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  • Writer's pictureadrianne

Just Breathe

I'm propped up for the night on the couch, marveling that tonight I can breathe better through my nose than I could this morning.

I had my surgery today, and I was told & expected complete stuffiness-mouth breathing-for a week or so til the swelling and crusting subsided. (I mentally prepared myself for it because I knew it would be tough.) A month or so of diminishing stuffiness. To be sure, I am a bit stuffy; however, I am open enough that I'm breathing completely through my nose and not through my mouth. I guess that goes to show what a hot mess was my nose.


Surgery lasted about five hours I'm told, though it seemed like an instant to me. I was asleep before I arrived in the operating room. Surgery did include taking a piece of cartilage from my rib #6. It was unknown before surgery if this would need to be done and unknown if it could be done because of all the breast reconstructive work. Rib #6 sits at the crease. If it couldn't be done, a piece of cadaver cartilage would be a price tag of $1000. Yes, you read that right. A judgment call for Dr. Walker during surgery, and Jamie & I trusted him 100% to make it.

Post-surgery and on the way home...a little banged up.

I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup yesterday for after surgery. I sipped the broth through a straw and used my spoon to drop the chicken, noodles, and carrots into my open mouth. My face is completely numb, and I can't feel anything to be able to spoon the soup into my mouth.

Two mugs of soup and a smoothie later, I was feeling much better. I had no pain, but I'd been about 21 hours without eating.

After supper, Jamie cleaned the incisions. Here's a closeup of those. Gross, I know, but fascinating. On a sidenote, because I wanted to know and understand what was being done to me, I watched videos of actual surgeries of every single procedure I had done this year. Except this one. I started watching one, but nope. I did get through the part though, where these incisions were made.

Me and my sweet sweet hubby. Loving me, supporting me, taking care of me.

And while he was doctoring, he checked out the site from where the rib cartilage was taken. It's pretty tender, and I feel it with a deep breath. Coughing is also an issue, as I found out when I sucked down some drink the wrong way. Bandage will come off in a day or two.

I have to sleep tonight at about a 45 degree angle, and I could do that in my adjustable bed. But I chose the couch because I don't want to risk bleeding on these adorable sheets. (Dr. Walker said I WILL bleed tonight.) My Roscoe sheets--they're flannel and so cozy.

Clothing: I'm back to zip up hoodies for a few days to keep from pulling anything over my head. Probably it would be fine while I have this lovely cast on my nose, which will stay on til December 26th and mustn't get wet. Glasses: my readers are plastic frames, no pillows. They're fine to wear now because they sit on the cast. Once the cast comes off, I will tape them to my forehead so they don't sit on the bridge of my nose.

Pain? If I had to rate my face pain on a scale of 0 (least) to 10 (most), I'd rate it a 0. Tonight I have no pain. The rib is tender but not painful. Ask me tomorrow.

I got my good boy snugged up on the couch with me.

And best of all....

I can breathe. I can breathe. I can breathe.

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1 Comment

Dec 19, 2023

Glad the surgery was successful. I would imagine you’re gonna be sore at some point. Rest and recover. You know that routine all too well. ❤️❤️‍🩹

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