Day 9 post-op

8:00pm

At last, we arrive home from California.

The removal of the sutures was less painful than I had expected ; while I was aware of a slight sensation of pulling, the fact that the areolae are completely numb continues to surpass my conscious thought.

There has been a level of pain following their removal, mostly localized around the edge of the chest incision, which seems to be a target for irritation from clothing, the binder and general arm movements. While not unbearable, on occasion it has become a cripplingly sharp, yet quickly subsiding, stab at the attempt of rapid movement or the act of pulling; difficult this past night as maneuvering into a bunk on the train involved a small level of bodily lifting. There is also a bruise-like sensation throughout the general chest area, in particular directly between the incisions in the middle of the sternum where the skin is rather taught.

Today was my first shower in 9 days, which was a great relief. Showers are to be taken facing away from the water for the next few weeks, while as the incisions can become wet they cannot be hit with a direct stream. I encountered slight panic as I happened a glance downwards sometime during its duration and found the grafts covered with shampoo suds despite my efforts to shield them from any foreign substances; — this being their first contact with air for more than a 30-second period — but they appear to be fine and, in retrospect, soap was likely the best of a number of possible things with which they may have had contact. As I removed the gauze for the first time prior to showering, a moment of Dr. Brownstein’s session wherein he recounted the occurrence of someone pulling off their newly grafted nipple haunted the recesses of my consciousness, but they are secure and a slight wetting of the gauze allowed its removal with ease.

It was also to be observed that the somewhat revolting, bumpy and blackened skin is not severely bruised areolae, as I had originally assumed, but in fact merely a gigantic scab covering the entirety of the area. A small flap seems to have peeled away during the shower, revealing a very pink and healthy nipple beneath.

These pictures are graphic.

My chest prior to surgery.

The site prior to the removal of the sutures, one week post-op. The lighting is rather sickly as the hotel bathroom fixtures left something to be desired. The tape will remain on the incisions for another week. The small red dots are where the drains were sewn in, although the faint scar lines directly below them are from an infantile surgical procedure.

One week post-op, from the side. Definitely obvious that I spent the past week in bed in comparison with the pre-op photo.

Prior to showering today, after removing the nipple gauze. Most of the purple marker had worn off over the past few nights.

The left nipple today, a little squashed.

The right nipple today. This is rather nasty; but I was loath to peel away any of the scabbing for fear of bleeding or infection.

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~ by geekbynature on July 2, 2009.

3 Responses to “Day 9 post-op”

  1. So, I’ve come to this really crazy conclusion that we are bonded for life. hahaha. Well, I think so at least.

  2. Holy shit – this is amazing.

    Congratulations!

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