Blog Post

Jace's Top Surgery Journey – Pt. 4 Post Op and Unwind

This is a six part series highlighting Jace Every and his journey through top surgery.  He has written this series from his perspective of life before, during and after top surgery.  His words, his journey in a completely honest and vulnerable take.  Here is Jace.

Post Op and Unwind

I’m going to try and condense this portion because this potion is more like facts of what to expect when you’re expecting, oh uh, I mean what to expect when you’re post op. There are plenty of tips out about this, so I won’t bore you with too much here. Just a few things that I would say you definitely need to consider and be prepared for.

The days after are rough my friend. They are really rough at times and a little more rough at others. You will not only be in pain, but you will be uncomfortable. You won’t be able to sleep on your side, which for side and stomach sleepers, it’s torture. Mads got me a pregnancy pillow which I would wrap around me and that helped a bit. Side note: YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY PILLOWS DURING RECOVERY! Mads taught me that one. The mountain of pillows she had for me saved me on many occasions. So, gather many pillows of various fluff to make various pillow forts to help with your comfort level.

Mads also found a really great brand of natural lotion mixed, with essential oil, to rub on my chest and muscles to help keep me relaxed. She also gathered face masks, charcoal soap and witch hazel wipes. All of these things helped me feel as clean as I possibly could without being able to bathe or shower. Keeping clean and relaxed really adds to your mental recovery, as well as physical. If you have a high bed, like us, invest in a step stool. Even the strongest of partners/friends can’t get you out of bed. It’s not about the lift, it’s about the fact that they can’t place their hands where someone would normally lift you, so you’ll need the stool to help yourself down. Make sure you’ve gone grocery shopping and have all of your favorite things. Don’t forget to grab foods that are easy on the stomach, in case you deal with nausea like I did. Oh! And no shame in having something soft to cuddle, like a stuffed animal or something, since you won’t be cuddling any humans anytime soon. I had a stuffed Simba pillow that Mads got for me from Disneyland, it was and still is magical!

I dealt with minor pain and more discomfort from the side effects of the narco. It made me nauseous and constipated which lead to bloating. Trust me, these are not things you want to be feeling when you’re not suppose to be moving much. So, it’s very important that you do research of the things that are prescribed to you and listen to  your body. You don’t have to accept the drugs that are prescribed to you with no question. If you are not comfortable with taking something let your doctor know. They are here to help us not harm us. Any who if you do deal with constipation make sure you have stool softeners on hand to take before you even go in for your surgery. Get a jump on it.

Outside of all of that find something to cure the boredom. Make sure you have plenty of shows to catch up on. Play video games. Catch up on some reading. Draw or write. Anything to keep your brain stimulated since your body can’t be. Keeping my mind active helped get me to my follow up where I had my bandages removed. Well, it almost carried me there.

The day I was suppose to have my bandages removed and my big chest reveal, my ugly bipolar disorder showed its face and I went into a huge depressive episode. I have no clue where it came from, then again, I never do. It’s always unprovoked. So unfortunately, my reveal day was stolen from me or rather the joy of my reveal day was. I definitely felt happy somewhere deep down when I looked in that mirror in the doctors office but nowhere near what I could’ve felt given the chance. Now I don’t say any of this for pity or anything of that nature. I say this because you don’t have to have a mental illness for this to occur. I’ll dive into that a bit more next time on my final entry.

What I’d like everyone to pull away from your recovery time is just that, it’s recovery time. Give yourself a chance, cut yourself some slack. Top surgery is a major life changing surgery that many of us have waited a very long time for. It takes a toll both physically, mentally and spiritually. We must allow ourselves time to heal and the room to do so. Never take on more than you can handle. Take time off to breathe and limit the stress on your body. Stay in tune to your body, listen to what it needs and craves from you and give it what it deserves. Although many days we don’t like the body we’re in, it’s the only one we have and its gotten us this far right? So why not let it carry us into the next chapter?