It’s now been four weeks since I have had surgery and I can’t believe how quick it’s going. It has been such a surreal and liberating experience and each and every day is surreal.
I have been slacking on the blogging side of things so this blog post is going to be very in depth on what has happened in the last 4 weeks.
Chest Reveal Day
Five days after surgery on the 15th of January I had my chest reveal appointment with the nurse at Dr Miles Berry’s clinic. This appointment was to see how my chest is healing, and to see how it looks!
I totally forgot about this appointment – so I didn’t put any money aside for transport. When Miles’s assistant rang me 7 days before surgery she asked me what time I’d like my appointment to be on the 15th and that was when I remembered. Myself and my sister decided to Drive down to Reading train station and then get a train from Reading to London Paddington as it was so much cheaper than getting a train from Newport to London!
The car journey to Reading wasn’t uncomfortable for me, and it didn’t hurt my chest and the train was smooth! When we arrived into Paddington we got into an Uber to get us to Welbeck Street! Once we arrived at the hospital I spoke to the lady on reception who said I could go straight up to the clinic.
When we arrived into the clinic Miles Berry’s nurse Lindsey was there to welcome me and she took me into the room where we was going to take the dressings off. One of my biggest hates is sticky things – my work place is full of sticky things like fizzy drinks, milk, ice cream, sauces and it’s drives me insane. My chest was wrapped in the most stickiest bandage known to mankind so I was petrified of having it off but I knew it needed to come off so I bared it all (I hope to never experience it ever again).
Lindsey put some liquid onto my chest that helped the bandages unstick – it smelt of nail varnish remover – and it helped the bandage come off easier and quicker. After some pulling and liquid being poured down my chest she managed to get the bandages off and I could see my chest for the first time and I couldn’t stop smiling. It was so surreal to see my chest led down.
My nipples had a yellow sponge on them, so the nurse had to cut and unpick the thin stitches that was in it and it came off and my nipples were there, attached to my body and they didn’t fall off!!!!
I was then allowed to get up and see myself in the mirror without any bandages on. My chest looked perfect, my nipples were in a perfect place and I finally felt like me! I started taking Arnica tablets 7 days before surgery and 10 days after surgery as it can help prevent swelling and bruising – and it worked wonders. I had a tiny bit of bruising and some swelling but I was expecting to look black and blue like I did after my jaw surgery.
After I had a look in the mirror I had my photos taken again for my before and after pictures and then I got bandaged back up. My nipples had to be covered with non adhesive dressings and I had to use micropore tape on my scars. I have to change my nipple dressings on a daily basis and I have to change my scar tape every 2-3 days until I’m 6 weeks post op. I also have to wear my binder everyday and every night until I get to 6 weeks post op too – the binder isn’t as uncomfortable as I imagined it to be, some days my back is in so much pain and other days I’m perfectly fine. I let my chest have a breather when I’m changing my dressings so I usually have it off for around 30 minutes and when I have a shower I take it off so I do get some breaks during the day.
Here are some pictures of when I had my bandages taken off;
4 weeks post op
Today I’m 4 weeks post op and it’s been the most amazing four weeks off my life. It’s been full of emotions, feelings, stress, happiness, overwhelming feelings and just overall happiness.
Around 6 days after surgery I stopped taking any pain medication as I didn’t need it and I didn’t want to take it for the sake of taking it. My pain threshold is very high, it takes something strong to hurt me and for some bizarre reason I wasn’t in hardly any pain, it was more discomfort than pain.
The swelling on my chest has gone down dramatically since surgery. My post op binder has three different hooks (I’ll insert a picture below). For the first two weeks after Surgery I was on the last hook of my binder due to the swelling. Then when I was 2 weeks post op I decided to go onto the middle hooks and I had no issues or pain from it and yesterday I decided to go to the last one which feels perfect to me. My swelling has gone down gradually, it didn’t happen over night, there’s still some slight swelling on my chest and I know it’ll go down soon!
One of my Dr Miles Berry’s concerns with surgery was dog ears. Dog ears is where the fatty tissue or excess skins pucker out at the incision lines. As a guy who is on the chubby side of life there was a huge concern about it happening but so far I thankfully haven’t got dog ears that are incredibly noticeable so I may not need corrective surgery in the near future.
After surgery I was advised to sleep on my back to make sure I didn’t injure myself whilst asleep. As someone who moves 100’s of times whilst asleep it was weird to begin with but I’ve gotten used to it. I’m still too nervous to sleep on my side Incase I hurt myself.
When I had my bandages removed 5 days after surgery my nipples were scabby and black. Overtime the scabs will come off and reveal a lovely pink nipple. My left nipple scab still hasn’t come off, it’s a very shy nipple. However my right nipple scab has slowly been coming off. The scars on my chest are healing amazingly and there so small which I didn’t expect so I’m so happy with Dr Miles Berry’s techniques!
I knew after surgery I’d need to rest and not do anything and everything known to man kind. Before surgery I was used to waking up, sorting out badge orders, posting badge orders, going to work for 8 hours, going home to sorting out more orders & campaigning bits and then going to bed. So going from being extremely busy to doing the bare minimal isn’t me and it’s made me a very lazy person. Over these last 4 weeks I’ve realised how boring day time television is, I’ve watched around 10 series of silent witness and I’ve been designing a load of brand new products for my new store. Being able to sit back and relax from surgery has helped my mental health so much as I never had a moment to myself before – I just can’t wait to get back into things properly again!
My chest is finally my own, and something that I can recognise as my own. I can’t wait to feel a shirt on my chest for the first time, I can’t wait to walk around without feeling self conscious, I love the feeling of looking in the mirror and seeing my chest.
The surgery has already changed my life completely and I know it’s saved me. For every person who has helped me out along the way I’m so thankful for you, and I’m so thankful for everybody who has stood by my side of the last six years as I would’ve gotten through it without you!