I don't remember leaving the OR holding area - surgical drugs are wonderful! I didn't have time to worry or panic. The anesthesiologist said this was common among patients and one of the side effects of the drugs. As far as I am concerned, whatever went on in the surgical OR and recovery room can stay there!
I do remember waking up in the regular hospital room. Not much fun at the beginning since I was nauseated. We won't go there. The doctors and nurses provided great care. An American Cancer Society representative visited and gave me an information bag including a heart-shaped pillow. The day before my surgery, Amy M. sent me her own heart-shaped pillows to cushion me after surgery. Amy was my personal go-to for answers and reassurance about anything since she had undergone this same ordeal earlier in the year.
I only spent one night in the hospital. Looking back it would have been better if I had a 2-night stay, but that is today's health care system. The ride home was not easy even though I had underarm pillows and cushioning for my back. Luckily, pain meds were working and I don't remember much.
Cathy was in charge of my personal care at home, and Pat helped in other areas. Saturday morning I woke up with a temperature and dilated pupils. I cut back on the pain meds and took Tylenol for the fever. A side effect of the pain meds were horrible nightmares. Yet another reason to quit them!
My aftercare was spent in my bedroom recliner since I could make a "nest" with supporting pillows. Everything I needed was on a tray stand next to me for easy access. Dr. Knox did a great job with the breast removal surgery, and Dr. Morales did a wonderful job on the breast reconstructions. Temporary expanders were inserted behind the pectoral muscles with AlloDerm to reinforce the existing tissue. I had one "fill" in the OR. Drains were inserted for obvious reasons. These were not short drains, these were "long" ones that caused increasing irritation each day. I had to keep them in for almost 2 weeks until the drainage had lessened. I was so ready for the day of their removal!
I must say at this point in time, I was in awe at the love and support from family, friends, and neighbors. So many people and different churches had me on their prayer lists! Neighbors and friends brought in meals every day for two weeks and we received lots of restaurant gift cards to use after that time period. This sharing was a God-send for my family. All I had to do was rest, do my arm exercises, and walk around the house.
My dynamic trio!