May 29, 2023

In this video I’m talking about how things are going ten days after my mastectomy surgery–I talk about my energy, meds, activities, memory, wound care and clothing choices.

I thought it would come to you from my natural environment this morning i spend every morning that i can out here in the front driveway in the sun it’s a little windy today so hopefully you can hear me okay but i wanted to talk about the last week of my recovery i did a video at three days to talk about how the first three days after surgery went after my mastectomy

And it’s 10 days now so i want to talk about kind of the week after the first three days and how that’s gone so this is part of my routine just sitting out in the sun as much as possible in the morning and there’s a bee that is falling into my lens i think it’s occupied now um the pain has definitely shifted and changed after the first three days i was not

Taking gabapentin and tylenol every three hours i just cut back to gabapentin i kind of over about a day weaned myself off of tylenol and now i just take 100 milligrams instead of 200 of gabapentin every six hours and that seems to be pretty necessary still even at 10 days every day there’s a little bit more pain mostly in the area of my pectoral muscle here i

No longer have that buzzing though that feeling that i had a little b or a fly stuck inside of me here that just lasted a couple of days on day three and four i just have a little bit of pain and i can feel it on both sides i can feel it with the touch here i can feel it every time i move or take a step or cough or sneeze and then i can also feel it behind the

Pectoral muscle as well when i take a drink of cold water so i imagine that’s because they had to peel the fascia off of my pectoral muscle and that might be a little bit of a trauma spot where there’s some nerves that are still alive the nerves that would have gone into my breasts are definitely not there there’s a lot of numbness to the touch and i’m sure there

Will be for a long time but deeper down there is some pain other than gabapentin i do take a curcumin supplement and boswellia together i take a thousand milligrams of curcumin and 100 milligrams of bus lilia as needed anywhere in between my gabapentin so it’s not like regimented it’s just kind of when i start to feel pain which is usually a couple hours before

I need to take my gabapentin again the main source of my pain for days four five and six and the morning of day seven was my drain i had pain underneath my breast where the drain was kind of lining the area down below my where my breasts used to be and a lot of pain right here where the dream came out of my body and i was very eager to get the drain taken out at

Day seven i asked them if they would take it out at day four or five and they said no even though i was experiencing some burning and some really kind of deep bruising i had some maroon colored bruises right here on my side just above where the drain kind of came toward the exit point i was definitely associated with my drain but i sent pictures to both doctors

Both surgeons and their staff and they came back with an answer saying no not a big deal they were very sudden bruises but and they were very red so it’s good that i checked in with them but they said no i needed to wait till day seven which was probably for the best because my fluid levels did not go down to under 20 milliliters per day until probably day five

So i got my fluid levels down just in time to get my drain out at day seven everybody’s different in that respect but i was very happy to have the drain out and i did use my mla cream this stuff here it’s a prescription lidocaine and perlicane cream it’s 2.5 lidocaine 2.5 prilocaine prescription cream that i asked for before my surgery and i had applied this the

Day before my surgery all over the place um just to numb it and keep it numb for the sake of chronic nerve pain long term there’s been some studies saying that this works pretty well for that in advance of surgery so i had this already i hadn’t used much of it after surgery because they said not to but i used this the day the morning of before i left to get my

Drain out i used it all over the area where my drain was so that it wouldn’t be painful when they took the drain out and to my surprise it was not painful at all when they took the drain out i could feel it coming out but it wasn’t painful in terms of my activity level in the last week it has definitely slowed down so if days one through three i had more energy

And more mental capacity i think than i have in the last week for the last week i’ve needed my husband to remember when i took my gabapentin for me and kind of track it for me and remind me and then when my husband hasn’t been here i’ve used the timer on my phone and set it for six hours and then every time it would go off i would reset it for six hours now of

Course i don’t do this in the middle of the night i let myself go two or three hours without taking it if it lands in the middle of the night because i don’t want to wake myself up to take it it’s not that important for my pain relief i can go a few hours without it i played rummikube with my friend yesterday and i was surprised that my brain only lasted about

Four hours so i was just cut put after that i had to do something very mellow that just did not require any brain activity at all so my mental capacity is also pretty limited still i can’t do much reading because my eyesight is affected by the gabapentin as well so i’ve tried watching tv but it really is not fun for me to watch tv for any long period of time

It kind of depresses me so i’ve scheduled friends to visit and have some kind of activity either at home or nearby with friends so today i’m going to be going to lunch with a friend at the food cart community that is just a couple small towns over i’m still using these little cotton pads to clean my armpits like sponge bath cleaning but these days i’m using this

Hydrosol frankincense hydrosol instead of that witch hazel because the witch hazel was a little too stingy and probably too much alcohol so i just spray the pad till it’s saturated and i can feel now the coldness of it it’s not numb in my armpit anymore after 10 days the nerve block i think has completely worn off so and the frankincense is strong enough and it’s

Disinfecting powers that i think it does a pretty good job on day seven after i had my drain removed i started applying manuka honey to my wound so this is the first thing i’ve applied to my wound and i got this manuka at a health food store it’s a little expensive compared to normal honey it’s from new zealand and it’s got 30 plus mgo so definitely look for a 30

Score on yours as well i just apply it with a a little popsicle stick and apply it with a little bit of turmeric oil for pain and put the two together they don’t mix well they’re not like going to blend together for you i have them actually in this little container here it’s a little brown glass container and if you heat them up a little bit over some hot water

Then you can get them to blend a little but they don’t perfectly mix but i just kind of swab it on you could probably use a q-tip but you’re going to lose a lot of the the turmeric oil in the cotton of the q-tip so i use something that doesn’t absorb it and i just put a kind of a thin layer on and then put a large band-aid you can find band-aids that have kind of

A flexible film that is waterproof that’s the best kind to use and then i make sure and take the band-aid off when i’m laying in the sun for part of the day i like to get some air on the incision wound as well just to make sure that it’s getting some fresh air and not just stifled by a band-aid all day this little ice pack has been a real treat and i had no idea

How good it would be just the shape and size of it it can either go in my armpit or over my breast it doesn’t last very long it’s not super cold like a lot of i like pure ice is it’s a gel pack so i definitely prefer this one to the ones that they gave me the disposable ones they gave me that i showed in my last video those ones leak and they’re a little too cold

And they’re just a weird shape like you can’t lay it flat in the freezer and get like a flat layer of ice in it um they also melt really quickly if you try to put just a thin layer of ice in it so i really like these try to just get your own before surgery it’s my recommendation um this one has been really great for me it lasts about an hour and then you have to

Put it back in the freezer in terms of my emotional response to looking at my incisions i took it really slowly i kind of peeked at it on day eight and then fully looked in the mirror for you know a full minute on day nine i just waited until i was emotionally strong and ready and felt supported emotionally and you know i don’t love my incision scar lines um i may

Have to go in for another surgery that’s i’ll say that story for another video but um i i don’t love them and they’re definitely puckered and ripply and i just have no idea what they’ll look like a year from now so i’m trying not to get attached to the way they are now they’re definitely going to be changing i still have a lot of bruising mostly yellow bruising

I don’t have much black and blue just that one little spot that i showed you in my last video is a little bit blue or purple but most of this area is still yellow and i stopped using this arnica gel on day seven when i started using the manuka honey i didn’t want to overlap them and i felt like arnica gel is mainly for bruising it’s a little bit for pain too but

Mostly for bruising and so i just stopped using it after day seven thinking it probably isn’t necessary to use the arnica after the first week i’m really glad that i haven’t been too emotionally upset um by the site of my flat chest or my scars um i just keep telling myself that they’re gonna change a lot and they’ll be faded and i will barely see them i hear

From now and i think telling myself that really helps so in terms of the clothes that i’m wearing this outfit is by far my favorite it if i had to describe it it’s like a like a faux cashmere it’s a polyester and it’s very stretchy but it’s mostly just very very soft on the skin and i really like my camisole that i showed you in my last video i still wear that

Most of the time and i have that prosthetic spongy kind of fiberfill prosthesis that i can put in i put it in for a few hours each day into either my camisole or my um i guess the pink bra is called a elizabeth pink compression bra so i put it into either one of those on a daily basis and just make sure that i have bandages or a band-aid over my actual incision

So that the soft melty manuka honey doesn’t get all over my camisole or my bra but if the temperatures are so nice this time of year i don’t need to bundle up i don’t get cold so this outfit of a really soft polyester has been my favorite it’s also super stretchy at the neck so i can just you know pull it down to take it off and and pull it over my head so lots

And lots of room in the armholes which is really important when i went the day of my surgery i went to look at all of my shirts to choose one and i realized not very many of them had big armholes so i chose one that was yellow which is not my color at all but it was a yellow button down kind of sleeveless but it had large armholes and i thought okay that’s going

To be really important so i’ve really shot for wearing most of my shirts that are buttoned down and have large armholes unless i’m going to a nice place that i want to not look like i’m a hospital patient and then you probably want the smaller armholes that cover up the camisole here because it is kind of ugly even in these little edgy spots so my mood is great

I’m really grateful for gabapentin i can’t imagine being able to live a life without it right now i’ve tried and it’s way too painful so i only have three more days on my current prescription so i will try again to live without the gabapentin after three more days and next week i’m actually going to be going to a writer’s retreat hopefully my brain will have the

Capacity to enjoy and use it well um we’ll see i signed up for it a long time ago and i decided not to cancel it and so i’m going to be taking my camper van and my sister’s going to be driving and hanging out while i go to the retreat at the beach which will be really nice so at least i’ll get some beach time even if my brain doesn’t digest all of the information

That’s being taught in the writer’s retreats that’s my next challenge and i’m really looking forward to getting away from my home i’m kind of tired of being here and there’s been a little rain so i don’t have to worry about my garden and plants getting watered so i will check in with you soon and let you know about that change in plans and possible second surgery

For me and have the goldilocks mastectomy worked out i haven’t really talked about that either so my next video will be around those things and i will see you then bye-bye

Transcribed from video
Mastectomy and First Week of Recovery (drains, bruising, meds) By Estrogen Diaries with Kathleen Moss