Home Sweet Home

Phew! So far my homecoming has been smooth and easy. My plastic surgeon told me before I left the hospital to ignore all of the residents and nurses that would tell me I couldn’t shower when I got home. Thank God, because my first post-op shower felt like I was bathing under a waterfall in Shangri-La. So luxuriously warm, cleansing and refreshing. My husband helped me wash my hair but I was pleasantly surprised that my arms had good enough range of motion to wash some of it myself. I put some comfy clothes on and a hideous, but warm Hello Kitty robe and sat in my recliner waiting for the girls to come home (thought it was best for me to get settled before they were here. And please note, I hate Hello Kitty on adults but my Mom thought the cartoon cat and its pink bows would be fun for my big girl to see on me, she was right.). When my older daughter came up to see me she was so excited that I was home and so gentle and protective. She was thrilled to see I had kitties on me and her favorite color: pink (good job, Mom!). This experience has only solidified the fact that three year olds are incredibly resilient and that mine is a sweet and thoughtful little doll. She asked where my “boos boos” were and I vaguely gestured to either side of my chest. Then she asked if she could fix them. I wasn’t sure what that meant so I asked her to start by fixing my feet and telling her that gentle high fives, getting lots of rest, and watching her sing and dance are the best medicine. I have enjoyed many performances in the past 24 hours. I’ve been instructed by my little Doogie Howzer, MD that when she covers me with a blankie, I get better but I should not take it off because then I will get sick. As you can imagine, I’m constantly being “cozied”. And thanks to the tremendous support from our family, I’ve gotten better rest here than I did at the hospital where nurses came to check my vitals and administer antibiotics when I didn’t want them or take an extra half hour when I did want them. Did I mention how happy I am to be home?
For once in my life, I don’t feel over anxious about the little things that seem odd to me. For instance, my left breast has a hollow feeling to it and when I touch in certain spots it almost seems to ripple. And one or two of the drains leak a little bit causing my special tank top to have a small stain. Fortunately, my plastic surgeon called to check in on me tonight and he said everything I’m experiencing sounds totally normal. He described the tissue expander like a beach ball. They have a capacity to hold 600 mLs of fluid, but have only been filled with 275 mL so far. So it’s to be expected that this rippling, hollow effect is occurring. I’m not sure what it would be like with a different surgeon, but my doctors have been so wonderfully caring. It makes a big difference. Even before I was officially his patient, he gave me his cell phone number and again, told me before I left the hospital that I can always call him. I know he has a family of his own, including a young son. I’m sure he’s got other things to do on his Sunday evening, but he never sounds rushed and he made the effort to call me! I can’t reiterate enough that picking a surgical team that you feel comfortable with is of the utmost importance. I trust them implicitly and don’t feel the need to second guess anything they tell me. It’s very reassuring.
It’s been harder for me with my younger daughter, trying to find a way to reassure her when I really can’t hug her or get that close to the little wiggle worm. She sat on my lap for a minute today and my husband and my mom lean her down so I can kiss her but that lack of physical connection weighs heavily on me. While I was so concerned with how my big girl would fare, I overlooked my own emotions with the little one somewhat. Fortunately, she’s at an age where she won’t remember this experience and is quite easily distracted. I can hear her giggle and walk around downstairs and I know she’s having fun. That’s really all I could ask for. Being physically present and chatting with my big girl has proved very important for her. She keeps asking me “you’re not going anywhere, right?” every time she leaves my room. I love that I am staying in one place at home where she can rely on me. In a few days, I will go back to the doctor for follow up appointments, but I hope this time she will know for sure that I always come back. Home is certainly where my heart is.

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