I just posted the newest pics of my knockers on the pictures page. Wonder who came up with the name “knockers”. Lol. Anyways, you will see there is still a bit of difference between the lest and right. Maybe my lat was more dense on the right because in am right handed? Who knows. I also have been having some serous drainage from my right nipple graft. I had noticed it last week, but thought it was just some staining on my bra, but then I paid attention and I noticed that I had some everyday. There is no odor, no redness, no swelling, and it’s not hot, so I figured I would bring it up at my appointment. On the left side there is a stitch sticking out that I can feel when I am putting lotion on (NOT aquaphor) and hopefully he can look at that too. I wonder if the difference in my breasts are because the right hasn’t fully settled yet, or if a bigger implant should have been placed on that side because of being expanded further on the right. I will be interested to see what he has to say about it all.
Ahhhhhhhhhhh (the sound of relaxation)!!!!! I finally got some rest this weekend. Mind,body,and soul. On Friday my roommates, G, Jim, and Strano and I traveled up to the Hampton’s to visit our other, very pregnant roommate P. I know, what a hardship, going to the Hampton’s and staying for free. It doesn’t sound very relaxing traveling that far for a short weekend, but you need to understand what these people mean to me.
None of us were able to make it up there (except for G) over the winter, for one reason or another (Snow, surgery, horrific life events (love you Jim), work, etc.). I missed her baby shower because of my surgery and snow. I missed a lot due to my surgery. These people that I mentioned, with the addition of Katy (who couldn’t make it because a little one at home) are the people that feed my soul. They are the people who have made the biggest impact on my life other than family. We all met up at Bloomsburg University and ended up living together at the 2.8.7. our senior year. I must say, best.year.ever. Wildest year ever. Probably, the best year of my life thus far. (I love to use the word thus, it makes me feel so smart). These people are the glue that holds me together when I can’t do it myself. They center me. They build me up, not break me down. They would stop their lives for me if I needed anything. I can’t even begin to tell you the importance of each of these people in my life, and the depths of our relationships. G,P, and I were ALWAYS together. We had all the same classes and did EVERYTHING together. If we were seen without each other, people would ask what was wrong with the missing person. We were a unit. I lived at the 2.8.7. for a few years with some other fabulous people, (Miss you Tif – she’s another one of these people who makes my life better), but you would have thought P&G were paying roommates as often as they were there. We all have our different bonds with each other, but we all are always there for each other through thick and thin. I still am so sorry Jim, that my surgery prevented me from being there in person through your struggle, but please know I was there in spirit. We all went to Bloom, and very few of us are actually working in the field that we studied while there, but God put us all there for a reason — to meet each other. I am truly blessed to have these people in my life.
So, relaxing…..oh my goodness yes. We surprised P, which was fun, and spent the weekend just hanging out with each other. They live a stones throw from the beach, so we got to spend some time there ( got some great pics).
We we got to just be in each other’s presence. I got to sleep in past 5:30 am!!! I got to sit around without the pressures of having to do this or that. I haven’t smiled or laughed that much in a long time. P looks beautiful. No doubt she will be a fabulous mother. This was the most rest I have gotten since I returned back to work. This weekend was respite that I needed desperately and my tank isn’t on empty anymore. I am one of those people who is lucky enough to have 5 best friends (+ you Julie Hamilton even though you didn’t go to Bloom) so 6 best friends. Many people don’t have that many true friends in a lifetime. Thank you God for blessing me beyond measure.
2.8.7. I love you all, thank you for being my friends.
PT yesterday was much easier than in the past so I wasn’t expecting to wake up so sore. As soon as I moved I was aching. Mostly under my armpits and my “side boob”. This is where my entire lat muscle was threaded through to be placed at the base of my breast. It’s all muscular pain, I know that. It’s like when you go to the gym and workout real hard and really feel it the next day. It’s just such an odd place to hurt. My side boobs…bahhahahahaha. I also had my lats massaged out, which is more like deep penetrating pressure on them, so I think a lot of toxins were released just like they are with any massage. I tried to drink plenty of fluids to flush them out. I am such a wimp, I know. But sometimes you just can’t change who you are. Be it a wimp or a Beast.
I crashed pretty hard when I got home from work today. Normally I am very careful not to sit down when I get home from work until I get all my stuff done, but today I made the mistake of sitting for a second to pet Vee and Lola. Well, I woke up 2.5 hrs later with my coat still on and zipped, my sneakers on and my bag still on my shoulder. oops. Needless to say I wasn’t Patty productive when I got home from work today. Oh well, I guess I needed the rest more. I am really looking forward to the day that I am “normal” again and can do simple things without needing a nap. thursdays are usually my toughest days. I looI forward to not being constantly exhausted. I hope this isn’t a permanent state.
One day at a time, one day at a time.
I had PT today. First time in a little over a month, and I must say it wasn’t that bad. I do my PT twice daily at home, but I haven’t had to take the time to drive into Philly like I was doing weekly before. They were really impressed with my ROM, apparently I am better than “normal” and they were impressed with my strength. 2 points for T. It was the standard appointment, moist heat, manipulation, more manipulation, massage, exercises ( I got bumped up to the blue band, strength level 3) then some stretching. Then I got my lat scars massaged out. Now you hear massage and think “ooohhh, i bet that felt good” no. Nope. Negative. Absolutely freakin not. That crap hurts. But, in the grand scheme of what I have been through, I feel like a huge weenie complaining about a little scar massage. He was very pleased with my progress but told me I look tired and was a bit worried about that. I told him the truth, that I am in a constant state of tired, but it’s tolerable. and honestly, no matter when I would have returned I would be the same amount of tired. It’s a conditioning process and I am still “in training”. I am trying to optimize my diet so that I can ward off all of these colds that are going around (knock on wood), so I can heal faster, lose a few, and be clean inside and out. So, no processed anything, very limited red meat ingestion, no alcohol, fish at least 2 x a week (none from pacific coast or imported from other countries), natural sugars, only from fruit, whole grains only, at least 2 probiotic servings daily (I <3 kefir), olive oil and flax seed oil, a high quality protein serving at every meal, at least 90 oz. of water daily, and lots of green tea. Why am I doing this? If I did something as radical as prophylactically removing my breasts and reconstructing them, wouldn’t it be stupid to shove crap in my mouth? What would be the point of all this if i continue to abuse my body in other ways. It’s kind of a no brainer for me. This surgery is an eye opening experience. Surgery is not the end all fix all for everything, so I need to treat my body like the temple that God created and properly nourish it. Ok, rant over.
So back to the whole title of post. I didn’t have to make a new appointment for PT. Dr. Greaney only has office hours on Monday and Friday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, an outside physical therapy company uses the office for all of the patients that need PT. The nurses are there, and on Wednesdays the nipple tattoo guy is there, but no docs. He is going to come in on April 4th (Friday) when I see Dr. Greaney to evaluate me. He is going above and beyond, coming in to the office on a day that he is not to be there, all to accommodate me. Wow. People do nice things all the time. This helps me so much because I don’t need to make special arrangements with work for another appointment, I can combine the two. I have a feeling that he will release me from PT then. You have all read the words that I have put in this blog about hating PT, but in all honesty, it has helped me more than I care to admit. I am tired daily now, but if I wouldn’t have been put through the vigorous PT, I would be in super bad shape. And I would probably still have T-Rex arms. Apparently most people choose not to do the PT. I can’t imagine they have had such great results like I have. I am thankful for it, no matter how much I bitched about it.
Another hurdle jumped….only a few more to go.
So the last time I posted, I was telling you all how tired I was. Yes, I am still exhausted, shattered would probably be a better term, but I got a break today. I work with a very amazing group of people. Sometimes, when patient census is lower and we have a lot of nurses working we get flexed down (people get the option to go home early, if no one volunteers, we have a list that shows who is next). Well today, my co-workers were nice enough to let me be the one who got to leave work early. It was so considerate of them because oh my goodness do I need a nap and my body needs a break.
Its amazing what the human body can do when you just tell yourself you have to. I am amazed with myself everyday at how far I have come. My body has been through so much, but I did it. I still have a long way to go, I know this, and I need to keep that in mind, but with people looking out for me at work like they do, I don’t have to stress so much about staying afloat.
Thank you ladies for letting me be the one that was able to leave work to come home and rest. I appreciate your kindness more than you know.
It’s been a while since I have posted and there is a reason for that. This phase of my recovery has easily been the hardest part. It is hard to to work everyday. But the hardest part is trying to manage all of the other aspects of my life along with working a full time job. By the end of the day I am mentally and physically exhausted. There is cooking and cleaning, and bill paying and trying to figure out ways to schedule appointments, sick husbands, emergency vet trips, call, and two time a day PT. I by no means am complaining, I am just trying to adjust. I am adjusting, s l o w l y.
Everyday I am exhausted. Like if I sit down I won’t get back up kind of exhausted. But I get up and do it because I have to. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and just do it. My biggest problem is my back. Everyday after work it hurts. Some days are better than others, but today its particularly bad. Today was my 10th day of work in row. Two more to go and then I get a break. When is this back pain gonna end? I don’t know. But I do know it’s temporary and will soon stop. I’ve been having some pain under my armpits too but it’s all muscular from my lats. So when I come home I can take the Valium prescribed for the muscle spasms and there is relief. The muscle spasms are getting better in the front base of my breasts, but still very present in my under arm area.
I don’t think anyone could have prepared me for this transition. So I am trying very hard to hold it all together and get everything done. So 530 am wake ups, to get exercises and some chores done before work, then work, then home to cook dinner do some more chores only to pass out as late as I can possibly stand. Which is usually 10. Last week I got done with work early one day, came home, napped from 430-800 got up, used the bathroom, and went back to bed. I don’t even think I really sleep, I think I fall into a coma.
I will get it together, it’s just taking me a long time, and my body can only heal so fast. This is all temporary. That seems to be my mantra lately, I can do it, this is temporary.
I am completely crushed. I mean, one look at me and you can tell I’m shredded. But, I must say that it is a completely satisfying kind of tired. I went to work and helped someone today. I am useful. I am productive. I am needed by someone. I care for people throughout the day and it feels good. Really good. It especially feels good when I work with women who are going through something similar to what I went through. I can offer some insight, and really understand how they may be feeling. This whole journey has been something that I have shared with whoever wanted to read, but the experience is one that is mine alone. No one can jump into my head and really know what it’s like. It would have been nice to have someone that could tell me who really knew that it would get better. What to possibly expect. I had MANY,MANY, MANY people who could tell me what I might be able to expect, or that it will be ok and I may have some discomfort, but they can’t really know because they haven’t experienced it. I appreciate all of the love and support, I am not diminishing that. It would be like me telling another woman what childbirth is like. Sure, I can give you the nursing knowledge behind it and what I have heard other women say, but I myself have never experiences it. I am not claiming to know what these women are feeling on a daily basis, what’s going on in their head, or their level of pain, but I HAVE been there, and I have an understanding ear that can listen and tell them what I experienced if they want to know. Many times patients say they hurt a lot, and a nurses response is sometimes, I understand. This is when I can say I TRULY understand. This is when I feel useful. I feel that I have a purpose. Maybe I can do something with that in the future. So even though going back to work full time is exhausting, it’s good for my soul.
I also feel needed when I walk in the door at night. My dogs are so happy to see me it’s ridiculous! This is the best feeling in the world. They follow me around, sit outside the shower until I’m done, “help” me cook dinner aka sit and wait for something to drop, make it hard to breathe while stretching because they insist on licking my face so much, and then they always need to be within an arms reach of me. Love this part of my life.
So while I am ripped to shreds every night, I’m doing it, and I am glad to be back.
I was planning on just laying low this weekend and doing a lot of sleeping/ resting/a whole lot of nothing. Well, that wasn’t the case. I was woken up at 4:44 on Saturday morning to a puking husband. So I spent quite a while trying to help him out. Finally got him back to sleep and on his side and I couldn’t go back to sleep. So I read, let the dogs out about 60 times, ate breakfast, and made a grocery list all before 8:00. Well around 9 Vee comes walking in and her back right leg was bleeding. She has a skin tag on the back of her hock (sp?) the part that bends. So she’s bleeding all over the white Berber carpet in the basement while I am trying to compres it. I am yelling up to Eric to bring down the bandage box and some wash cloths. Finally he comes down gives them to me and hold Vee. I eventually get it cleaned and wrapped, Eric goes back to bed and I try to clean the carpet. Yeah, good luck with that. So I work on that for a while go upstairs and see that she has already bled through the dressing. Great. You know how hard it is to clean an 80 lb dogs back leg while she’s trying to horse kick you? It’s hard. So, I get her dressing changed again, clean myself up and come back down. The dressing looks ok so I figure I should go to the grocery store now because we are getting snow now and I figured it would be crazy packed today. Plus, by this point I was so tired that I knew if I would sit down I would fall asleep and never make it to the store. So I go. When I get back, Eric is still in bed and he says, Vee’s leg is bleeding pretty good. Thankfully I had bought more supplies. So I bring the groceries into the house get out the dressing supplies and change her dressing. She was saturating these big bulky dressings covered with kling. I clean myself up, put the groceries away and eat some lunch. I look at Vee and she is bleeding through her dressing again. Ok, I think maybe something needs to be done. So it’s 3:30, my vet closes at 2 on Saturday and I call and they gave me a number for an E-Vet. I call and they say they are an hour away but she definitely should be seen. I ask if they know of anywhere around me and give me the number to an E-Vet in Allentown. So I call, they say to bring her in, and they give me their address. Ok. Here we go. Vee is very familiar with the E-Vet since she had Parvovirus and both back knees have subluxed and she had to have surgery. Of course Eric can’t go cause he was too sick, so I am loading Vee into the back, trying to keep Lola out of the car, she loves going for rides, and trying to get everything in order. We get to the E-Vet and she has completely bled through her dressing. So everywhere we walk there is a nice blood pool following her. Poor baby. I fill out the paperwork, they get us back into the room and they are all a bit scared of Vee because of her eyes. But the only thing hey need to be scared of when coming in contact with Vee is her trying to give you kisses. So the doc comes in and takes off the dressing and looks and says “Oh yeah, we need to take this off. I am going to have to sedate her and cut an ellipse, pull the skin together and stitch it.” Fine with me, whatever she needs. Well, by the time he’s done looking at it, Vee has stuck her tongue down his throat 5 times, and it looks like my dog got murdered and chopped into bits in the room. He puts a temporary dressing on and says they would be back in to give me a quote and they would take care of it. I wait about 20 mins get the quote and say fine, whatever. They take Vee and I go sit in the waiting room.
So, in the mean time a dog comes in who is old and having a constant seizure, so she took priority over Vee. Totally understandable. i felt so bad for that family. They had to put the dog down. :(. So sad. i am waiting and around 8 they say they are getting started with Vee. The doc comes out like 30 mins later said everything went well and once she is awake enough they would bring her out and I could take her home. They brought her out and she was wasted. Just standing there she was swaying almost fell over a few times. I couldn’t help but laugh, though I felt bad. Settle my bill and walk Vee out. She’s walking like a drunk college student at 3am with a stupid cone on her head. Well, it’s hard to get a wasted 80 lb dog into the back of your 4 Runner when you can’t really lift yourself. Got her in, and she wouldn’t sit or lay down. She had no idea what was going on.
She kinda wobbled the whole way home, but we made it. I had to get Eric to get her out of the car. Poor thing. She came in, ran into everything with the stupid cone that squishes up all of her fat rolls, and just stopped on her blanket and fell over. She thankfully slept through the night.
By this time it’s almost 10, I am tired and hungry and past the point of conversing. I’m covered in random blood, clean myself up, eat, then I realize that I hadn’t done my second set of exercises and stretching for the day. Well screw that, I didn’t do it. It’s the first time in this entire journey that I didn’t complete my therapy for the day. I fell asleep in minutes then.
Today I am still tired, I am sore, irritated and wondering what’s next, because you all know it will be something. That’s life for you. Just glad my baby is ok. Back to work tomorrow, hopefully it doesn’t snow too much.