...and looking a bit like I've wrestled with a shark, but I'm getting used to my new self. I found that the narcotic pain meds they gave me were more trouble than they were worth (whatever happened to Tylenol #3?), making me nauseated, so I stopped taking them soon after the surgery, which was fine, as everything was numb enough from the surgery that I wasn't in much pain. Now, as the nerves are waking up a bit, I'm taking tylenol and ibuprofen. But mostly, I'm not in real pain, just some discomfort that is more annoying and distracting than anything else. The pain from the Taxol was worse - more intense and more constant. What I have now can mostly be alleviated by lying down.
You all may get to see some scar pictures in a few weeks. I'm not sure about that yet. I have this intense desire to show people, though, and I'm pretty sure flipping up my shirt at social gatherings or in public wouldn't be appropriate. I don't know if this need to share is about sharing trauma or simply thinking the scar is cool or what, but in my case, I think it's partly about normalizing not only my body but the whole experience.
I also wanted to see scar pictures before my surgery, and I had trouble finding them. Mine is, I think, more extreme than the ones I did find.
TMI follows here - turn back now:
I confess that I actually find the drains kind of cool at this point. There are long tubes that drain fluid beneath the outside of the scar (I think it's a uniscar, but can't tell for sure) into little rubber grenades that hang from a rubber ring around my neck. What comes through the drain tubes initially freaked me out, but now it fascinates me. It is like watching those images of a fetus developing in the womb, where there are all kinds of fluids and things floating around it, or like watching the bits and pieces of life under the sea.
(If you've just now lost your lunch, I apologize, but I did warn you.)