As of my birthday, September 10th, that day marked my 5th week post-op for the mastectomy with immediate reconstruction for stage 1 breast cancer. This seems to be slow-going, but, as of most recently, especially TODAY, I am feeling a little more ‘normal’, meaning, I have been awake all morning! This is the FIRST day since surgery that I have been able to stay conscious and not need to crawl back into the recliner. How did this wonderful transformation come about? Time – and weaning off the medications. I created medication spread sheets for dispensing my medications to avoid any overdosing. The first two weeks were very well recorded. By the third week, my regular use of pain medication had dwindled significantly and by the fourth week, even further reduction of pain medication was had.
(Aug. 13 – 27th) For the first 2 weeks, I NEEDED Percocets 4x/day for pain. Yes, they worked, after taking one pill, I felt NO PAIN whatsoever because within 15 minutes of ingesting the pill, I was sound asleep! The first 2 weeks were like being a newborn baby all over, eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, clean my wounds, drain the JP Drains, sleep, sleep, sleep.
(Aug. 28 – Sep. 3rd) By the 3rd week, the doctor had switched me to Loritab, a slightly different pain pill. I didn’t like it. It did not let me fall asleep as quickly as the Percocet and I think it made me irritable, or maybe the irritability was due to pain, or withdrawal from Percocet. I took it 2 to 3 times per day.
(Sep. 4 – 10th)Week 4, post-op, the doctor refilled my prescription for Loritab and gave me a prescription for Flexeril in case I liked/responded to that better. Oh, yes. I explained to her that years ago, after being hit in my little Honda Accord, my doctor had prescribed Flexeril for neck and back injuries. Flexeril puts me to sleep nicely and I only used it by taking one pill before bed time.
(Sep. 11 – 17th)Week 5, post-op, I’m projecting here since today is only the 12th, but, there is a major change. I have stopped taking all prescription medications since last night. My exhaustion has been concerning to me. I decided to practice the process of elimination and the first thing to eliminate was the prescription drugs. I began with taking 3 -Tylenol OTC, 3 times a day rather than any Loritab but still took the Flexeril before bed time, until I was having a problem with what felt like swelling under my arm, the side of my body, so I opted for 800mg of Ibuprofen rather than Tylenol. I’ve been taking the Ibuprofen as needed, but the most important change is that I did NOT take any Flexeril before bed last night and I slept well and can function today! YIPPEE!!! I even moved to an actual BED instead of the recliner! HALLELUJAH!!!