Hello, my name is Renee and I haven’t showered for a week.
This may or may not gross you out. I know my friend Michelle is freaking out since she is a two shower a day girl. My friend Scott is freaked out because he has to shower every day. Truth is I am freaked out because this is just gross.
I have two drains this time around. My first big surgery I had five drains. Two shouldn’t be such a nuisance, right? Wrong.
Let me first explain what a drain is. It is this long plastic tubing that is imbedded into your body and protrudes through small holes in your skin. The tubing connects to bulbs that collect water, proteins and seepage from your surgery. They like to use drains so that it does not build up in your body and cause swelling and infection.
Aren’t they just sexy? I have a tool belt pouch apron thing that I carry mine in. They have to be emptied and the fluid measured twice a day. We have to strip the drains too. That means you take an alcohol wipe and pinching the tubing push the fluid and proteins through to the bulb. It is a lot of fun. My friend referred to hers as an octopus!
My plastic surgeon will absolutely positively not let you shower while you have drains attached. Too much risk for an infection. I do not want an infection, or to create a situation where I have to go back to the hospital for more surgery. I will do as I am told. Even if I am grossed out by my shower less self.
Bandages oh so many bandages this time. I have a surgical bra on, plus two six-inch wide Ace Bandage wraps around my chest. They start at my arm pits and settle just under my new foobs. I have a very tight-fitting girdle that starts at the bottom of the foobs and comes down just above my hips. I feel like a mummy. Or one of those ladies from the days when they had to have corsets to boost their boobs and make their waist slimmer than what is natural. I struggle getting a full breath. I struggle getting up out of bed. I mostly struggle because I can’t remove it or take a shower. I know, broken record.
The girdle is to support my ‘donor’ area. When you have implants put in for reconstruction surgery a good plastic surgeon will do fat grafting as well. Fat grafting is when they take fat from one part of your body and fill in around the implants to try to make everything symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Boobs are rarely symmetrical so it is rare that foobs will be. Fat grafting is done to at least try. My donor area was my abs/core/stomach area. Hooray! It will not look like I had liposuction done. Boo! It does look like someone hit with me a bat repeatedly on my belly and it is bruised everywhere. At least the part I can see when I lift the girdle up. It has to stay on until Tuesday. Ugh so far away!
The trouble is this. I have been forced into menopause from the chemo and the oophorectomy. That means I sweat all the time. I mean ALL the time! Night sweats, day sweats, meat sweats. I am sweaty. The sweat drips down under the bandages and settles there causing me to itch and squirm. Add this to the no shower and the unsightly octopi hanging out of my body and I am the picture of gross.
Now I am developing bed sores, or more accurately diaper rash. Baby powder has become my new best friend. I apply it too all the easily accessible rash spots. Thankfully it is helping. Thankfully I only have five more days of this bondage, I mean bandaging. Thankfully I do not have a good sense of smell. Thankfully, my husband doesn’t either. Maybe he is just pretending. Thankfully he has helped me wash my hair in the kitchen sink. Thankfully I was able to sponge bath my exposed parts and shave my legs. Armpits are another story, too much bandage, too many restrictions on how high I am allowed to lift my arms. Thankful that this is almost over. IT IS ALMOST OVER!!! I know I still have new meds to start and more scans and tests to be done, but no more surgeries, no evidence of disease to be seen, done.
Then I can start my revenge plans once again!! bwahahahahaha…. I haven’t forgotten them. I was just side tracked or derailed for a moment (a year) I WILL GET REVENGE!!
Until then I sit and stew in my own sweaty juices.