Day 1 of recoveryWe set up one of our newly found patio lounge chairs in the living room with a pillow and a blanket so that my husband could recline and take the pressure off his wound. The first day of recovery consisted mostly of rest, lounging around the house, watching movies, and drinking lots of liquids. It was hard for him to do much else with all the pain. The doctor had prescribed him vicodin for the pain, but he didn't want to be dependent on it, so he took them when he couldn't bear it (about 1 or 2 per day).
The doctor said that he wasn't able to take a bath or a shower, because he couldn't get the suture wet, however he still smelled of iodine, so I was able to very carefully give him a sponge bath. This was a difficult task in and of itself as he was still very tender and difficult to move with all the busing and swelling that the surgery had caused.
His diet was very light; I believe he just had some crackers, toast, and lots of water and Gatorade. He had to wear his loose fitting PJ's or scrubs during the first few days of recovery, so that the incision area wasn't causing him pain. All in all the first day was kind of rough and required a lot of time off his feet.
Day 2 of recovery
Going to the bathroom on his own... what an achievement! He was still in a lot of pain, but was able to get up out of bed without holding on to the book shelf or needing me to assist him. He said he felt great and was able to get up and around just fine, so we decided to go to a friend's house for the fourth of July. Today he was also able to shower, however we decided to leave the bandage on just to be safe. He was able to eat regular food again at the fourth of July party, but still ate less then he usually does, but the burger went down just fine, and didn't seem to have any adverse effects. The ice pack was very helpful to reduce the swelling and bruising.
Day 3 of Recovery: Took bandage off
Today he was able to take the bandage off! It was so strange to see a bit of his flesh pieced together by staples, as if his seam had popped and was mended by an amateur seamstress. The Iodine was able to mostly wash off in the shower, but the bruising is still around the effected area. ICE has become his friend.
He is much more mobile, so it looks like he will be able to go back to work after the weekend is over. Since his job requires a lot of heavy lifting, some of his co-workers have offered to help. It should be a fairly relaxed work week ahead.
Day 7 of Recovery: Took staples out
My husband went in for his follow-up appointment and the doctor took the staples are out. There is less pressure on and around the suture area now that the staples have been removed and the skin is released. Half of the incision has healed, and the other half opened up a bit when the staples were removed. The doctor re-assured us that this is normal (even though it's hard to look at) it's actually beneficial to get all the "old blood" (the blood that has been sitting underneath the skin since the surgery).
Fresh bandages and tape are to be applied over the suture area, and needed to be changed often as they would get saturated in "old blood". We had to tape the area really well, as we had a few mishaps with leakage.
Day 11 of Recovery: Bleeding out of suture beginning to lessen and pain is subsiding.
The wound is beginning to heal on it's own, and the need to take the prescribed vicodin is becoming less and less. He is able to get around just fine, but he still has to be careful when lifting heavy things...