Welcome to the
Perhaps all surgeons are different, but the left rib area was the most painful for me as well. I was coughing a lot because before during and after my surgery I had a lung infection. Have you tried ice on the area? I found it to be comforting.
Most patients don't have problems to the extent that you did, but I'm certainly glad you've made it home and are on the road to recovery! Take those pain meds as long as you need them. You'll probably gradually switch from narcotic pain meds to liquid Motrin or Tylenol, once your pain has subsided a bit. You will probably want to take the heavy duty meds at night...pain always seems worse when you're sleeping.
We do have to educate ourselves and watch out for what we should and shouldn't do after surgery! It's common to be offered inappropriate refreshments in the hospital!
Take it easy, listen to your body, and remember that your outsides will heal long before your insides do. You've had major surgery, and you need to take it easy!