....or Fat grafting to Chest Wall if you want to be medical.
It is 4am and having spent the last two hours trying to get back to sleep, I have admitted defeat. Having my blog app on my phone has enabled me to make use of this ‘gain time’ in recording my journey so far with the fat grafting. The Selfridges and House of Fraser app have also been a great support during this rather long evening, however one pair of wedges purchased at 3.30am is probably one too many as it is! Especially as I feel that my legs might fall off if I wear a pair of heels currently. Never one to exaggerate, much.
I think I may have underestimated the whole fat grafting thing. Having the original mastectomy surgery as a comparison perhaps led me in to a slight warped sense of security. ‘It will not be as painful, it will not be as hard, recovery time is much quicker’ were some of my thoughts going in to surgery. Waking up after the fat grafting, ‘bugger me, that hurts’… and that is the polite way of putting it!
The process. Usual routine, check in at the hospital, still call it check in, not sure what else you call it, get taken to your bay/room to start the wait for surgery. I was scheduled for an afternoon surgery so did not need to arrive until 11.30. Although this was good in terms of lie in potential the morning of, it did mean hunger…. Oh, the hunger! Having had a small bowl of sultana bran at 6am and then restricted to clear fluids from there onwards, by 2pm I was no longer hungry, I was hangry, oh so very hangry!
During the wait, I was seen by the surgeon and the anaesthetist. They go through the common questions and risks and then the surgeon marks you up with the magic marker. I looked like I had cartoon ears drawn above my foobs, it was a classy look.
I cannot tell you about the surgery, as I may have been there in person, but not in spirit. Waking up in recovery was a blur and why doctors insist on coming to see you and tell you important things in recovery is beyond me! Can I remember the instructions I was given, absolutely not, I could barely read the time on the clock in front of me, let alone take in what my post op instructions were? When I got back to my room there was pain, lots of it. I remember lying there and saying ‘may have slightly underestimated how much this would hurt’. They took the fat from my thighs, and boy oh boy do I know it! We have all had a bruise that when stroked ever so gently, you that instant sick feeling, the pain is like that but you have the feeling of about 20 bruises on each leg. My chest aches, but I would not say it was painful. It twinges now and again (4 days post op), but that is about it. Walking does not make it any worse in my experience, sitting down is a careful process as if you get the wrong part of your thighs down first, BAM you know it! Few days down the line and the pain is certainly manageable. I am pottering around, not at any great pace, but I can do most things, including the dishwasher, much to my dismay.
My biggest challenge is sleeping. On my side or front is a no go, so it is very much a case of staring at the ceiling. I have built myself a fortress (you are never too old to have a den) which has helped me lean my legs to one side and stop me rolling. It helps, but clearly not tonight!
The dressings. These will vary depending on your surgical team. Some women have these, some women have them taken off early, some are bound to wearing spanx for weeks. I have large tight sticky bandages around my legs with blue padding underneath. On my chest, I have plaster tape over gauze that makes me look like I am auditioning for a role in the next X men film. The leg bandages are starting to lose their stick through general walking around, putting trousers on and maybe me trying to pull at them a little to see what It is like underneath. I have been told to wear tight running type trousers or spanx. I have one pair of running trousers, which I have probably worn more these past few days then I have in the past few years! I have ordered some spanx from good old next day delivery ASOS as my runners certainly need a wash. Ah and I forgot, the surgical bra is back. I now have two, lucky me! This one is still that sexy nude colour in stretch material but this one has more shape than the last. I was not told how long to keep it on… or I may have been told in recovery, but again useless time to be given guidance. I have a follow up appointment to have my dressings removed on Thursday so I thought it was a safe bet to keep it on until then.
The dressings being on the rather large side and my thighs being swollen is proving a little taxing for my wardrobe. I return to work on Thursday and the challenge will be to find attire that does not make me look like I have had a week off to do ‘legs only’ at the gym, but also something that hides the X-Man symbol that comes up to my collar bone. Could do without a heatwave as I will be covered top to toe!
The good bit.
Post op diet. I was instructed at my consultation that post op I would need an insulin fuelled diet. A what, yes, a sugar fuelled diet, now that is something I can do. Anyone that knows me is well aware that I regularly eat a whole pack of fizzy cola laces before briefing at 8.25am. My office desk will regularly feature marshmallows and I always have a secret stash of chocolate or sweets in my classroom desk too… in case of emergencies, obviously. Therefore, I have taken my post op instructions very seriously. The sweet cupboard (yep we have a sweet cupboard… 3 shelves, terrible I know) is well stocked. My beautiful friends and family have also supported me with this. One lovely friend has even got me 1kg of heart shaped marshmallows! Love her! Not feeling 100% is not really helping with my need to eat sugar, but I am trying, next step Malteasars. Pitfall, summer is here. We go on a cruise mid August, hello beach body, not. Rolly polly Sarah coming down the deck!
Who knows currently. Everything is swollen currently, my fat above my implants is bigger than the implants themselves and they are also sporting a nice greeny yellow bruise colour. Hopefully by the end of the week or after a few I will be able to see and report how it has taken. As for the state of my thighs, who jolly knows. That will be a great surprise to look forward to at the clinic.