Good morning all, Anneyong haseo!
After a relatively comfortable night, I woke at 4am on my day 1 of recovery, working towards a CURE for Lymphodema by day 365.
I was able to get up and use the toilet and wash, walking with my drip pole. ( I shouldn’t have looked in the mirror, though- my hair! Gah!)
Don’t get me wrong- carrying out those initial moves were NOT without pain and discomfort! But I did it, none the less. It is incredibly painful, trying to get on and off the bed with legs that don’t bend, that are very tender, bruised and have drains in them still.
Today, I have been leaking through the bandages quite a lot. Of course, the lymph fluid is active, due to the trauma caused by the procedure I have just gone through.
Breakfast at 4am was a European one, from the food I had brought in with me. I could stand and make a cup of tea. I was so impressed that I was mobile on day 1!
Breakfast at 7:30am was difficult- more Kimchi! nooooo! its just too spicy for me and I’m used to a bowl of cereal first thing.
However, the fried egg was delicious and I had a sweet crunchy apple from my supplies, too.
I managed to get up and move around every couple of hours, so I felt fine! I was pleased with myself, so far, so good.
Then it was time for the dressings to be changed. I was going to see Dr Shim’s handiwork with my own eyes!
I was helped into a wheelchair and we went back down to a secondary theatre in the theatre suite.
Next door in the main theatre was a man having his varicose veins done. He was snoring so loudly ( I really hope mine wasn’t that loud…)
I wasn’t quite sure about what was going to happen next as there were two medical of staff there and there were no words of either Korean or English spoken, not even a Korean greeting… hmm…
The man indicated to me to get up onto the table and he helped me up there, with the use of a little stool, as it was quite high up. My legs were discreetly covered up and then they disappeared for what seemed like eons, but in reality, it was only a few minutes.
I felt quite vulnerable then, I was in the room on my own, not knowing what was next…
The man and the lady came back in and started to unwrap my soiled bandages and then…. the most hideous and unexpected pain, as the man squeezed my legs like a tube of toothpaste, with lymph fluid leaving the drains!
I nearly leapt off the table, but just hung onto my head with both hands instead and yelped until it was finished.
I lay there in a state of shock, praying he wasn’t going to have a second go…definitely not a pleasant experience!
As the pain was subsiding, Dr Shim entered the room and asked me if I would like to see his work. The pain stopped.
Of course I would!
They helped me sit up so I could see and…. WOW! A bit more swollen than the pictures I’d seen, but the ugly shapes from the scar tissue were gone!
The drains stuck out through my flesh- but I could have cried tears of joy this time- they looked so normal! This was the base starting point for recovery and my legs looked so good!
People often say ‘no pain, no gain’ and I’m really not looking forward to a repeat performance tomorrow, but at least this time I will know what’s coming and be ready..
Overall, I am feeling fairly mobile, I can haul myself around and take quite a few steps with no discomfort( I do core exercises, so my back is strong) and I want this so much to work…so I’m doing a little bit of movement, often.
Its now 25 hours since my operation and I’m feeling so happy about what I have already seen and my body’s reaction to the procedure.
I’m alert, mobile and comfortable and ready for a sleep and day 2.
And Day 1 has been a good day, even if my hair looks a mess!