Thursday, October 27, 2022

Breast Cancer Fight: Mastectomy and Breast Implant Reconstruction Surgeries Part 2

I finally woke up drowsily from anaesthesia around 5pm after my mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgeries at the operating theatre's patients' observation area. I think the whole operation took around 3.5hrs?

I was acutely aware of the time because previously while waiting at Ward 2A, one of the nurses told me that they stopped serving dinner in the wards at 7.30pm so I checked the time immediately when I woke up to see if I made it in time to eat hehehe... 

Dr Jane came by for a quick update and check. Basically no complications but she had to use a smaller implant than expected {160cc vs 195cc} as the breast skin left after mastectomy was very thin. She said that she would call the boy to give him an update that I was out of the operation too.

I stayed in the observation area for about an hour. Around 6pm, they wheeled me on a bed to Ward 7A, Kent Ridge Wing. Since I woke up, I did not experience any nausea or vomiting, just some numbness, soreness and dull pain in my left breast and under my left arm pit.

Once I was moved to my own ward bed, I told the nurses that I wanted to eat and get out of the bed to pee. She offered me a bed pan but I knew I just couldn't pee in one so declined. I wanted to pee naturally as soon as possible.

You see, I was immensely relieved that I did not have a urinary catheter in me after the operation. When I was 15, I had my scoliosis operation where I needed to have a urinary catheter inserted in me for a few weeks. When they took it out, I had trouble peeing naturally again so they had to re-insert it in me again for a while before I tried again. It was rather traumatic and I still have a "phobia" of using urinary catheters.  

Anyway, seeing that I was lucid and capable, she let me out of the bed to slowly walk to the toilet assisted around 6.40pm. The nurse said usually patients get out of bed only after 6hrs heh. Oh well. 

I changed into the pink hospital pjs and ate dinner about 7pm. Some sort of mince meat & veg pasta and the boy also brought pork chop for my extra protein... yum yum yum. I also asked the orderly to make me an iced Milo hehe. 

Clearly, my appetite wasn't affected (^ω^) 

For the most part, I was feeling pretty good and couldn't really believe that I just had 2 surgeries a few hours ago. Anyone who saw my post-operation photos did not think that I just had an operation too... Honestly, I felt much worst when I was down with Covid-19!

Extremely thankful for a smooth operation and fast recovery! I believe there are 3 good reasons for this..

Firstly, through God's grace and the many, MANY loving prayers I received from my family and friends. Secondly, I am generally fit and healthy through regular exercise since young, and especially from my PT training with Superman. Lastly, I have amazingly skilled and experienced doctors/ nurses who performed the operation and took good care of me #blessed

My ward room was a single-bed ensuite room with a side sofa bed by the window. Pretty spacious and comfortable. You are only allocated your chosen type of ward room based on availability after the operation so I was really happy to get my own private room as I am a really light sleeper, and prefer not to bunk with strangers.

The TV channels were rather limited but they did have HBO. Good thing I brought the iPad but it can only connect to the internet via WiFi. NUH wards do not have their own WiFi network and the nurses said I needed to connect to Wireless@SG network if we wanted to use it. 

The nurses came to check my wounds and vital stats, or give me medicine, almost every hour until midnight. I had some slight fever when they checked at 9pm so they gave me some Panadol around 10pm as they needed some time for the doctor to approve the order. The fever came down around midnight. 

I tried to sleep whenever there was a short break between the checks. Still found the room too bright with the machine lights and asked the nurse for an eye-mask. Thankfully they have those available and gave me a set of eye-mask and ear buds. Much better but was still awakened by their 4-hourly checks through the night. 

The nurses will ask patients to rank their pain level: 1-3 for low pain, 4-7 for moderate pain, 8-10 for high pain.

My pain level was mostly low pain, around level 3. I did not need to ask for any additional pain medication that day as it was tolerable. 

Follow my breast cancer fight on the blog, Facebook or Instagram {#AiFightsCancer}

Before mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgeries

After mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgeries

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