Since I’ve Been Gone/Three Weeks Post-Op

Please excuse my absence, as my best friend got married, and it was K’s birthday, so I was busy for about the last two weeks or so with living my life away from this computer.  It’s funny, I think a lot of this living life away from the computer has been going on, as many of the blogs I follow on WP have similarly titled entries as of late.  Things popping up on my feed like, “I’m Still Here” or “Where Have I Been…” or “Where in the World Is…” or “Been a Minute” and this little gem are all I have been reading lately.  But I think that’s what summer does, it wakes us up and reminds us to go outside, we plan weddings and picnics and just generally like to let the sun touch our faces.  I’m glad you all have been busy being somewhere else than in front of your computers.  But I am glad to be back, as well.

First, let’s talk moods.  I’m feeling much better!  I will end this post with a week three update and as you all will see, I am healing up pretty well.  My strength and range of motion are coming back now in leaps and bounds.  Yesterday I even laid on my stomach briefly as I read this book.*  I still have to sleep on my back, but I am able to lift my arms (almost) fully above my head when rinsing my pits in the shower.  I am able to twist my torso to a much larger (but not full) extent, and pulling doors open is no longer a problem.  I am still being quite careful, as I do not want to stretch the incision scars, and I am still a bit tender and swollen around the area next to my armpits, but overall I am pleased with my progress.

At week three, I no longer have to bandage up the incision lines, and I have started the silicone strip process.  These I hold in place by wearing, ugh, my old compression bra.  It’s not so bad really, considering the alternative: taping the shit out of the thick silicone strips to get them to stick to my chest.  What a pain in the ass that was yesterday.  Also, I still have to Vaseline up my nipples for another week, then I will switch to aloe or shea butter to keep them moist, or perhaps I will keep on with the Vaseline routine for the full three weeks my incisions have to wear their silicone strips–we’ll see how it goes.

Also, I think getting out of the house, going home and seeing friends and just being in the world with people has really been the most help when it comes to my mood.  I have stopped in to work a few times and it was really nice to see some of those people, to be in that environment.  While I was home in Chicago I was able to have a face-to-face meeting with my therapist, Dr. M.  We have been having phone consults since I left the city for Massachusetts, and it was good to see her in person.

Three Weeks Post-Op

And now, for the show:

Still a bit swollen around the edges, and still a bit red and crooked, but I’ll take it!

Right side close-up. This was the struggling purple nipple, look at his comeback!

Ready for his close-up, Mr. Left Nipple.

The red splotches you see around my chest are from the tape used to secure the bandages over the Vaseline I** have to slather on the incision lines and nipples, to keep them moist and stretchy and happy.  So far, the first two weeks post-op have been the hardest for me, physically and emotionally.  I imagine there will be other forests to traverse in this process, but I am sure glad to be out of that particular thicket.

Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli


*Don’t judge me.  It’s quite the naughty seasonal read.  Give yourself permission this summer to get lascivious.

**I am slathering nothing on.  Let’s be clear, K is doing all this work and I have just yesterday started putting the goo on myself.

6 thoughts on “Since I’ve Been Gone/Three Weeks Post-Op

  1. Nice to see you again.. things are looking good (on the chest front) I am sure you will be happy when you no longer have to mess with any of it.

  2. Welcome back! And WOW! Too jealous for words (apart from these ones I’m typing now of course)… and I’m glad the mood’s improved. The blues are no fun. Ever. Seethe seethe seethe. Ahem. 😀

    -JC

  3. That’s some pretty good work. I’ve had and seen a lot of scars, yours are going to be nearly invisible. Are you putting anything on it? Rose-hip seed oil does wonders.

    • Thanks for the tip, Edouard. As for my treatment, I have been gooping them up twice a day with Vasaline for the last two weeks. Now they will wear the silicone strips for the next three weeks, at least, maybe longer. After the strips, it will be regular massage and shea butter or aloe vera for at least the next *many* months.

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