March 21, 2016
I am a week post-surgery as of today. After my mastectomy in December, the last three months have been an exercise in camouflage every day, trying not to let my vanity take over too much while I tried to mask a pretty marked asymmetry. Last Tuesday I went in for the second of at least three surgeries, this time to undergo the knife on perfectly healthy, non-cancerous tissue. The reduction on the left side will help even me out. To be honest, I was a little more nervous before this surgery than the last, even though this one wasn't nearly as invasive as the first one. A good friend of mine said she thought it might be just because this surgery wasn't a medical necessity (although she stressed that I should absolutely feel okay about my decision to have it). I suppose there was some truth to that. I'm completely comfortable with with my choice, and I'm glad I did it, but yes, it was a little weird that I was choosing to have optional surgery. (My historical fear of knives and needles is well-known.)
Anyway, now here I am one week past surgery. Recovery has been infinitely easier than the last one, although a few days ago I realized that I was having some pretty serious pain in my right shoulder--not even the side I had the surgery on. I even called the doctor and he said it was possible there was some strain on the shoulder, since they had to sit me up a couple of times during the surgery to make sure everything looked right, not to mention having to move me on and off the table while I was under anesthesia. (Makes sense, but how weird is that, to think that the sit you up like a puppet during surgery?) A few days and a few pain pills later, the shoulder soreness seems to have mostly subsided. I'm still wearing a super tight compression bra with lots of bandaging and tape underneath, and although there's not a lot of pain underneath it all, there's a discomfort factor and an itchiness. I haven't seen what it all looks like post-surgery yet because of all of that, and I have to say I'm a little bit leery about that. I'm sure it'll be fine--people have breast reductions all the time--but this feels even more like a Frankenstein redesign than the first one. Maybe I'm just preparing myself for the worst, hoping it'll look better than that. We'll see on Wednesday, when I go back in for a follow-up to get all the bandages off.