Hi hope I can help with your questions........had first rib removed July 05.....but symptoms are all back with a vengence......here goes.......
Some of my questions:
1.How was it right after surgery? Day of? The first couple days? felt like a train ran over me....trouble climbing stairs out of breath a lot....very tired....had chest tube and only one night in hospital. Was given percocet....lol was on over 150mcg patch of fentanyl so didn't touch my pain very hard to sleep for over two weeks no comfortable positions
2.What was it was like when you left the hospital?
painful.....but I only stayed one night I was at my folks place so Mom helped a lot washed me in tub and did my hair ourside was nice summer so I lay on sunbed and she did it outside
3.What was it like getting around?
Very tired did not leave house for around three weeks..... sucks but no breath and lots of pain couldn't drive had to be taken to doctors etc.......very short of breath I was very slow and cautious all the time
4.What did you need help with? ie. how steady were you, how well could you take care of yourself? Help going to the bathroom? Showering/bathing? I did most of my own care sat in tub and did what I could...leg hair was a non issue pain was main concern and had to deal with that before anything else. No help with going to toilet lots of stretchy sweat pants comfort was key and no bra of course Mom helped in tub for first few days then I was able to figure it out on my own.
5.Did you need help with the incision at all? Anyone just have incisions above and below the collarbone?I had above clavical incision with dressing I changed each day with Mom's help first few times doctor glued...yeah glued my incision shut so no sutures YEAH it healed well but lots of bruising I put a new dressing on each day after bath washed with saline put on polysporin or some abx cream...no name is fine and then no stick pad and gauze then tape
6.How did you manage pain? Did you need ice a lot? [color="red"]Pain meds were key!!!!!!!!!! I had to find right dose and amount but had trouble sleeping till I saw family doctor who is a godsend!!! I did not ice, but did do gentle movements and stretching as I could not too much it was too sore....Ice would be 20 on then 20 off WHATEVER works do it!!!
7.What was it like the first couple of days?
first couple of weeks were hell from poor pain management and then things got better couldn't have a good sleep. hypnosis tapes helped a lot....pm me if you want some for pain control happy to email them to you
8.The first week?see above
9.The second week?see above but got a little stronger breathing easier and could do a little more like wash my hair with help and more stairs and moving around
10.a month post op?was much less pain doing more and felt like less of a train had run me over......rom was much better so could do alittle more
11.two months post op? etc.?better.....no more tos pain gradually coming off all meds doing more....physio started three months after sx so my pain was still there but surgical not Tos pain so each day was better could sleep better and deal with inabilities better that was the most difficult part not being able to do what I wanted to do....type A unfortunatley hope you are not and can relax and not feel guilty like I did
12.How did you deal with meals, dishes, laundry, shopping? Did you use public transportation? Mom helped me with all of this until I could drive agian by october i was on my own driving unloading dishwasher (hope u have one!!!!) bur did need help for sure....used left hand to eat with fork only coulndt use right until at least three weeks post op....
13.How active were you, ie. walking around?tried to walk a lot, but shortness of breath was an issue so limited by that
14.What kind of tools did you use to make it easier for yourself? Any tips/suggestions?Million dollar question!!!! I did only what did not cause pain took it easy and thanked God Ihad my parents to hlep me despite my nature to be independant with all things...I am (was) a nurse to cancer patients. Document all things esp calls to comp or ltd as you may need it .....use voice software if you don't already have it Dragon you can get on ebay for about 20.00 us not a bad deal!!! and sooooo worth investment. As for sleeping lots of pillows to get you in the right positon to sleep it was hard to get comfy.........and you will need help with chores....meals and cleaning for at least a month or more
best of luck....any more questions jsut email me happy to help you out...hope some of this helps rather than hinders...!!!! I used to run too will never do that again....so start grieving now....yoga on the other hand is the only exercise i can do so when you feel up to it do what you can Slowly for sure but it is an amazing stretch.......hope you can get back to it I love it.....mental clarity and all!!!!
hugs and support