Hotel Recovery - Day 1-4
Recovering from surgery in a hotel was amazing! Despite being in another state and away from family, the fact that I had nothing else to think about for those first 5 days other that resting, taking my meds and a ton of pics of my new boobs, was heaven. I highly recommend it to anyone. Even if you're in Sydney for surgery with Dr M, book a hotel and stay there. lol It's forced recovery.
I stayed at the Meriton Apartments in Bondi Junction. The Meriton is in an awesome location, right across the street from the Westfield and the train station (if you are up to it) is located below the hotel. I chose the Meriton because they had one bedroom apartments, rather than just the studio rooms like the Quest, which is located in the same building as Dr M's rooms. It was a little more conducive to feeling pampered I think.
The bed in the Meriton was a king size and super comfortable. Luckily, because I would be spending quite some time in it. Prior to leaving for surgery I had made sure that everything was ready for when I came back as there would be some things that were just not going to be easy to do, if at all. Lids were taken off bottles, taps were untightened, kitchen and food items were put in an accessible location, the shower head was lowered, but most importantly, my pillow fort was built.
Let me tell you, that U Pillow is an absolute godsend. My pillow fort consisted of 2 standard bed pillows with the U Pillow strategically placed on an angle sloping down. Specifically for the first week, you are asked to sleep in a somewhat elevated position to assist in the healing process, and it's just way more comfy anyway. If you are not used to this, you will be....very soon. It is the most comfortable position you will find.
My first night sleep was broken by taking my meds every few hours and waking up remembering that I had boobs. haha. I am somewhat independent when it comes to being 'ill', or needing someone to take care of me (or just life in general...lol), so I do like to go through this kind of stuff on my own. I had told my husband that it was totally fine for him to go out with his mate that night. After all, I was safely tucked up in my hotel room, with my pillow fort and M&Ms. I think he ended up coming home around 3am, which was during one of my awake moments.
Waking up on Day 1 with boobs was surreal to say the least. I guess I had just expected to wake up and not really feel any differently. Hello 'morning boob'! Now here was an expression I had never heard of it before. The easiest way to describe it is to say it's the 'heavy feeling' you get in your chest first thing in the morning. I used to say that it was like an elephant was sat on my chest and I could do nothing to change the feeling. It would take me a good 10 or so minutes of laying there to be able to finally get out bed. Once I was up and about it was fine. I did tend to kind of hunch over though, in a protective sort of manner. I think I was petrified at one point that they were going to fall off. (They won't though, don't worry.) I was super energized that first morning. The anesthetic was still there, so pain was about 1/10. Probably not even pain is the right word. I didn't actually have much swelling either, which was great as this can become quite annoying. I had my first shower, which was amazing. I expected it to be difficult, but it wasn't at all. I didn't have the shower anywhere near my chest though. I literally told myself that the spray from the shower head might push my boobs down. I think it's a natural response, I mean I had lived with these horrid breasts for so long that I was not going to let anything damage my new set. Note to everybody else....the water spray from the shower will not move your breasts. Promise.
I couldn't stop looking at my new breasts. I lived in my lounge pants and post op bra and every time I saw them in the mirrors at the hotel room, I would stop and take a picture. (If you follow me on Instagram, you will be fully aware that behavior hasn't subsided at all).
The first pic below was taken at 7 hours post op. I think I was that excited by what I saw that I sent this direct to Dr Miroshnik with a comment of "sorry, I'll try not to send you too many". haha. I've eased up on sending them now, but he was constantly getting them (uncensored). Can you imagine how many pics he must have? lol Seeing this image looking back at me in the mirror was such a great feeling. I seriously couldn't wipe the smile off my face. The second picture below was taken on the evening of Day 2. So many changes already. It's amazing what happens to them each and every day.
My husband and I went to a El Topo Mexican Restaurant for lunch on that first day as I was craving Jalapeno Poppers. It was just a short walk over the road to the Westfield, although it probably took us about 15 minutes to get there. I was very slow. I felt great, slightly tired, but I was just super protective of anyone coming near me or bumping in to me. Petrified.
The food was exactly what I wanted, except that I was not able to have a margherita due to all the meds I was taking. The amount of food was perfect too, as I wasn't up to eating a lot. It didn't take long before I started to feel tired though and we made our way back to the hotel. All I wanted to do was sleep and rest with my pillow fort, and that is what I did for the rest of the day......and night.
Day 2 recovery was much of the same. Pain was not really an issue, is was more discomfort and exhaustion. We did go for a brief stroll to the Westfield again, but there was seriously nothing else I wanted to do other than stay in the room. I was so tired, I couldn't even make it through a movie. My husband was due to fly home to Brisbane that night, so we just made sure that I had everything I would need for the next 2 days without him. I sent him home with some of my luggage too, as I needed my suitcase to be as light as possible as I would be having to wheel it through the airport on my own. (A thought that scared the crap out of me.) Although before he left, my husband had confessed that he upgraded my flight to business class, so I was relieved and very grateful knowing the solo travel would be less daunting now.
We are big foodies...and when I say foodies, I mean burgers, chocolate and ice cream type of foodies. The date of my surgery also coincided with the opening of a restaurant in Bondi that I was super excited to be able to try; Milky Lane. I had been following their progression on Facebook and couldn't believe when they announced they were opening on the very same day that I would be Bondi. It was fate. My friend (who is also a massive foodie, and had her surgery on the same day as me with Dr M) and I were crazy excited and together with our surgery, it was all we could talk about over the last couple of months. However.....the first opportunity came where we thought we would be able to stomach such an amazing feast and we just couldn't make it. It was only a 5 minute Uber away, but there was no way we were leaving the rooms at this point. We were knackered. Surgery had finally taken it' toll and we weren't going anywhere. Gutted. No Milky Lane for us. (Day 2 was a Sunday and they weren't open for the remainder of our time in Sydney.) The night before our surgery we had wandered down to Bondi to find it. Here is the only pic we have....lol. The next time we visit Sydney (at 14 weeks post op) we intend to visit Milk Lane and this time try their amazing looking menu. So. Can't. Wait.
Waking up on Day 3 was a bit surreal. My husband had left and it was just me and my boobs. I still really didn't have any pain, just had the tight feeling in my chest and if I could only shift this elephant, I would be laughing. I hadn't had regular toilet use yet either.....if you know what I mean. I had laxatives for this, but they had not done a thing yet. It was getting very frustrating. I spent most of the morning taking pictures of my boobs and sending them to my friend, who was only in the hotel room next door surviving her own recovery...lol. We sent each other so many pics. We both had our post op consult with Dr M's nurse that morning. It was a slow walk up to his rooms, which are actually only 5 minutes away....lol. We walking so slow and slightly hunched. We got up to his rooms and it was totally bizarre to be there, this time post surgery, with boobs. We waited just a little while and I was called in by the nurse. Everything was fine, of course. As I was an interstate patient, she gave me the scar tape that I would be able to use once I had my 8 week consult with Dr M. She said that everything was healing well, they looked like they were supposed to look and reminded me also about the post op exercises. There are 3 particular ones that I was told about during my pre op consult. Taken from Dr M's paperwork, they are;
1. Place both hands an your head and hold for 10 seconds.
2. Grab your hands behind your back at waist level and pull your shoulders back slowly. This gives a measures and gradual stretch to the pec muscles.
3. Take a deep breath and hold for 2-3 seconds. This not only stretches your chest by expanding the ribs, but it also is important for making sure your lungs are expanding following anesthesia.
Again, the rest of the day was spent resting and taking meds. I took them religiously, whether there was pain or not. The valium was just awesome. It's only a small dose, but really allows your muscles to just 'let go' and release your chest. I never missed one of those. I was also taking the antibiotics and the Panadol. I would take Panadene Forte at night, just so that I could sleep. As I have mentioned, I really didn't have pain as such, it was just more being uncomfortable, with this elephant that now lived on my chest. At lunch time on Day 3 I decided to go over to the Westfield, on my own. Probably a huge mistake. It wasn't long before I wanted to be home again, however I was kind of lost and had ended up right over the other side and all I wanted twas to be back in the room. I started to panic a little bit. I found a seat and just chilled for a few minutes as I thought I was going to faint. Then I got back up and tried to find my way back to the hotel. I just kept getting lost. About 30 minutes later I finally get back. I was so exhausted and had totally regretted that little adventure. I laid on the bed, took all the meds I could and had a nap. It really took it out of me, I shouldn't have left the room. I stayed there for the remainder of the night. lol. Nice view to go to sleep to.
Day 4 post op, it's a Tuesday and my final day. In hindsight I totally should have booked an early flight, or at least paid for a super late check out. My flight wasn't leaving until 4pm. It's 11am and I had over stayed my welcome (10am checkout) at the Meriton, so I head downstairs to check out. I ended up leaving my suitcase at reception and going out to their courtyard and chilled in the sun for an hour or so. It was so lush to have the sun on my chest. I could have laid there for hours. Hunger overcame me so again, I head for the Westfield. I was really tired on this day. Whether it was because I knew I had to make the journey home, or whether it was just because I had no place to be, being in limbo between the hotel and the airport for 4 hours was not great. It certainly wasn't the best way to spend the last day in Sydney, it just resulted in me feeling really sore and exhausted. I didn't trek inside the Westfield very far this time, just far enough in to grab a quick bite to eat. I then made my way back to the Meriton and waited for my Uber.
The airport is around a 20 minute ride. The driver was super understanding when I asked him to put my bag in the car and then get it out again. This was a foreign request for the independent me. We arrived at the airport and I asked to be taken to the Virgin Business Class entrance as I was told this was the least amount of walking I would have to do. I get there and they send me back down to the check in section. Gah! This was an all around horrid experience.....pushing my suitcase was a mission. It hurt with every step. I was lucky to at least have 360 degree wheels though, otherwise I am just not sure how I would have managed. It's possible that I would have ditched the case and boarded without it....lol.
I get to the check in area and the lady behind the counter must have sensed that I'd had surgery...not sure why...possibly due the way I was holding myself I guess. Maybe she sees more often than I would have thought. She came straight out and asked me whether I'd had breast surgery. Strange. I told her I had and she went off to check that I was OK to board the flight. Panic set in. What if I couldn't fly home? I would have to make my way back to a hotel, a thought that I just couldn't deal with right now. About 10 minutes later and after speaking with 2 of her supervisors, she finally checks me in. Phewf! I had some time to spare so I made my way to the Business Class lounge. I didn't feel like eating, so just chilled on their sofa until it was time to board. I was glad to be rid of my suitcase though.
It was time to board. Yay. The final stretch. In a way I was wishing I was still in the hotel though. There was nothing to think about there, just recovery. As much as I was excited to see my husband again, this time in our house, with my new boobs, there was a part of me that wasn't looking forward to getting back to the usual processes of life. I was able to board the flight first as I was at the front of the plane. It was awesome, I didn't have anyone next to me either. Nice, big, comfy business class seats with all the room in the world to stretch out and create my own little pillow fort on the plane. I had timed my next valium too, so that I had one to take for the journey home. I was in for a very relaxed trip.
It is always a lush view coming in over Brisbane. The plane landed and my husband met me at the terminal. This was very different to our useful pick ups outside the front gate, this time I needed a hand. It was great to see him waiting for me. We stopped in at Doughnut Time (of course) on the way through to the carpark....they were demolished before we got in the car.
We arrived home through the peak hour traffic. It was nice to be home. A new kind of recovery awaited me now. Home recovery with all the normality of 'life'; kids, pets, chores etc. We'll see how this goes.
H xx :)