“It hurts!” I croak out indignantly, remembering the nurse who implied I wouldn’t suffer much pain today. My voice is a horse whisper, but someone hears me and administers more morphine. I keep asking for water; my throat is sore and desiccated from the breathing tubes that had been in place during the 6 hour surgery.
The next several hours are a cycle of me asking for water, sleeping, vomiting water, and being given pain medication.
On day 2 in my hospital recovery room, my catheter is removed and I’m forced to get up to walk to the bathroom. I preferred to move exclusively via the bed being raised or lowered beneath me and find any other movement uncomfortable and frightening.I’m moving my arms so minimally that I can only reach the cup of water on the bed table in front of me if it is placed carefully on the edge. There is so much tightness with every motion, I’m sure my body is telling me to lay still. The nurses assure me otherwise.
I spend most of the time in my small, quiet room sleeping or just plain resting.
My husband spends the first night with me in the room, but I send him home to Little H after that. I'm too tired to even converse. When my parents come to visit, sitting up and making eye contact while they talk is exhausting. I feel dizzy and completely void of energy.
I stare at the flower arrangements on the counter and I stare out the narrow window. Alternating between sleep and wakefulness at my own will is all I can mange today.
Simplified diagrams of a mastectomy with immediate implant reconstruction: