An Update 4 Weeks Post- Op, by Caroline

My healing is going really well. Last week was a bit of a roller coaster to be honest though.

I hoped to get my second drain out on Monday but the drain (left side) was still collecting too much fluid for it to be safe to pull. There was also a little redness in my right breast, which we determined we would watch carefully.

When I returned on Wednesday, the drain could come out of the left side. Yay! However, the redness was definitely worse on the right breast. They aspirated about 12 cc of fluid and recommended that I see the infectious disease doctor they use to check for infection. I didn’t feel sick or have a fever, which was really good but the amount of redness and the fact that it had gotten worse over a couple days was cause for concern. I was able to get an appointment for the next day with ID!

When I went to my ID appointment on Thursday, the doctor was so nice to ask me if I like to just know a little or I prefer to know all the details. Of course, I wanted to know everything! So, he proceeded to explain that if there was an infection, they would have to remove the expanders because they would be contaminated. This was NOT what I wanted to hear – another surgery with a major step backwards in my reconstruction.

They did blood work. Interestingly (maybe I’m the only one who finds this kind of thing interesting), they took blood from both arms with 15 minutes in between the blood draws. I have no idea why that is the protocol. The ID doctor wished that we had saved some of the fluid from what was aspirated the previous day. Since we didn’t, he sent me back up to their office to have them try to aspirate more. Ugh.

As I waited in the waiting room, I had myself a little pity party. I was really sad that I may have been facing a serious infection. As I was called back to the exam room, I was on the verge of tears, actually.

Then, the nurse decided we would need to deflate the right side (my expanders only have air in them so far) in order to aspirate any fluid. So I watched as she found the port with a magnet. Then she stuck a needle in (I didn’t watch that- even though I can’t really feel it, I have an issue with needles) and sucked the air out with a syringe. I watched my breast literally deflate like a balloon. It was wild! She was able to aspirate enough fluid for testing which was great.

I was so amazed at my deflated boob that I decided to video her re-inflating it. I was laughing so hard it was a challenge to be still! It was this bizarre out-of-body experience to watch my boob re-inflate via the video. Well, it turned out, I just needed a little laughter. No more pity party! I realized that this was completely solvable if there was a problem. It would not make me happy, but it also wouldn’t be the end of the world. I also realized that she had inflated my right boob to be bigger than my left. I could only laugh about that. It’s all temporary at this point anyway.

I woke up the next morning and the redness was definitely better. I also still had not developed a fever. So, I was really hopeful as I anticipated the phone call from my ID doctor late that afternoon.

I went to the Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the High Museum that afternoon and got the call from the ID doctor at 5:30. Blood work all came back normal!! So excited!!! He said I just had a hemotoma. When they aspirated fluid on Wednesday and Thursday, the redness definitely got better, so that made a lot of sense.

So, that’s my latest update. A little roller coaster. But all ok!

4 thoughts on “An Update 4 Weeks Post- Op, by Caroline

  1. Glad to hear all is ok!! I love your sense of humor. Laughing is my sister and I’s default setting when faced with challenges. And it sure helps make things better. You are more than my friend, you are my sister too. Big hug.

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  2. You have seen it all Caroline, I have never doubted your faith and strength to beat all odds. Jim is so lucky to have you in his life. You are an amazing mum, a loving wife, a wonderful daughter to your parents and such an inspiration to all of us. I will keep praying for a speedy recovery and the next stage of the procedure to be as seamless as it has been. Much love!

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