FYI… Incase you all don’t know, I used to work as a nurse in PACU (Post Anesthesia Care Unit) and have come across many women who have had mastectomies with a latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction. Frequently I hear these patients say that their doctor told them that they would never be able to hold their arms up over their head, swim, play tennis, or start a lawn mower ever again. I find this to be odd. Sure, I had intense physical therapy which is probably the reason that I can do all of these things, but I CAN do all of these things. With ease. In fact, I just finished hiking 24 miles rim-to-rim across the Grand Canyon with a 30 lb pack on my back and didn’t have any issue. I am pleased that my doctor pushed me to go to physical therapy, and thankful that my physical therapist took the time the make sure I was able to function normally. So for all of you out there that are facing the same things that I have, there is hope that things will eventually return to normal. Right now they may seem hopeless and so far away, but as someone who has been through it, you will get there. God is good, and has engineered the human body to be able to endure and overcome. Hang in there!
It has been a while…
Which is a good thing in my book. I am finally falling into a nice rhythm. The nerve pain seems to have eased up a little. The muscle spasms are much less frequent (thank goodness). Every day is getting easier. I’m not gonna lie to you, the first month back to work was EXHAUSTING. I don’t think I have ever been that tired and worn out continually in my life. But, for all of you out there, it does get better. I don’t finish every day blown to smithereens. When I first returned to work, I couldn’t sit down when I got home until I had completed everything I needed to do. If I did, I would be toast. Burnt to a crisp kind of toast. There were days that I made that mistake, only to wake up 2hrs later with my badge, shoes, and winter jacket on with my car keys still in my hand. Now when I get home, I feel like a “normal” person. Sure, I am tired, but it’s just the kind of tired you get from standing and working all day. My scars are feeling better. Regular bras don’t bother my lat scars even close to as much as they did. I’m not having any pain and my ROM is very good. No problems reaching for things for this girl. I have noticed that I have a hard time doing things like tricep dips. I have a feeling that has to do with the new position of my lats. I continue to do my PT. It really isn’t difficult anymore, just an annoyance that I have to do it, but I will continue to do it because no matter how much I hated it, I feel that PT helped me the most. So, if there are any words of advice that I can offer someone having this procedure, having gone through it myself, it is DO THE PHYSICAL THERAPY. I read a lot of other peoples blogs who are still having lots of pain 6 months, a year, 2 yrs out, and I often wonder if they were offered the extensive PT that I was and if they continually did it. I am almost 2.5 months out from my last surgery and I must say, I FEEL GOOD!!!! So ladies that are doing research about possibly having this done, know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and it does get better! And if any of you out there have questions, leave me a message on here, I will happily answer! God is good.
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.
I traveled to Philly today for what I was hoping was going to be my last physical therapy session. Nope. Wrong. I have to go back in a month. I will take that. They were very pleased with my progression. I have full range of motion back! My left is still tighter than my right side, but it has always been that way. If I were guessing I would say that’s because I am right handed and use that arm more. Who knows.
The physical therapist was looking at my back and I was telling him that my back scars bother me sometimes and sometimes they hurt. I can’t wear racer back bra’s because they sit funny on my scars. He felt around and said that’s because apparently my lat scars had adhered so they needed to be massaged out. In other words, the fibers were set together like this:
So what did that mean for me??? That meant that I had to have a very painful massage of opposite directional friction with pressure. It hurt. It still hurts, and that was done around noon. anything touching my back around those scars hurts. I was shown how to perform this massage, and no it’s impossible to do it on yourself, so I have to teach Eric how to do this. They suggest that I do this every day with a vitamin E lotion. Oh boy!
i also got my bands back. No more isometric exercises for me. I am to go back to all of the old exercises starting with my red band and progressively moving up to green then blue. I have no problem doing these exercises on my own so I have no doubt they will be pleased when I return. I have to do them 2 times a day, so I will have to work them in before work and after. I am going to be exhausted my first few weeks back at work. Geesh…feeling slightly overwhelmed. Might as well dive right in. Monday is approaching quickly…. I see Dr. Greaney Friday so we shall see what he has to say. I am gonna go just sit for a while. Wish me luck Friday.
I had PT yesterday. Thank goodness it was yesterday and not today. We are getting POUNDED by snow and sleet. I am also glad that my surgery was last week this time, not today. We never would have made it. My dad came to take me because I wasn’t sure how I would feel afterwards. PT feels so much better with nice squishy silicone than it did with hard expanders. My appointment lasted 2.5 hrs. I didn’t think I would ever get out of there. Sure I was sore after, but nothing like when those expanders were in. Instead of pain, it’s a soreness. I will take sore over pain any day. I got some isometric exercises that I have to do along with some stretching. No problem. I have one more PT appointment next Wednesday, and see Dr. Greaney next Friday then I should be cleared to go back to work on Monday the 24th. I am looking forward to it. I have been feeling pretty lonely lately and am excited to be around people again. I feel as if my life is just standing still. I’m ready for it to move.
I saw the nurse at my appointment as well, and she was able to tell me that it looked like I got 550cc moderate profile plus implants on both sides. That surprised me a little because I had figured that my right implant would have been bigger than my left because of the need for added expansion. They were originally thinking of using 700’s. I can’t imagine how big that would be, because they are almost exactly the size I was before but much higher. It can take up to six months for the implants to settle into the pocket so my breasts will change a little over the next couple of weeks. She thought they looked great and that in a few weeks they will look even better.
The next step will be nipple reconstruction. Dr. Greaney said he doesn’t like to do that until at least 3 months after the exchange surgery. I’m ok with that. No hurry here.
For anyone out there who is having tissue expanders/in the process of having therm or is considering going this route, trust me when I say you are so much more comfortable when you get your final implants. It’s like night and day. Hang in there. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
We got a ton of snow here last night, 8 or so inches. Apparently, Philly got over a foot. Can you imagine central Philly with over a foot of snow in negative degree weather? It would be like driving down an ice luge. We weren’t really looking forward to taking that trek, but we got ourselves up and ready to be out of the house by 8 am. Luckily we were smart enough to snow blow and shovel last night. Snow blowers are fun, especially when you can manually aim it to blast people. Lol. Anyways, my appointment was at 11 So we got in the car to head to Philly and I got the brilliant idea to call and see if they were opening today. Yes, it took me that long to think of this option. We pull out of the driveway and I call. 5 miles down the road, I finally get through (nice hold music was playing) and a woman answers and says the office is closed for the day. Winner! I don’t feel bad, not one bit about this appointment being cancelled. I loathe going to PT. The therapist is awesome, but it hurts. A lot. I do however know that this is one service that I was provided throughout this entire experience that has done me the most good. I had an entire muscle group relocated on my body. I now have almost 98% of my normal range of motion. The last 2% I feel will be obtained when I have a nice soft implant in instead of the tissue expanders. I know I say how much I despise PT, but I am very thankful that I was required to do it. If it didn’t hurt and wasn’t tough then I guess I wouldn’t need it would I? I am happy that I do not have T-Rex arms for life. We decided then to go out for breakfast. At breakfast we found out that my mom has superpowers. I mean, I always knew she had super powers, but she confirmed it. She had the power to magnetize her silverware. If she was one of the X-Men characters she would be Magneto.
I am disappointed that I do not obtain this power. Lol. She had me laughing so hard. Contact, bounce, repeat. That’s what happens to my chest when I laugh. It looks odd. Anyway, I didn’t have PT, I have laughed a lot already, and the day is only half way over! Hope everyone else is having a good day.
Trying to amp myself up for this week already. I have an appointment every single day this week, and sometimes more than one. It’s gonna be rough, but I am SUPER excited to get out of the house! I did manage to get the Christmas decorations down yesterday, but the tree is still in the house. 1.) I can’t carry it even with Eric’s help and 2.) it’s still alive and doing well. I feel guilt that I had a living thing cut down for my aesthetic pleasure and then, while still alive just toss it out on the side of the road. Plant murder. Hah. Hippie maybe? Maybe a little bit, but I would go more with guilt complex/environmentally aware. It’s probably doing everyone in my house a favor by filtering the air. If I had my way, I would keep it until it’s no longer kicking, but I have a feeling Eric is going to make me get rid if it soon. Maybe next year I should go with something like this:
Then maybe I won’t feel as bad? Who knows, anyways enough of my rambling.
My mom is on get way here right now. She was in Pittsburgh visiting my sister and seeing a play. My sister got her tickets for Christmas. So now she is driving the whole way across the state to come help me out. I am still not allowed to drive. So she will be driving Miss Traci everywhere. Nice? Understatement.
Tomorrow we get to trek into Philly to meet with Dr. Greaney and I get expanded. Because I am not yet filled back into my skin (sounds weird I know) I have a feeling we are going to have to go pretty aggressively this week. Fun. But, I all seriousness, it doesn’t hurt, it just feels tight (like a tiger) lol, no really…like I am wearing an inner tube meant for a 3 yr. old. Trust me, I have felt worse. But, I now have sensation back to the top side of my breasts where the ports are, so I’m sure it will be a little bit uncomfortable when he puts those needles in. Nothing worse than an IV I am sure. Tuesday I have pre-admission testing for my exchange on the 6th. Thankfully, they are letting me do it here with my primary care physician, so it’s only 5 minutes away and the likelihood of traffic is basically 0 because I live in BFE. (middle of nowhere). Wednesday I get to go back to PT. I can’t complain because I got a week break, but I’ve been working hard here everyday. Thursday is the busiest. Meeting a friend, Pinder, for breakfast, have my GYN appointment, again so excited I can’t strand it, but I don’t have to have a breast exam so that awkward 5 minutes when someone is feeling you up and you have to make conversation will no longer exist. I am excited to show my doctor what has been done because she is the one who referred me to these doctors in Philly. Even though it’s a bit of a hassle to drive down there I am so grateful that she did. Then I get my hair cut! I can’t wait. I know I have good range of motion but I feel like my hair hasn’t been really washed since my mom washed it in the sink. Gross right? I am really excited to get my hair scrubbed. Then Friday its back to Philly for another expansion session. Whew! I am tired just typing that. So pray, keep your fingers crossed, wish me luck, whatever it is you do this week for me!
Yup, had the wonderful PT today. My left arm feels like gumby. You know when a part of your body falls asleep and you have a hard time lifting it up? That’s how my left arm feels. Like gumby. All wobbly and stuff. It’s very strange. It makes me half crazy. Like I wanna bang my arm against the wall until it works right. I don’t know if my muscles on that side are tight, or if I was over stretched, or if my arm is that fatigued. Who knows. All I know is that it’s a strange feeling. I moved up a color on my band. I now have blue. Woooooohhhooooooooo!!!!!!!!
PT just keeps getting more exciting. The best part of PT was that I don’t have to go back next week. I get to start spreading them out!!! Hopefully we will stick to every other week. I can handle that. I also got shown how to massage my lat muscles that make up the base of my chest. Thank goodness my dad wasn’t back there with me. Can you say awkward. Apparently I have to massage the base and lateral sides of my breasts as often as I can. Kinda weird to do when your dad is sitting across the room from you. Lol. I also have to lightly massage down the expanders at the top of my chest. It’s a strange feeling because I can feel the pressure, but I can’t feel any sensation. Let me tell you this whole process has been a strange one, but the end is in sight. The final exchange takes place on Feb 6th and then it will be over. Sure, I will have my nipple reconstruction, but that is an outpatient procedure and can wait. I’ll post a new pic of my chest after the double fill and see if anyone can tell a difference. November 14, it sure didn’t feel like I was ever gonna get to this point. Thanks God for watching over me always.
I got double pumped yesterday. I had a conversation with my plastic surgeon about my fears of not being able make it back to work when my FMLA runs out on Feb 4th. It seemed far fetched to me that we could get me completely expanded, have an implant exchange, recover, and get back to work by that time. My gut was correct. He said that realistically, he would be able to get me back to work 2 weeks after that feb. 4th date. In order to do this he needs to be more aggressive with my expansions. See, we are behind in the first place because my right lat drain kept dumping out fluid. Normally a drain is in for 3-4 weeks, (All of my other 3 drains were removed in that time frame) but my right lat drain didn’t want to cooperate. It stayed in for 7 weeks. Then, after that was removed I developed a large “boob” on my back (seroma). Who knew I would go in and pay for two boobs, but come home with 3! Hah. having that drained was interesting. Boy oh boy am I glad I couldn’t feel anything because you could see through that needle end to end. Bleh. Eric almost passed out and he was on the opposite side, it made me chuckle. Anyways…that whole ordeal delayed my expansions which is what has delayed my retune to work. So, yesterday instead of getting expanded with 60 mL’s in each side, I got 100 mL’s on each side. I felt like I was squeezed into an inner tube. It felt like if you threw me in the river I would float. But, that surely isn’t the case because right now I am carrying over 400 mL on each side. I would sink. I am walking around with almost a full liter on my chest. I know, i know, that seems like a huge amount, but trust me, I am not going Pam Anderson’s first boob job size. Remember, they took all of my breast tissue, so unlike a normal breast augmentation, I have to make up for that tissue that normally sits on top with fluid. I am only being expanded out to where they fit in my skin where there are no more wrinkles or loose skin. For me, that will probably end up being 600-650. Remember, I was a 36 D before. So from here on out, we are being as aggressive as my body will allow. I have a week break to allow my body to adjust to the extra volume and see how I do, then I will be expanded on Monday and Friday of the next week. Sounds like fun right?
So I was nervous about this while being over my FMLA time because of my job. FMLA protects my job and holds it for me. I was worried that work would be upset with me for going over my time. I am an idiot for thinking that. I luckily have the 2 great managers and a whole team of coworkers who are so supportive. I spoke with my managers today and their only concern was that I was taking care of myself and would recover fully and appropriately. Whew! Weight off my shoulders. God is good.
My implant exchange is on February 6th. I can’t wait! These expanders are super hard. I am almost there. I just can’t wait to get these rocks out and have some nice squishy silicone put in.
i have PT tomorrow. Woooooohooooooo! Yet again I am so excited.
Yes my friends, that seems to be my everyday. I repeat that cycle over and over and over again. I don’t really go out to much, because frankly there is no need, I can’t drive, and I DONT WANT TO GET SICK. I am NOT a germaphobe, but I feel like if I got sick right now it would delay my progress. I go out when I need to, Dr.’s appointments, pharmacy, grocery, etc…but I choose to stay in. I want to recover and get back to “normal” (not so sure I was ever “normal”) but normal for me. I can feel it. I am getting stronger and stronger every day. The PT (even though I hate it and it’s hard) is really working. I do it religiously. I don’t know if all of you out there who know me know this or not, but I have a HUGE guilt complex. I don’t like to let anyone down, especially myself. I am bound and determined to get better and to do it by working hard. Call it a middle child syndrome or whatever you want to call it, but I hate it when I feel like I am letting someone down. For example: last week at PT my left shoulder was really tight and it was painful when he was manipulating it (more so than normal). Funny enough, this is NOT the side that I had the seroma on. He told me that I wasn’t stretching aggressively enough. I thought I was doing what I was supposed to, but apparently I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough. So, what do I do? I push myself harder ( not too hard, trust me, I am doing it all within my capabilities). I now stretch 3x daily and do it with more vigor. I will be damned if the Physical Therapist says that to me again. Sometimes you need that, a kick in the butt to get you back on track. I don’t think I ever fell off the track but I needed to push a little harder. Complacency makes one lazy.
So today I had an appointment and then Eric and I had lunch at Plaza Azteca. It was nice to get out for a little and feel like a normal part of the society. Then, our friends Shane and Jill came over to hang out for the Eagles game. I haven’t seen them since the surgery so it was good to get to spend some quality time with them. Good friends are good for the soul.
So even though today was just a random Saturday in January, it was a win for me. My mom is coming back tomorrow to take me to my appointments this week. Excited to see her. It’s always nice when you have someone to hang out with.
Happy New Year everyone! I am excited that 2013 is over, it was a very tough year for me in many ways. Leave the past behind…onward. So yesterday was Eric and I’s 4th anniversary! Yay us. We had an exciting day of PT in Philly, a trip to the grocery store (sorry, no Bed Bath and Beyond, we didn’t have the time hah), then I came home and took a nice 4.5 hr nap. It was awesome! I had to get up because my sister Amy, her boyfriend Mychal, and my brother Patrick came to celebrate the New Year with us. I have seen Pat more in the past 2 months than I have in the past 2 years! I am not very exciting the day of PT or the day after but it was nice of them to come and entertain Eric and I for the holiday! Eric and I rang in the New Year talking about how we didn’t think we would be celebrating the New Year attending Dr.’s appointments. We we’re hoping to wait to have to to that until we are old and grey, but hey, it is what it is. We have decided we will celebrate our anniversary when I’m feeling better. So to everyone out there who is reading this, Happy New Year and I hope that this year allows your wildest dreams to come true. Thank you God for getting me through 2013.
so today I got to do double the PT. First I met with a woman who worked the crap out of my arms. Apparently, my range of motion is 160. This is great, but HOLY CRAP IT HURTS! She taught me some new wonderful exercises that make me feel as though my arms are gonna pop out of the sockets like Barbies can. It was GREAT! She also gave me a green band. Wooohhhhooooo. I had red before. I liked the red better. It was easier. Lol.
Then they send in the PT tech who gives me more exercises with names like the seatbelt and the sword.
Gotta love the images. That’s some super quality, but for simpletons like me that works! We did all of these exercises (7) 10x each. Yay! It was sooo much fun. Then the other PT guy comes in.
His big focus for me is protein. I eat more on the vegetarian side of things so he has really been stressing my need for protein. I have been eating tons! Eggs, beans, meat, cottage cheese. You name it, if it has protein I’m shoving it down the gullet.
Well then I had the pleasure of getting reworked by him. Yes, he was super dooper impressed with my progress, but WOW it hurt. He did a lot of lat massage. The plastic surgeon had to take my entire lat to use and they are laying on top of my chest wall. So my lats, still connected to my shoulders are now the base (the bottom part of my boob) I had the pleasure of having these roughly massaged today. It’s like having a really bad cramp in your back, the grissle kind and having someone continually place very firm pressure on it for about 15 minutes. Each side. Fun, fun. Fun fun fun fun fun FUN. it was so much fun I whistled zippity do dah out my butthole!
Ok, so enough about me, I want to tell everyone that my beautiful friend Stacy Anderson and her husband Travis had a beautiful baby girl Kennedy Grace on December 3rd. She was 5 weeks early, but mom, baby, and dad are all doing well. They have made it home, but she is recovering from a c-section which I can imagine is much harder than what I am doing. Please pray for them, this is their first child and they need all the love, prayers, and positive thoughts that they can get. Stacy is a good friend of mine, one of the best, so please, take a minute to celebrate another wonderful little person that made it into this world. Congrats Stacy and Travis!!!! God is good.
So I was thinking about taking a picture of my boobs and putting them on a Christmas card with a message that says “Merry Tittmas!” I think it would be awesome, but I am not so sure the USPS would…
So I had physical therapy again today. holy crap does that stuff hurt. But, it’s for the greater good. Apparently PT with mastectomies and reconstructions are a new thing. Glad to know I will have normal function with the added bonus of nice looking boobies when this is all done. We stopped at McDonalds to get a nice nutritious breakfast and apparently I left a bunch behind. As I am sitting in the office waiting to be seen, I look down and stuck on my button is a large hunk of biscuit. Then I got to take my shirt off for the PT guy. The skin across my chest and under my armpits are so dry and flaky because of the stretching. I put aquaphor on that stuff religiously, but I still look like a molting reptile. Oh my goodness I am one sexy beast! I got some new exercises to do today. They gave me an exercise band. Yippee!!!!! Oh so much fun. I mean really, does it get much better than this? I think not. But I will do them religiously everyday.
I am also taking Diazepam (Valium) for muscle cramping and apparently my dosage was too high so I have been slurring like a drunk for the past week. Needless to say, they decreased the dosage. Unfortunately I did not get these stupid drains out. But, I have found out that the pieces of tissues that get stuck in them really make my mom gag. That’s payback for her chasing me around the house with her mole when I was little. Oh Karma!
Hopefully these drains will come out on Monday at my next appointment. They are each 18 inches inside my back on each side and really are irritating. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I will also be speaking with my doc about the whole hair thing then. Should prove to be an eventful visit.
Hopefully my mom won’t fall off the couch in the middle of the night tonight and wake me up. If you know me at all, I didn’t ask her if she was ok, I just laughed for about 45 mins. I still laugh thinking about it. Don’t worry, she was ok and she laughed just as hard.
This post is for me to thank ALL of the people who made this horrible day I hAd so nice. I had a really really bad day. I have started physical therapy, it sucked the first day the guy manipulated my arms. I’m talking the kind of pain where no sound comes out of your mouth. Well, he gave me these exercises to do at home 2x daily. And yes, I do them. What would be the point of all of this if I’m not gonna do what’s necessary to get better. Well, it hurts, and I have no pain medicine. So I do the exercises in the morning, take some Tylenol and take a nap. When I wake up, this is what my house looks like:
My mom decorated my entire house for Christmas. HOW AWESOME IS THAT? Pretty freaking awesome.
So then I do my second set of exercises before dinner and my mom went out to get the mail and in the mail is a card from my Grandma. She has sent me a card every single day since my surgery. THIS IS AWESOME. I love that she takes time every day to think of me and send me love. Also in the mail was a package from the WOCN team at the hospital. Liz and Kersten sent me a card and in this card was this years Sabika breast cancer awareness necklace with a card. HOW UNBELIEVABLY NICE WAS THAT?
Also, my brother Michael calls me on the phone every single day, sometimes once, sometimes twice, sometimes 3 times. I LOVE this. I count on his calls every day and it just makes my days that much better.
So thank you Mom, Grandma, Liz, Kersten, and Michael. You made a really shitty day a pretty good one
Well, the day didn’t start out so well. We left the house 2 hrs early for my 4pm appointment, thinking we had plenty of time to get there seeing as how it only takes us an hour to get the Office. Nope.
We were approximately 45 minutes late. I called, at 3:45 trying to be nice to tell them that there was an accident and that we were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. that was fine. About 20 minutes later I get a call from one of the ladies at the office and I got a not so pleasant response from (we will call her Mrs. Happy Pants). Let me tell you this has not been my first fun phone call with Mrs. Happy Pants. Anyways… She says “you know the dr. Has to leave in 20 minutes.” um, yeah, thank you Captain Obvious.
So I get there and my anxiety level is at about a 20. I didn’t get nervous when they were gonna cut my boobs off, but being late for an appointment made me have that not so lovely hoagie sweat. Anything that I do that inconveniences another person or makes them upset tends to cause me high anxiety. yet another tragic flaw.
I wait in the lobby for 5 minutes before anyone comes to check me in. The physical therapy tech calls me back and I start apologizing, almost in tears cause I probably ruined his evening, but he was nice and told me not to sweat it cuz shit happens.
The physical therapist came in and he was WONDERFUL. So nice and happy. I love happy people. He asked me the normal questions and asked when I had my procedure and then I had to lay on the table. This was when the real fun began. NOT. He pulled my arm up over my head, ok that hurt but nothing crazy, then he rotates my arm out and begins lifting the muscles under my armpits. Holy crap if you could have seen in my head it probably looked like this (AAAAAHHHHH MOTHER F$&/%*#, bleep, $&@/%^*******+}>.%,€}. ) then he moves to my other arm and same thing . I was sweating, and I mean like beads of sweat on my lip sweating at this point. Then….he begins to pinch under my pectoral muscles to lift the expander. My toes were curled and not in a good way. Those drains that I was hoping to have removed are now pouring out blood. Apparently this is normal. I guess we are at the point were I should name them. Suggestions anyone?????
So physical therapy sucked, but apparently I am way ahead of the game and the physical therapist was very impressed. He gave me some exercises to do at home and gave me 5 instuctions that I must follow.
- Do my exercises 2 times a day increasing by one set each day
- deep breathe
- inspect my boobies every day with a mirror and report ANY changes
- eat more protein
- rest and let myself heal
Luckily I am a really good at eating and my mom is a fabulous cook. And I am really good at resting.
The last thing that my physical therapist asked me before I left (and he has been the first medical professional to ask me this) was how my head was. Of course me being a bit dense said ” it’s good, I don’t have any headaches” and he laughs and says “no funny, how are you emotionally.” I told him “honestly it’s great. I was not attached to my boobs, they were attached to me. I guess you could say that I believe that I am greater than the sum of my parts.” He just kinda looked at me and said “wow. How mature ( if he really knew me and knew that i at I can’t help but laugh when anyone farts he may think differently!)
Even though therapy sucked and it was no fun, I will go willingly and with a smile on my face because of the kindness and genuine empathy that my physical therapist showed me. There are really good people out there and in all the crap you see on TV and read in the newspaper, remember that the good people are out there and they will hopefully cross your path when you need them the most.