Archives for posts with tag: TRAM breast reconstruction

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I had a check-up with Dr. Welk yesterday to get my stitches taken out of my belly button. (Oh yeah, I neglected to mention that a consequence of removing a lot of abdominal tissue when creating the TRAM flap, means that the belly button needs to be attached to new skin and fat. So, my belly button is in the same place, but it’s been stitched to a whole new abdominal environment.)

Everything continues to look excellent and Dr. Welk told me that he doesn’t need to see me for another month. John and I had a number of questions, which basically boiled down to “What would Elizabeth have to do to completely wreck the TRAM surgery and need an even bigger surgery to fix it?” And no, we are not paranoid, Dr. Welk had told us of this possibility.

So here’s the “don’t” list:

1) No bathing or walking of really large dogs, who may run away unexpectedly, while you are still holding on to them.

2) No drunken table dancing.

My weekend plans are ruined.

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I got an excellent night’s sleep in the wonder chair. Also, my tray table rental has served another purpose. I kept it over my abdomen to dissuade my cat from jumping into my lap during the night and it thwarted his 2 am attempt!

I have less pain today and better mobility. I didn’t write about it, but the descriptions I read prior to TRAM surgery about post-surgical pain were kind of scary. More than one woman wrote about “waking up feeling like I’d been run over by a truck.” Marilyn, the nurse who works for Dr. Welk had told me the week before surgery that when walking, I’d feel “like I’d had double knee and hip replacement surgery.” As you may recall, Marilyn has had TRAM surgery herself in addition to caring for many women post-surgery. So, I was feeling a mix of enthusiasm and trepidation going into surgery.

I am taking it very easy, just getting up to use the bathroom and empty my surgical drains. I took a shower this morning and boy, did that feel good. I have very sensitive skin and I am prone to eczema. John was able to get all of the adhesive residue off of my back from all of the tape and electrodes that were stuck on me. Ah, what a relief!

My husband has been the most wonderful nurse. I think we will successfully avoid dishwasher-gate this time. Our planning for this surgery really helped. I am also so happy that I got into such better physical condition prior to this surgery. Having stronger leg muscles is really helping me compensate for my abdominal weakness when I have to get in and out of chairs. I have also learned that abdominal muscles are needed for lots of actions such as to clear my throat! Another reason that I am happy to have stayed away from people with colds!

I have a follow-up appointment with Dr. Welk tomorrow. I am hopeful that it will go well and he said that I may be able to get one of my surgical drains out!

I am at home now and so enjoying the chair I rented from a medical supply store.  Here’s a picture of a similar one:

This is the most comfortable convalescence option ever!

This is the most comfortable convalescence option ever!

It has a motorized lift for getting in and out. It also reclines to all kinds of angles and is a sleep chair. I am so comfy right now that I can’t believe it. I also rented a table that swings over it. That way I can type on my laptop without putting it on my sore lap. We are also hoping that by keeping the tray positioned over my abdomen that it will dissuade our 15 pound cat from jumping into my lap.

And finally, there’s the throne lifter that I got on Amazon.

Toilet riser manufactured by Drive.

Toilet riser manufactured by Drive.

And if all of this doesn’t sound like the utmost in glamor, I am wearing some pretty cute Japanese print pj’s.

I’m checked into my hospital room.
The surgery went well. New boob is a major improvement on Tupperware boob even with the swelling.

Epidurals rule time and space. We’ll see how the switch to oral pain meds goes tomorrow.

Thanks to all of you for your kind concern, prayers, and healing thoughts my way.

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George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (cnms.berkeley.edu).

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