let you know about it, in great detail, repeatedly. That said I also have a pretty high pain tolerance. I’ve done a lot of painful things in my life. Had my appendix taken out, had a hysterectomy, had my tonsils removed, wisdom teeth pulled. I’ve broken fingers, broken ankles, broken feet.
I used to have menstrual cycles pre hysterectomy from endometriosis that would literally drop me to my knees bent over on the floor in pain. I used to have back pain so debilitating it would make me have to sit down and rest in the middle of cooking dinner.
My Gastric Bypass in 2010, was a walk in the park, I was up and walking the hospital floor three hours after surgery and had no problem moving around and within a week or two I was in the gym killing it again.
But Excess Skin removal surgery – by far the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life.
Each Excess skin removal surgery that I have done, had its pros and cons. So far each one has had different complications and issues.
Let’s talk about my most painful though; the Thigh Lift. My Surgeon, Dr. Shannon O’Brien from the Waldorf Center of Plastic Surgery, did a Y incision on me. That means the incision comes up the inside of both my thighs, and then comes up the inside fold of my thigh and my groin in both directions, forming the top of the Y. As far as I can tell, which is guessing because I’m only a day out and I haven’t gotten a really good look at the incision line just yet, but I’m guessing it goes along that inside crease of my groin and my thighs to about the middle of my labia.
I have two drains after this surgery. They are located pretty much right along the bikini line incision from my 360 Body Lift earlier this year. If you imagine the V of your pubic region as you are standing, the drain sites are at about mid-point up on the V.
1. I was able to do this surgery outpatient, didn’t have to stay at the hospital and made it home the same night as surgery.
2. While this surgery is by far the most painful, it is also the easiest to get comfortable from. That may sound a bit strange, but with the incisions where they are, moving is excruciatingly painful, but if I get into a comfortable position, which is easier with these incisions that it was with the others, then I’m in absolutely no pain.
Now the negative:
1. This is by far the most painful thing I have ever done. The incisions make it ridiculously hard to move. Thank goodness I have my arms to help. The incisions are very tender, they burn, a lot. And anytime I move they just burn more. Getting comfortable is very tricky, but as I mentioned in the positives, I think it is easier to get comfortable after this surgery than it has been after the others. So it’s the most painful and the least painful at the same time. That has both its good and bad points.
I find that the most comfortable position for me, at least at this point, is sitting or laying in a recliner with the feet up. We can adjust my back to the right angle to make sure there is no pressure on my hips or thighs. Then we take these squishy pillows and put them under my knees to get each one in just the right position. I find that I’m much more comfortable when my knee is swaddled by a pillow. But the most important thing I have found in making sure that I am as comfortable as possible is that my ankles need to be level with my knees.
2. The Pain, when you move, is unbearable. It really is, I have no other way to explain it. It’s so bad that I am listing it twice as a Negative aspect. The first time they stood me up after surgery in the hospital and wanted me to try to walk to the bathroom, but when the nurse saw the look on my face just trying to stand, the pain on my face was unmistakable, and we ended up bringing in a bed side commode. Now, I will say that as I have pain meds on board and I don’t try to tucker through without it and let the pain sneak up on me, it gets a little easier. But as of Day 2 getting up out of the chair I am in, walking to the bathroom, sitting down, getting back up, walking back to the chair, which is maybe 12 steps each way, and sitting back down in that chair is enough to make me nearly want to pass out in pain.
3. The Compression Garments make me want to pull my hair out. They are crotchless, but that hole is nowhere near where it needs to be for everything to come out right. So unless you are alright with soaking the pants you can’t take off for three days at the earliest to shower with urine, you might want to go ahead and take the route I did, unhook and unzip the sides, take them down, do your thing, then pull them back up. It makes the bathroom routine way longer and contributes to it being a miserable experience, but the alternative sucks too. I just have to remind myself that this too shall pass and what drives me nuts right now won’t even matter to me two weeks from now.
4. I need help doing EVERYTHING. Getting up out of the chair, walking, sitting down. I’ll let you put two and two together here, but let me just say, make sure whoever is taking care of you afterwards is someone who loves you; they are going to have to get very up close and personal with you. I’ve been very lucky in that I have like the best girlfriend in the world and have had the same person to take care of me through all of my surgeries.
It’s been really hard for me to even get this post written because I doze in and out constantly because of the pain medication I’m taking. I’m usually the person that doesn’t really like to take pain medication, but man this time I’m taking it on the clock when I’m due for it, just to try to keep the pain managed. I’m outside my own box here, but I think it’s a good thing.
The first day home from the hospital was horrendous. Every time I moved I wanted to cry. Today, day two has been a little bit better, it hurts a little less to move today than it did yesterday.
It’s a little easier to get comfortable today than it was yesterday. I just keep reminding myself that in a couple of months, none of this will be hurting like this, and I’ll be able to wear shorts this summer. I hope… I haven’t actually gotten to see my thighs yet, so we’ll see. I’ll let you know.
I need to have Heather proof read this before I post it and make sure I made sense through my pain medicated rambling. 🙂