The recovery process had officially begun after my hematoma surgery. Unfortunately, you don’t just get up and go after a double mastectomy. Recovery is a process, and if you keep a positive outlook, it will help you get through everything so you aren’t completely miserable as you heal. Believe me, you will get through this and survive.
I am right-handed, but more importantly, my right side helps me to be as independent as possible. I have cerebral palsy and that affects my motor control of my limbs. My right side is dominant, which means I use my right side for everything. My right arm had been hurting me pretty badly after the double mastectomy. When I looked at my arm, I was stunned. My arm looked as if I had been in a severe car accident. After the shock wore off, I was horrified by the sight, not to mention the pain. I wondered how I would do simple tasks while my arm recuperated.
Sadly, I found it difficult to text on my iPhone. I wasn’t expecting that to be a challenge. Getting transferred into my wheelchair wasn’t as bad as expected. It took a lot of people to maneuver the IVs, drains and not hurt me during the whole process. It felt pretty good being upright for a bit, but again, I noticed yet another surprise. I had trouble driving my wheelchair. I use a motorized wheelchair and drive using a joystick. My arm was weak and sore. It almost felt as if my arm was jelly.
My in-laws came to visit, which made me happy. Unfortunately, I felt quite sleepy, and fell in and out of sleep, even while sitting up. The reason I was so tired had to do with pain medicine, plus I had to take an antibiotic for a week four times a day. For some reason, that particular med made me so incredibly tired. After they left, I got back in bed , and when I woke up again, my dad bought my daughter to visit me.
Ready to go home
I’m sure that I smiled from ear to ear when I saw them. Laura made me a picture and bought flowers. We talked for a while, and she gently sat on the bed with me. We laughed a lot as she told me stories of her brother and her sleepover with her friend. My father expressed concern about the weakness in my right arm. Laura met a few of my nurses before they went home. We were hopeful I’d be going home the next day.
The rest of my hospital stay was uneventful, besides being tired and nauseous. We were happy to be discharged on a Monday morning. My husband Jeff couldn’t wait to climb into our bed, instead of the hospital chair where he slept the past three nights. My wheelchair driving wasn’t so good, but I managed to make it into the van. I believe I slept most of the way to my sister’s house to pick up my son. She did a fantastic job keeping him occupied, and he had so much fun. On the way to my house, I talked to him and chatted about his weekend away.
When we arrived home, my personal care attendant met us there. I managed my way up the ramp, and she fed me vegetable soup. It was great to be home, but we just needed to figure out how we were going to move me, etc. My husband showed my attendant how to empty my fluid drains after he got me comfortable in our recliner. My son sat gently on my lap as I struggled to keep my eyes open.
My daughter came home after school and was eager to help. She did her homework and straightened her bedroom without being asked. My parents visited and my mother-in-law came over with dinner and played with the kids. My mom helped me get ready for bed, and Jeff carefully got me comfortable in bed. With all the medications I fell asleep easily.
Next up: Going forward on my journey to recovery.
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