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Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:18 am
This thread is to let people tell their experiences with SRS to help us all learn and understand what's it like to get it and live with it.
You can post here if you want or start another thread, up to you. Anyone having questions can ask here or in a pm, again up to you but I wanted to open some dialog about it and we have some good friends who have been through it and can teach us many things!
Thank you all for your support and help hugz
Re: SRS stories
Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:11 pm
I am posting that at the request of a very good friend, Dan. I had S.R.S. and B.A with Dr. Brassard at the Metropolitan Center of Plastic Surgery on Oct. 13, 2010. The official name of the residence is Asclépiade, House of convalescence.
My scheduled date of arrival was Oct. 10, 2010. We arrived in the late afternoon. I called the number provided and was given instructions for finding the Limousine. It took about 20 minutes to get to the residence from the airport. From the moment I met Mr. Robert Clark (the driver) I was treated like a Princess. Doors were opened, my bags were carried for me. This treatment was the norm for my stay. Arriving at the residence I was met by staff. My bags were taken to my room and I was given a tour of the house. After I was checked in they asked if I had eaten which I hadn't. A plate was quickly fixed for me. After that I went to my private room as I was ready to rest. Not all the rooms are private so I was lucky.
The following morning I met some of the other people staying there. I will not give names as it is not my place. It was interesting arriving 3 days prior to surgery. It gives you a chance to get familiar with the staff and also the other residents, all at different stages of recovery. It gave a good indication of what to expect during my recovery. People having surgery on Monday arrive on Friday and so on. S.R.S. is done Mon., Tues., and Wed. Mine was Wednesday so I arrived on Sunday. The most people there were 12 and at one point we were down to 7.
Monday was really the only day I had to play tourist and I made the most of it. I wont go into a lot of what I did but I would recommend seeing Notre Dame Basilica. I am not Catholic and for that matter I am not very religious but that was perhaps the most beautiful building I've ever seen. Tuesday I wanted to stay close as I had bowel prep that afternoon. My son and a friend came with me and we spent the afternoon enjoying a park that runs along a river right across from the residence. The fall colors were beautiful. I do want to say that the Metro train system is very easy to figure out. Language can become a slight barrier but I found most people would use English when they realized just how bad my French is.
At 4 PM Tuesday it was time to get serious. It was enema time and they check to see the genital area is shaved properly. Oh joy of joys. Following that it was time for supper and at 7 PM the woman that was to become my surgery sister and I were taken next door to the Hospital. After checking in it was again enema time. After that I was ready for a sleeping pill and rest. The hospital does not have T V and very spotty Internet connection. Honestly I was fine without either. You sleep a lot after surgery.
Early Wednesday the Anesthesiologist came into explain the process. It was then we learned they prefer a Spinal Block rather then being put to sleep. Don't worry, you wont remember a thing. The theory is that with a Spinal it gives you a 4 hour window on pain control after. I was taken to the O.R. at about 10 AM. I really do not remember waking up in recovery. You’re paralyzed from the waist down which feels very strange. You Will have a large surgical dressing on your genital area and ice packs. I really did not hurt bad there but my breast hurt a lot. Intense burning pain that was controlled with meds. By 10 PM I was able to stand by my bed with help. I had severe dizzy spells at first. Thursday it was time to walk. By late afternoon I was able to take a short walk with help. By Friday AM I was able to walk on my own. After breakfast it was time to go back to the house.
The rest of the day was spent resting except for meals. Meal time is special at the residence. I never had a bad meal. There is also a bowl of fresh fruit and also a try of snack bars for anytime your hungry. Coffee, tea, soda are available anytime.
Sunday was a big day as the surgical dressing was removed and I saw my vagina for the first time. It looked red and raw with two lines of incisions. The vagina itself has 3 stitches to keep it closed and the vaginal packing in place. The tube from the catheter is hanging out. You’re also able to shower for the first time which is nice after 4 days. You also start sitz bath the day the dressing is removed. The next big day to look forward to was Wednesday when the vaginal packing is removed. I can not tell you what a relief that is. Prior to it coming I had a feeling of severe constipation even though I wasn’t. Apparently between the stint and the swelling my urethra was partially blocked. When the packing stint was removed it freed the pressure. The result was urine leaked around my catheter. Not very pleasant and to top it off this was the day I had to start dilations. It was enough of a issue that Dr. Brassard ordered the catheter removed a day early. That was really the only problem I had.
Every one chooses the Surgeon that is best for them. I’m no different. I started researching the leading Surgeon’s 5 years ago. A big factor in deciding to go to Montreal was the house of convalescence. I’m going to end this narrative with some about that. I know most Doctors keep you in the hospital 6 days and then you are on your own. Personally I was not ready after 6 days to be on my own. The extra 6 days I had at the house made a huge difference in my recovery. I never felt the staff was just there to do a job. Every one did whatever they could to make me comfortable but respected my privacy. The meals were excellent in my opinion and mealtime gave everyone a chance to touch base with the others. The people farther along in recovery helped the people just back from the hospital. I wish I had a tape recorder of some of the conversations. At one point there were 3 guys recovering and they added so much laughter. Of course us women had to joke back about learning to aim there new anatomy, the danger of zippers and of course the font to be used the first time there name is written in the snow. Mealtime was also time when the staff passed out meds and changed towels in our rooms and remade our beds. I made friends there that I hope last a lifetime.
Two nights before I left the night nurse was talking to me. It was the start of his weekend and knew this was our goodbye. He gave me one of the best hugs I have ever had. There were more hugs as the day to leave approached. One nurse came from the hospital to make sure she said goodbye. Dr. Brassard is perhaps the most compassionate man I’ve meet. As I said everyone seemed to be genially concerned by our recovery and not just doing a job.
If I had to do it again would I? Yes and I would go to Montreal. I am 6 weeks post op as I write this. I feel good, complete. Recovery is a lot of work at times but so worth it. I have found an inner peace I never dreamed was possible.