Slipping Rib Syndrome Update – One Week Post-Op

Days Before Surgery

Made it safely to West Virginia yesterday with only one speeding ticket.

Completed another at-home COVID test in my hotel room this morning – hallelujah, negative again!

Completed my blood labs and COVID test at the hospital, too.

Now all we have to do is wait for surgery in the AM – so we are gonna try to sight-see a little in West Virginia while I’m able. 😊

Day of Surgery

Today went as well as expected with only a few hiccups. 

It took 7 pokes to get an IV in me. 🀣 

Dr. H removed all previous sutures – my 10th rib sutures had pulled themselves through the cartilage – I was right, again, as it was slipping.

The 9th rib was rubbing against my intercostal nerves, so he took 1/2 inch of the rib tip cartilage off it and moved all the new sutures further back, and went through the bone instead. 

Accidentally collapsed my lung and I have to watch a large hematoma to make sure it doesn’t pool too much blood – hence that tight wrapping on me and the gauze roll bulging out.

I won’t get to leave today or tomorrow, gonna have to stay an extra day to be safe – but luckily we didn’t have to use the wound-vac machine this time.

So yeah, today was super fun – but I am glad it is over. 🀣😩 

Day 1 Post-Op

It was nice getting to shower today and remove the tape and rolled up gauze pressing on my wound – that thing was on there extremely tight. 

I have also been eager to see the damage done – even though the same incision was used as my last procedure – I still need to see it. 

I probably spent 30 minutes just removing adhesives and the orange coloring on my skin, examining my bruises, and trying to be gentle on my body. 

I am still pretty sore – more than last time – but that is expected with the lung collapse, too. 

I plan on resting as much as I can today since I didn’t get much sleep last night. 

I’ll be ready to get up in the morning for my follow-up with Dr. H so we can head back to

Bilbo and get home. 

Each day will be better. πŸ€ 

Day 2 Post-Op

I had my follow up with Dr. H this morning and was given the OK to drive home. Obviously, I was in the passenger seat and I spent a lot of time in the back trying not to feel every bump in the road in my ribcage. 

I cried it hurt so bad. 

Not even pain meds helped me, if anything I felt worse. 

I felt horrible when we did finally make it home and I’ve been sick to my stomach ever since. 

I need rest and to never drive 6 1/2 hours home on day 2 post-op ever again – this was a terrible decision and proves that waiting until day 7 post-op is beneficial.

Day 3 Post-Op

Today is proving to be difficult. 

I’ve been up and down all night. I’ve been dealing with all-day nausea and bouts of vomiting that is painful on these ribs. I’m not overly hungry and I just feel off. 

Dr. H doesn’t want fluid build-up with that hematoma, so he’s asked me to bind my torso snuggly to prevent a permanent fluid pocket under my skin – this is not comfortable either. 

Yesterday riding home was really tough on me and I’m sure it’s partly to blame for me feeling rough yesterday and today. 

I know I’m another day into the healing process but man, healing is hard. 

Day 4 Post-Op

I’m about the same as yesterday but I’m not taking pain meds – just taking Tylenol like clockwork with anti-nausea meds. The nausea during this round of surgery has been unreal.

I’m still waking up at 1, 3, 5 and 7ish every morning. I’ll sleep for a good hour and wake up restless but I’m managing. 

This surgery side of mine is still pretty swollen and looks 100% different than my healthy side.

I’m still wrapping myself up per doctors orders.

Showering has been my saving grace since I can unwrap myself, relax and decompress. I did eat a full meal this afternoon, so small victories for the win. 

Another day into healing and I am so ready to feel better and back to my normal, no rib pain self.

Day 5 Post-Op

Today is better than the past few days – hallelujah. I actually slept through the night and didn’t wake up as nauseated as I have been. I took pain meds and anti-nausea before bed, so that probably helped. 

Otherwise, I’m on Tylenol and back to my coffee-drinking self. I did get up today and left the house for the first time since the drive back – and no, I’m not driving just yet. 

We had to get our passport applications in – with rush status – so we can get things moving for the Billy Strings London take-over in 2022 – and that is more than enough motivation to get up and moving today.

By the time of the show, I’ll be 12 weeks post-op and oh so ready for my London debut. πŸ˜ŠπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

Day 6 Post-Op 

Better days are ahead! 

No pain meds other than at night and tonight I’m going make dinner – hopefully with little pain. 

I’m still swollen and wrapping my ribs – which is uncomfortable – but I think my side swelling has went down a little bit. 

Tomorrow marks a week since surgery – maybe I’ll attempt a very, very short drive in the morning. πŸ€

Day 7 Post-Op

Another day into healing! I’m a week out from surgery and I attempted to drive today. 

I was sore for the most part but I made it to Kroger and back. I’m probably going to take a few more days off driving before I try again. 

This was also my first attempt at driving without a pillow behind me to brace my ribs since 2018ish? 

I’m up and at it today, though – I’ve made 3 dozen cookies in our new oven πŸ’š and I wrapped some of the last presents I had to do. 🎁 

Day 8 Post-Op

I’m really bundling and wrapping these ribs up tonight. 

We are keeping our tradition of driving around Lexington and looking at Christmas lights, so I wanted to feel extra sturdy for the car ride. 

Every day is a little bit better and I’m hoping the swelling goes down significantly during the next week. 

Also, tikka masala for our Christmas Eve Eve dinner. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’šπŸ›πŸŽ…πŸŽ„

Day 9 Post-Op

Another day of taking it easy on this warmer-than-usual Christmas Eve. I’m resting today and bingeing on Christmas movies and hot cocoa. 

I will have to ride in the car tomorrow to see family and get home – that means I’ll spend a few hours riding in the car – but I will try to plan ahead and wrap myself tightly and bring pillows (and Tylenol) along for these healing ribs. 

Otherwise, I wanted to give you an update for ICBW Blog and to say Merry Christmas to you all and Happy New Year. πŸ’š

102 for 2021 (so far!) Can’t believe I’m finding clovers on Christmas Eve. πŸ’šπŸ€πŸŽ„

Previous Posts on Slipping Rib Syndrome from It Could Be Worse:

Slipping Rib Syndrome – Hansen Technique & One Month Follow-Up

3 Years & Five Surgeries – Slipping Rib Syndrome

3 Months Post-Op Slipping Rib Syndrome

Any Way You Slice it – Thoracic & Hand Surgery, Again

Rib Plating Surgery and Thoracic Appointments

Slipping Rib Syndrome

Author: It Could Be Worse Blog

I am a Kentuckian, a blogger and Crohn's Disease columnist, a military veteran, a model, and a mother to my fur baby, Bilbo. In this blog, I will share my opinions and life experiences, my feelings and problems, with my patient perspective and other health related issues. I will share stories from my life, the good and bad and the real things that others may not be as open to discussing, and hopefully you can (or can't) relate. Thank you! For Me, It Could Be Worse.

4 thoughts

  1. Ive been following you for awhile, Reddit has a good slipping rib group. I had a similar operation as yours Oct. 2021. 9,10 R side. I could never had done the trip you did back so soon. My trip was 7 hours back to NJ. Still hurts to drive. The pain was bad at the beginning then went thru another pain stage at week 3 inflammation not surgical pain. Now the pain is almost gone. I don’t think it will ever be as good as new. Dr Hansen did same surgery where he cut off calcified tip of 9 and drilled a hole and with 10 moved them further attached to 8. Also had 12th rib tip cut off was under 11th. They do feel like they are really on top of each other but they don’t hurt. In April 2022 left side previous resected 10 rebuild attach 9, to 8 and resect 12th rib stuck under 11th. I think it’s a miracle you are not in really bad pain. I’m dreading April operation. Wishing you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. Slow down recovery is tiring and hard, give yourself some self love you deserve it. You’re an accomplished, brave, extraordinary person.

    On Fri, Dec 24, 2021 at 4:24 PM It Could Be Worse Blog wrote:

    > It Could Be Worse Blog posted: ” Days Before Surgery Made it safely to > West Virginia yesterday with only one speeding ticket. Completed another > at-home COVID test in my hotel room this morning – hallelujah, negative > again! Completed my blood labs and COVID test at the hospital,” >

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    1. Thank you for the info – I found the Reddit page! I’m sorry you have another operation and I hope it goes well for your ribs! I know Dr Hansen is the best and you’re in good hands again! Thank you for reaching out – it means a lot. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! πŸ’š

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