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FedUp77

My ETS Story: from surgery day through recovery

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Great to hear your updates FedUp77, really helping to keep my anxiety about the Op down.

I've had a thought about the heart rate and decided that I'll monitor mine everyday now until the Op, then again after to see how drastic the change is.

Anyway, keep up with the updates, my thoughts are with you.

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Day 3 After Surgery:

Chest- I slept pretty darn well last night, no real discomfort, I favored laying on my right side to hopefully help to keep those dreaded left sided pains away today. I can take a nice deep breath now with just the slightest awareness of tightness at the peek volume. Not bad at all considering it's day 3 I think. I have been up and about for 4 hours now and the only feeling I get is a pang of "cramping" inside of my left chest if I breathe in deeply, which is easily resolved if I just release the air. 

Sensation- Still have that tingly scalp feeling, more often than not. It's very odd, and pretty annoying actually. I'm doing a lot of head scratching around here (literally and figuratively). Anyone have any insight about this? Reasoning, duration....

Lap Sites- Just thought I'd touch on the actual sites where the instruments were entered because I haven't spoken about them much. The reason for this, is because I barely notice them. They are a little sore, kind of like a cut. But easily ignored. Now that my chest (lungs I think it was) is not feeling that heavy pressure, I can easily sleep on my sides with no problem, which is a relief because I am a side sleeper. I also have no discomfort (nor have I ever had since surgery) with lifting my arms, holding heavy object, reaching for tall shelves.

Heart rate- I have logged it five times in the last 24 hours and my average is 50. I'll take it! I had done the same in the 24 hours before and was averaging at 45. Hopefully it will continue to improve and I can let this fear go to rest. 

Sweating- I woke up rather sweaty last night, not typical for me. The oddest part was that the back of my legs and ass had a film of sweat, but so did my upper chest/cleavage area. To the point where there were drops. Huh.

Blushing- I keep putting myself in situations that I am pretty sure I would have blushed in before, I was very outgoing with my daughter's friend's mother this morning when she came to the house. Lots of jokes and story telling, not one blush (at least I don't think so...I did feel the beginning of the blush panic, but just moved forward hoping it wasn't real. Checked my face upon returning inside, pale as could be, so if the blush in fact came, it went quickly still. :))

General Well Being- Today I feel like myself. Laughing, silly, and happy. So far so good there. I do still feel a little tired and fuzzy headed (I think, although I could be overthinking things), but I am still attributing this to the fact that surgery was just 3 days ago.

*That's my update for the day as I am booked solid after this (and hence my advice to not do that to you yourself so soon after surgery, I honestly wish I could just rest today).

Oliver- I'm glad you are finding these updates helpful. It's certainly an overwhelming undertaking, but hopefully going for ETS will turn out beneficial for us both. When is your surgery date?

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FedUp77 - Thank you for your feedback.

The ideia is to do the surgery this year but I will discuss the heart bit "situation"  with the doctor :-)

Edited by tiago
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Great to hear your updates FedUp77, really helping to keep my anxiety about the Op down.

I've had a thought about the heart rate and decided that I'll monitor mine everyday now until the Op, then again after to see how drastic the change is.

Anyway, keep up with the updates, my thoughts are with you.

Hello Oliver.

Your surgery is scheduled for when? Your doctor will perform the cutting or clamping technic?

Regards

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Day 4 After Surgery:

Chest- Pain is gone.

Sensation- Face/scalp tingling is gone. Breast numbness is the same.

Sweating- Nothing really last night, my feet do feel (much) hotter than usual in my sneakers though, and my bottom half in general feels hotter than my cooler top half.

Heart Rate- Today's average is 55! :)

Energy/Well Being- Some moments I feel great, some I feel a little "off", kind of fuzzy headed and just not 100%. I'm honestly not sure of how much of this is actually in my head. I'm an over thinker (surely you've caught on to that one). Last night I had a great normal night out, until I had one beer and I got very flushed (alcohol and heat are flushing triggers for me). I then felt defeated and truly worried that this didn't work, it took over all of my thoughts for a bit during dinner. I've had severe moments of dread/anxiety since then. I'm worried that once I return to work this week I will blush in my meetings and there will be no change. I am officially obsessing and expecting the worst. I'm not sure how to handle this in all honesty, I'm just glad I can come here to share this as I have no outlet for these fears IRL. Occording to my husband and 2 friends who know of my surgery I now feel better and everything should be good to go now! Ugh.

I hope I get some sleep tonight, my stomach is turning and I'm so apprehensive for these upcoming "moments of truth".

tiago- Please keep us posted on your doctor's feedback about the heart rate questions. Wishing you well.

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Fedup, I was exactly the same straight after my surgery. There is actually a post on here somewhere with me saying how do I get this reversed! It's the initial shock and panic but it will pass the more further down the line you go and the more you adapt and adjust. 

Its the best decision I've ever made and that's me a year on, knowing I was looking into reversals days after surgery shows how it makes you panic and think the worst. I think it's because it's final and it's change, not many people adapt to change well. Give yourself time and I'm sure you will look back like me and know you've made the right decision, everything will be ok, it's early days yet xxx

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Fedup, I was exactly the same straight after my surgery. There is actually a post on here somewhere with me saying how do I get this reversed! It's the initial shock and panic but it will pass the more further down the line you go and the more you adapt and adjust. 

Its the best decision I've ever made and that's me a year on, knowing I was looking into reversals days after surgery shows how it makes you panic and think the worst. I think it's because it's final and it's change, not many people adapt to change well. Give yourself time and I'm sure you will look back like me and know you've made the right decision, everything will be ok, it's early days yet xxx

Befree- I can not thank you enough for these words of support, encouragement, and kindness. I could not have gotten this from my real life support system today, they just don't have the tools to help me right now, nor do I expect them to. Thank you for this gift!

and...ETS doesn't typically help flushing, it more targets blushing. Right? Right?! ?

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Day 6 After Surgery:

*It's a been a busy couple of days for me with getting back to work and digging out from being gone. The craziness was actually a welcome change, as you all have probably noticed, my mind can get away from me a bit and it was nice to feel grounded and focused on something other than over-analyzing every symptom and possible future outcome. So here is my latest.

Chest- No pain.

Lap Sites- Sore to touch, slightly swollen. I am "aware" of them still.

Upper back (between the shoulder blades)- I started with soreness and twinges here yesterday, I'm assuming this is where the nerve was actually cut. It is a bit better today. 

Throat- This morning I noticed a mild sore throat. It has to be from having an airway in the OR from getting general anesthesia. It's just kind of there, not painful, but a reminder that I am not even close to healed yet.

Heart Rate- Unfortunately I am still averaging around 48 beats per minute. If this weren't happening I would have a lot less "doubt" in general. 48 is low and had me worried yesterday as I had a temporal headache that lasted all day long, kind of like that mild woozy carsick feeling you get when you read in the car or when you are super hungry and need to eat. Today the headache was gone but I am tired. Granted, I did just finish up my 2nd 12 hour work day in a row, and I haven't been sleeping great due to my mind being in overdrive. I hope I start to feel 100% soon so I can put these fears about this new lower heart rate possibly effecting my brain's oxygen saturation at rest. That's kind of a big deal.

Sweating- Sunday night I was very concerned as I woke up extremely sweaty all over (except for my head). I am not a sweater, have never been. But as for last night, I did not sweat. Not at all. So I think this was what I have seen referred to as "purge sweating" which is a phenomenon that happens around day 4-5 post ETS where you sweat profusely for a few hours. I am glad that I had read something about this in the past because it was disconcerting even still.

And now for THE update: 

Blushing- I. Did. Not. Blush. Not at my high stress meeting, not when I was telling personal stories to my friends, not when I was singled out and asked something I did not know the answer to. Nothing. I am so excited to be able to type this, I was so concerned that this did not work and I had traded some not great side effects for nothing in return. I will say that yesterday was full of phantom blushes and I honestly wasn't sure if I had blushed or not at times, I think I was thinking too much about things. I kind of had to "break the idea in" and throw caution to the wind, and at today's meeting I didn't even feel the "burn" nor the heat in my cheeks, plus I peaked in the bathroom mirror right after and was pasty and pale. I used to stay bright splotchy red for hours after this monthly meeting, especially if I hadn't taken Ativan before. What a difference, no negative thoughts, no obsessing, just contributing to the meeting and being present. What a concept, just being "me". This is proof that blushing is a physical condition that brings on the negative mental cascade to follow. Of course it is early yet so we will see what happens with these side effects (hopefully they will improve) and with the blushing (please tell me it will stay gone). I have to say, I was already pretty outgoing and confident, I can just feel these characteristics getting stronger with every non-blushing success. I wonder if people noticed that I was taking things a bit further than usual, and I was being a bit more of an instigator than usual? I am going to start really annoying people! :)

tiago- I can take the flushing as I know it's triggers and can avoid them if needed. I think it was more worrying than anything to me that I was flushing before I could truly test my blushing. It made me think that ETS maybe didn't work for the blushing too. 

liss- Here it is, hope you're well!

Befree- True. I love the heat too so hopefully this won't change my ability to tolerate it.

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Day 7 After Surgery:

*Pretty much the same physical state as yesterday, my throat is less sore, my upper back twinges if I sneeze or move quickly, and I did some ample sweating (chest and below) again last night. Not a great thing. I walked a few miles today in the 85 degree heat and felt hotter than I think I normally would have, definitely missing not sweating from my head for temperature regulation. My feet feel hot all of the time too, not too sweaty, but hot. I have also been dealing with consistent mild dizziness today, and I feel pretty nauseous. The nausea must be my nerves as I am really fretting about this heart rate drop effecting how I feel generally on a day to day basis. Today I hate to admit that I feel regret when I think of these side effects but still thankful when I consider the blushing. I am worried for my future and for what might still be to come. Pacemaker? More sweating? Inability to regulate my temperature? Intolerance for exercise? I could use some past ETS-ers input here if there are any lurking.

tiago, liss and Didi- Thanks. Not blushing has been such a wonderful thing this past week. Although as you can hear, I am still very concerned about the side effects and ones to possibly come in the future.

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Fedup77, Do you see blushing as a big thing now? Do you think we can live our lives being red like tomatoes on those awkward moments we hate? Or would you recommend surgery? 

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Fedup77, Do you see blushing as a big thing now? Do you think we can live our lives being red like tomatoes on those awkward moments we hate? Or would you recommend surgery? 

I know severe blushing is awful, limiting and not fair. I do love that I don't blush now. It's the fact that I generally don't feel well these days. Time will tell, just trying to give an honest play by play account of my experience. 

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Hello, I am new to this and gave just found your story. I am also a dreaded facial blusher!!! I am considering ets surgery and am interested to see how your experience goes ( so far sounds very positive and am over the moon for you!!!) I have found vascular surgeon called rojer bell, in Melbourne aus, he has performed over 800 ets for facial blushing surgerys (does anyone know if this is alot) and am considering having ets here is Australia as I am here on a working visa and seems cheaper and possible more experienced ( I'm from England). But my question is I am only 22,  would you consider waiting before having this op, i am having mixed emotions as I am putting off starting a career as I prefer to fade into the background, I cant do dates (unless in an almost pitch dark restaurant of my choosing or if I get drunk before hand which never goes well as you can imagine!!!) and it's effecting my overall enjoyment of life, I feel I may be wasting my young years but also don't want to rush into anything and have terrible side effects :( I too am a worrier and I'm in two minds about it ( probably more like 8 minds)!!  Good luck fed-up I hope the results continue to be positive for you!  X

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Hello tiago, thanks for a reply, nice to meet you! Yes Alright i will do as I want to go to the best possible and I've seen some people say there surgeon has done over 2000 of theese ops so maybe 800 is low I am not sure. I'm so scared of having a drooping eyelid and cs!! But the blushing has to stop!! 

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Fedup I know its difficult with all the changes going on with your body right now but try not to worry. Your body is adjusting and it will take several months until things calm down. Your body will learn to cope with the heat better and your heart rate may go up. Mine did but it took months to do so. The best thing right now is to take it easy and drink plenty of water. Have you tried to work out for 10 minutes and timed your heart rate after? Perhaps try working out for 10 - 20 minutes a day to get your heart working harder xxx

 

 

 

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Hello, I am new to this and gave just found your story. I am also a dreaded facial blusher!!! I am considering ets surgery and am interested to see how your experience goes ( so far sounds very positive and am over the moon for you!!!) I have found vascular surgeon called rojer bell, in Melbourne aus, he has performed over 800 ets for facial blushing surgerys (does anyone know if this is alot) and am considering having ets here is Australia as I am here on a working visa and seems cheaper and possible more experienced ( I'm from England). But my question is I am only 22,  would you consider waiting before having this op, i am having mixed emotions as I am putting off starting a career as I prefer to fade into the background, I cant do dates (unless in an almost pitch dark restaurant of my choosing or if I get drunk before hand which never goes well as you can imagine!!!) and it's effecting my overall enjoyment of life, I feel I may be wasting my young years but also don't want to rush into anything and have terrible side effects :( I too am a worrier and I'm in two minds about it ( probably more like 8 minds)!!  Good luck fed-up I hope the results continue to be positive for you!  X

Thank you jo23. I don't think there is an ideal age for ETS, just when you feel you've done all of the research and then if you are ready to "take the gamble". I think a history of 800 ETS surgeries for blushing sounds like a lot! That's ideal. I might inquire to speak with past patients and see if there is some data collected of success/satisfaction both short and long term that you could check out. Good luck in your journey, wherever it leads. 

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Fedup I know its difficult with all the changes going on with your body right now but try not to worry. Your body is adjusting and it will take several months until things calm down. Your body will learn to cope with the heat better and your heart rate may go up. Mine did but it took months to do so. The best thing right now is to take it easy and drink plenty of water. Have you tried to work out for 10 minutes and timed your heart rate after? Perhaps try working out for 10 - 20 minutes a day to get your heart working harder xxx

 

 

 

Befree- This is so helpful to know. I will give it time. I need to take a step back and stop perseverating on every little twinge felt:drip of sweat dropped. I honestly think I worked myself up into an anxiety attack last night about all of this and then I was attributing the resulting symptoms to ETS, and not panic/anxiety (I have had this feeling twice before due to overthinking things in my life, but I always suffer silently and work my way through it alone, which I did last night but man was that hard while at work! My coworkers kept asking me if I needed to go home sick and as much as I wanted to and probably should have, I dont just "go home sick"). I need to get my mind on other things. I need to focus on living well and working through this time of adjustment. I hope this will allow for a general sense of feeling better and peace with the ever changing outcome. I don't blush, goal met. My life is amazing still, goal met. The rest will have to just simmer down and settle in. ;) No more hourly pulse taking for me.

Oh, and I was able to get my pulse in the 110s with some power walking yesterday and felt fine (other than the blazing hot yet not sweating head and very hot feet). This sounds promising. 

And so on that note, today is a good day and it will continue to be so! :)

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Delighted for you Fedup, I've never had the surgery but as far as I know it mainly targets blushing and not really flushing. Although some people have reported improvements in their flushing whereas for some the flushing stays the same. 

I suffer from both but luckily I've found a tablet that works wonders for me so I can live a relatively normal life now pretty much free from blushing.

Anyway best of luck, onwards and upwards

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