Ok, I have not updated this in a while. I’ve been telling myself I would, but haven’t been up to it. I will be 3 weeks PO tomorrow and when I tell you this has been a JOURNEYYYYYYY, please believe me. Initially, everything will be facts on what happened/the process. Then I will get into how I felt. It’s a long one, but if you want to know what to expect it might be a good read. Let’s flashback to the days after my surgery, shall we? Okay, so I had surgery that Wednesday, May 20th. I explained in my previous post about how I was feeling at the time in regards to my breast and my initial impression of the New Life’s recovery home, at the time it was cool, just didn’t have English speaking channels. That Friday, May 22nd, I wasn’t feeling good. I had no appetite and I felt very weak, lethargic and hot and cold at the same time. One of the “nurses” or whatever they are, came in to take our every 4 hours vital signs at about8:00pm. She took mine, wrote it down and walked away. So I asked her what was it—of course she doesn’t speak a lick of English, so my roommate had to translate. She then replies in Spanish, “Do you have any medicine to take because your temperature is high.” I’m like how high??? She said 39 Celsius. I googled it and saw that was 102.2 Fahrenheit!! I started freaking out. B!*&H so you were just going to take my temp see that I’m boiling and walk away??? Not say anything? Not make a face?? Not send me a smoke signal?? Nothing?? What the hell!! So I immediately contacted Lesley like yo, these heffas are trying to kill me, my temp is 39 Celsius. I took off all my clothes and the blankets trying to cool myself down and took my Motrin 800mg that I had brought. Lesley contacted Dra. Almonte immediately and within an hour I had Clindomycina and Acetaminophen. That was dope. But you better believe I had them in there every hour on the hour checking my temperature until it went down and stayed down—which it did.
My first post-op visit was the following day, Saturday May 23rd. Dra. Almonte was not there. Raquel and Dra. Tanya changed my dressings and my changed me from a Large faja to a XSmall (still stage 1). They asked about my fever and I told them I was feeling fine. She saw the other girls (it was four of us who went from my recovery home), then we went back. That Sunday, my fever came back and I once again took my motrin and it brought it back down. I went for my 2nd post-op visit on Monday and they ran a bunch of test on me, blood work and urine; everything came back fine—no infection. I wasn’t draining much so they took my drain out—4 days post op. I was leaving early that following Wednesday, so Dra. Almonte wanted to see me before I left. I went back again the next day, that Tuesday. They gave me some antibacteria spray and powder for my breast, changed me into my second stage faja, and drained some fluids that had accumulated on my lower ab sections. I also asked for some syringes and needles so that I can drain myself if I get more seromas while at home. They gave me a note to take with me to the airport that says I’m medically clear to fly. I went back to the house, spent some time with my honeybuns (housemates) packed up, cleaned up and was so ready to go. I was picked up at 5:15am by Antonio, my flight was Wednesday May 27th, at 8:20am. I hate flying U.S. Airways, NEVER AGAINNNNNNNNN. Everytime I use them, my flight is delayed. They either have a plane broken down, a plane stuck some where or the plane is just late. EVERYTIME though?? So I didn’t get back to VA until10:05pm.
Everything was going fine until Sunday, May 31st when I was changing my dressing on my breast with the implant and my skin around my areola came off. It honestly just looked like a regular scrape you would get like on your knee from falling or something. So I wasn’t as concerned, initally. But then it was draining profusely, like soaking through multiple gauzes within minutes. I had to go to my second job and when I say I was in the bathroom every 30 minutes or less changing the gauze, I mean it literally. I was draining like crazy. The worst part is as I was changing the gauze, more and more skin was coming off. I contacted Dra. Almonte with a picture and told her what was happening, she replied an hour later with “okay do you have the water that I gave you?? And busy mederma or neosporine.” So I’m like okay, what should I do about this draining though? Should I still use the powder?? And is this an infection??? Perhaps this is why I had a fever?? No response. I was blowing her whats ap upppp and the two little blue checks would pop up, but she said NOTHING. Then she responds the following day, two pictures, and 10 whatsapp messages later with “the skin is peeling but don’t worry only wait one week and put the pouder and change the gasas every days” I replied “So it normal for it to drain like this?” She says “I want to see the gasas. Send me picture” I sent her a pic of it, and she responds “Don’t looks bad but is good if you take some oral antibiotic.” Wait, what? What type of antibiotic and from where? She has a Doctor friend in NY, so I’m like can he call it in for me?? Nope, he sure cannot. He will not order anything without seeing you—of courseeeeee. So what the heck am I supposed to do?? I posted a pic and explanation on realself for the doctors. Every single doctor’s response was along the lines of “that draining is worrisome.” “You need to see your surgeon ASAP, do not delay” and “it sounds like an infection.” I’m at work feeling like CRAP, worried out my mind. No Lord please don’t let something eat my breast!! I’m terrified. I contacted my Doctor friend and he’s like yeah, it might be infected. I’m like “That’s not what you’re supposed to say!!” Give me some cotton picking antibiotics!! He’s like “no you need to get it cultured first so we know what you need.” I contacted my PCP and GYN, these heffas both said “Nope, I don’t take over surgery complications, go back to your surgeon and see what they want you to do. “ It was like a kick in the gut. Then I just said eff it, and went to the ER right after work. I told them I just wanted someone to look at it and tell me what I need to do before it gets worse. The doctor and ER Nurse looked at it and said it’s not infected. My stitches dissolved before the wound was fully closed so it opened up, but it’s not infected. In fact, it’s healing and they can see the “beautiful healing tissues.” They said the draining is normal and unless it gets thicker or turns to a different color I’m okay, just keep doing what I was doing with the neosportin and gauze and eventually it’ll stop draining within a day or two. Mannn this crap has been draining all week, it slowed down then it picked right back up soaking through—then it slowed down again. But I’m monitoring the thickness and color.
As for the size of my breast, I was pissed off about how small they were. When I took off the bra they had given after surgery and saw the size was 36B… I nearly fainted. A “B” Cup WTHHHH DID SHE DO!!! I was so maddd!!! But when I got home, like two days later, I went to Victoria Secret as one of my boos from the recovery house told me to do. I tried on different sizes and learned the 36 B was way too small. I actually went from a 42 DD to a 38C, not as bad as I thought and with the right bras they still look big. So I’m okay. They actually look great. They are still not completely even, which I knew not to expect, but they are MUCH better than before, God knows.
Okay, I know I’ve been talking a lot about my breast. I did also get Lipo to my abdomen, under arms, and waist as well. Because my breast needed so much work and my hemoglobin was 13.2, she did not feel comfortable doing my arms or flipping me over to do my back as we had initially planned. So they refunded me for that. My back isn’t as bad. So I was okay. Right now, I’m still swollen, but I look good! Prior to surgery I was worried about my arms being huge and having a small body like a Gorilla, but honestly just from removing the rolls under my arm, my arms are able to lay flatter against my body so I look smaller. I must admit, I hate this faja. I’ve outgrown the Large Stage 2 and could really use like a small, so I’m ready to order it. I just hate ordering things like that online and not being able to try it on, that’s why I’ve been so hesistant. I’m hoping to find somewhere local where if it doesn’t fit I can exchange it immediately—but I havent found one yet. I do not wear it as religiously as I should and it causes me to swell back up again. I have had quite a few seromas that I had to drain myself, because I’m so damn stubborn and I find any excuse to not wear this crap. I’ve had to drain seromas on my waist and under my abs several times. I’m trying to eat right so that I do not gain weight in my sexy tummy, but since I naturally lose weight in my butt first, and that’s where I’m losing it LNo Bueno. My measurments right now are 38-36.5-46. That’s very similar to the way it was pre-op- 42-38-47. But then again, I’m still swollen. So I’ll keep you all posted on that.
The structure of New Life Recover House is absoutely gorgeous. There are two levels. Upstairs where I stayed had two bedrooms. One could hold three people, the other where I was could hold 4 patients and a guest. Downstairs where like 5 or so bedrooms that could hold 2-3 patients each. There were two dining areas where we ate, upstairs and downstairs and some chose to eat in their rooms. The majority of the time I ate upstairs with my roommates, but sometimes I ate down stairs. The food use to be cold by time they called us out, but my roommates complained to the owner and it was much better afterwards. There are typlically 3-4 nurses there on each shift and 2 cooks.
Okay, now that all the facts are out of the way. Let me tell you how I really feel. First off let’s discuss Dra. Almonte. She will not do anything to jeopardize your life or her reputation. If you have any health concerns or your numbers are not up to par, she has no problem refunding you your money and sending you on your merry way. I respect that. But what ticked me off is, as I stated in a previous post, Lesley is the one who looks at your pic and gives the quotes. Dra. Almonte does not have a clue what she’s getting until we walk in. So in my case, if Dra. Almonte knew ahead of time that my breast were as “bad” as they were, she could have given me more realistic expectations. I had no reason to believe I was not going to get everything I thought I was, or that I was even really that “bad.” So you can understand my initial disappointment and frustration, right? I get that she would not want to put my life in jeopardy. I’m not mad that we couldn’t do it, in fact, I wouldn’t want to do it if I knew there was a heightened risk involved. I’m just like why did you look so shocked and why didn’t you know I had uneven breast when I sent you a pic and you were supposedly the one who gave me your recommendation on what type of corrective surgery I needed??
As we all know, the DR is not as sophisticated as we are here in the states. But there are some basic practices that I have a hard time straying away from. My first red flag was when they did our EKG, every single one of us noticed when he took the tabs off of our chest he neatly placed them back on the paper to reuse them again. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Then imagine my dismay when I learned the anesthesiologist was the same lady who I had seen outside smoking in the same stained blue scrubs that she had on at the time of my surgery?? She came in, with no gloves, felt for a vein. I said “you’re not going to use alcohol??” Of course she didn’t understand me. Then she just shoved the IV right in my hand, no alcohol wipes or nothing. So whatever was on my skin and her bare hands just went into my bloodstream. I was PISSED. The operating room is very small and after I realized how unsteralized they were, I thought to myself “Aww damn what have I done?!?!” But it was too late, because just as fast as the fear entered my heart, I was knocked out. Nothing could save me now but the blood of Jesus. When I went back for the labs after my fever episode, the lab tech tried to do the same thing. She did use the alcohol cotton ball thingy to clean the area, but with her bare hands she started searching for a vein which just contaminated the area all over again. I pulled my hand back when she got the needle and I gestured she needed to put on gloves. I wasn’t playing this time. I made sure she understood and she cleaned the area again.
Moving right along, Lesley and Dra. Almonte responded immediately to me having a fever. I was terrified that I was about to become a statistic and a “Be happy with what God gave you” story on Facebook and Realself. But they were on it. However, I must say, I am very displeased with the fact that since last week Monday, June 1st till today Tuesday June 9th, Lesley nor Almonte has checked to see if it was infected, if I was able to make it to her Doctor Friend, or if I needed further assistance. It’s really all men for themselves once you’re gone.
Okay, now let’s talk about the Recovery House!! I have to say having my roommates is what got me through without feeling like slapping someone.I had two bilingual spanish speaking roommates who translated for me (God bless them!!). The entire staff catered to them just because they spoke Spanish, literally anything they asked for they got and fast too!!! I was treated right by default just because if I saw what they were doing for them and if they didn’t do it for me then it would be obvious. Plus, if they talked smack my roommates would tell me—or maybe not, who knows. It was a few things that caused me to raise an eyebrow though like they would clean their sections and not mine. They would hide out in my room all types of hours and talk to them while I was trying to go to sleep. Of course, I didn’t know what the hell they were saying so it sounded like LOUD gibberish. My last night there, two new girls came in. One was pissed because her Hemo was way too low to get the procedure she wanted. So she was already on edge. They were up with the lights on at like 11pm just talking their butts off. She finally screamed “SHUT UP!! I’VE BEEN UP SINCE 3 AM, I NEED TO GET SOME SLEEP!!!!” Yeah, they were asking for that. They sure did shut up too whether they spoke english or not, they understood it was time to GO! The other ladies in the house were treated like crap! They would ring their bells and it would take forever for them to answer. I was sooo mad at the way the way they treated one of my boos! Her very first night getting there her bed was messed up, she had just gotten a Tummy Tuck and the head of the bed wouldn’t go down it was in less than a 90 degree angle. She asked if she could move to the working bed next to her and they told her no!!! Could you believe that?!?! She stayed up all night staring at the working bed. She couldn’t lay down… and they wouldn’t allow her to take the other one. I told her she shouldn’t have asked permission, she should have just taken it. She stayed up all night crying. (This happened before I got there) They finally moved her the next day upstairs. She could hardly walk. She asked if they could drive her to the market or somewhere to buy a cane because she was so hunched over. They kept telling her they would and never did. An entire week went by and she still had not gotten taken to the store. Mind you, my spanish roommates had been taken to the market to go shopping and to the bank and I had been taken to Western Union twice. Why couldn’t she go? She had planned on staying an extra week, but when me and my other boo were leaving, she began to panic and cry. If they treated her like that now when she has people sticking up for her, what would they do when we leave?? She got scared and we helped her switch her flight to next available flight which was that Friday morning. We hated leaving her LAfter she switched her flight, our last night we were all down stairs in one of my boos room talking. One of the “nurses” came in to ask the girl something so she knew who was in there. A few minutes later, they called us for dinner. They put mine and the other girl’s plate at the dining table downstairs and put hers upstairs knowing she can hardly walk to begin with. She said “Why is mine upstairs and everyone else is eating down here??” They acted like they didn’t understand her. I went and got her d*&m plate and put it next to mine. They were so damn mean to her!
Wizardt is my FAV, she speaks and understands English and French. Ironically, she was the one who helped them switch my boo from that non-working bed. She is only one nurse who is willing to empty your drains. No matter how full it is, the other nurses will not even look at it. My roommates had tummy tucks so they couldn’t move as much as I could—theirs would get SO FULL!!!! Until they would empty it their selves. She is the only one who would clean you up and help you with your drains willingly. The others?? Forget about it, unless of course you spoke spanish, then maybe, but you could see it all over their demeanor that they didn’t want to. After that “nurse” just took my temp and walked away, I was through with them. I monitored my own meds. They would take your vitals and the monitor they had reads your results out lous and it would say, true example, “your systolic pressure is 88. Your dyastlolic pressure is 54.” They’d write that crap down and move on to the next. When mine read like that I would sit up and have them take it again. It was stupid! I wouldn’t recommend this house to anyone who does not speak spanish fluently. I know everyone’s experience was different, but I have 5-6 people who would co-sign.
I was supposed to be going back to the DR for bigger implants in the next 3-4 months—HELLLLLL to the NOOOO. I would much rather go back to Campos in Tijuana, MX or stick to what I have now. I had enough scares to last me a lifetime. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Almonte, and she is indeed a nice, lovabale Dra, but I’m not about this fever of 102, draining boob, and not getting a response or Doctors advice life.