Rick Genter's blog

My chronicle of my experiences, starting with my upcoming plastic surgery.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Tape-free

Today I was able to remove the bandage/tape that covered the incisions. Since the tape was clear plastic, there was no surprise, except for the smell. I was surprised that there was a - stale - smell that came from the incision. I guess I shouldn't be surprised - this was skin that hadn't been washed in 3 weeks :-). I removed the tape just before I took my shower, and it felt good to wash the incision, and now I can start treating it with aloe to further reduce the scar, although it's pretty small as it is.

I've been steadily increasing my walking distance. Monday I did 3.9 miles. Tuesday I did 5.4 miles. Yesterday I did 6.7 miles. I'll probably hold at about that level for the rest of the week, mainly because of the time it requires. Even after 6.7 miles I feel good; in fact, I feel better after walking than I do after sitting around most of the day. Sunday I plan to attempt an 11 mile walk, but I have a ride on call should it turn out to be too much.

Sensation continues to return to the area around the incision. The area just below my navel is still numb, and Dr. Gee indicated that it may be numb for up to a year. The rest of the incision is starting to regain feeling, however, mostly in the form of itching.

Last night I made a surprise appearance at my weight management class. I had decided earlier in the week to go if I felt I could walk the distance (it's a 5.3-mile round trip), and given how good I felt after my walks Monday and Tuesday, there was no doubt in my mind that I would go. It was great to return and see both the staff at the clinic and my classmates. It also was an opportunity to be in a seated position for a little over an hour. I've started sitting more and more this week to prepare for returning to work. Being in a seated position isn't really so much of a problem, but I feel like I need to be careful during the acts of sitting down and standing up, as I can feel tugging and pulling when I do. This process has taught me a lot about how the body is interconnected. For example, the simple act of crossing my legs involves pulling on skin around my waist in ways that I never thought about before.

Monday I return to work. I've been working from home pretty much from the first day after surgery, but it gets a little lonely working from home. I enjoy working from home some of the time, but when you're working on a group project, it's good to have face-to-face interaction with those you're working with. On the other hand, it's so much easier now with instant messaging, e-mail, etc., than it was fourteen years ago, the last time I was working alone at home, that it almost feels like working in the office. Almost.

Monday is also my next doctor's appointment. The surgeon will examine the incisions and see how they're healing (looks good to me :-). Also, I'm hoping he'll remove the remaining stitches. Once I took the tape off I was able to examine the incision much more closely; I do have about a couple dozen stitches - a couple here, a couple there - placed strategically around to help "sculpt" the shape of my body. Dr. Gee really did do a fantastic job.

I plan on writing another entry on Monday after I return from Dr. Gee's, but then I'm not sure when my next entry on this log will be. The next major event (I believe) will be to stop wearing my binder, which I think happens in another three weeks. After that I can start exercising vigorously, doing things like sit-ups and the like. At three months (early December) Dr. Gee wants to take my "after" pictures, since by then the primary healing process should be complete. Since the point of this log was to chronicle my experiences through the surgery and my recovery, and my recovery will be mostly complete at that point, I'll probably stop updating the log at that point.

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