Friday, August 23, 2013

5 miles later...

I made it 5 miles today without any pain! Whohoo! It's only 27 days until the Fox Cities Marathon and I have a relay team relying on me for a 5 mile leg of the race.  I took it slower and was on the treadmill, but this is a very promising start! Dr. J recommended that wear the adominal compression binder and layer on the bras again for awhile.  It worked like a charm.  No pain (until I hit the shower and realized the binder cause some chaffing, oh well...more body glide).

My brother posted a picture with a good quote about how so many people don't consider themselves "runners" or feel like they have to meet a certain distance or speed requirement before they can officially call themselves a "runner." Well, my moment came before my last surgery.  I had that pre-op EKG that worried the anesthesiologist so I had to see a cardiologist to make sure that my low heart rate wasn't due to any problems.  During my appointment he asked a ton of questions, one of which was "Are you a runner?"  My response wasn't yes.  I said that I like to run, I've do a hand full of 5K or 10k races and the half marathon earlier this year.  Then he asked "How long have you been doing this?" So I did the calculations quickly in my head: 9 years (minus two pregnancy breaks).  The doctor chuckled and said, "You're a runner."  

I am a runner and I am back at it now.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Recovery is going well! Stitches are out. I am thoroughly compressed and no longer need to wear it 24/7.  I have minimal bruising on my stomach which is not nearly as bad as I expected. The incisions are tiny.  I simply look like I had a whole bunch of bug bites across my breasts.  And in some ways the marks from the stitches are worse than the incision themselves.  I am going to attempt running tomorrow.  My original hope was to jump on the treadmill and simply run until it hurts.  However, I took the stairs at a little bit of a jog today could immediately feel pain.  Combined with the sharp pain of sneezing, I am a bit concerned that it will be slower to get back into that I hoped. Still overall, this has been the easiest surgery recovery I have dealt with so far.

Proof: One day after surgery, I was able to go to a friends wedding reception.  In preparation, I took an afternoon nap, a pain pill, and found a dress that would hide the dressings on my breast and abdominal binder. It turns out a maxi dress can hide a lot of stuff!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sleeping on my side

Still doing well. My favorite part is that I slept on my side last night already!!  I needed pillows for my arms because they put too much pressure on sore areas.  It feels so much better than being stuck on your back unable to move. My abs are quite tender, but I have them wrapped up tight in a binder.  It feels good to be wrapped up tight.  I tried taking it off and switching the spanx instead, but it didn't feel right.  I need the security of the binder for a bit longer.  All of the incisions on my breasts where the fat was grafted are closed with one little stitch.  I have 7 of these little stitches on each for 14 total.  They have to remain covered for another day, then I can shower and clean up better.  Mitch did a very good job washing my hair for me already this morning.  Now I just have to find more clothes that can hide the dressings and binder for awhile.  It would feel so nice to put on a big hooded sweatshirt, but the weather isn't cooperating with me and is back to 80 degrees again.

Friday, August 16, 2013

World record speed

Everything went great this morning.  I am becoming very good at this.  I knew exactly what to do... like take my contacts and Invisalign right at the last minute, put my glass case on the hospital bed with me so I could have some sight during the recovery room, etc.  The nurses were impressed with how prepare I was for everything.

We were back at hospital #1 for today's procedure.  Everything went so much smoother.  I would definitely try to be the first thing in the morning again.  Everyone we came in contact with was kind and prepared and helpful.  They are back on my good list.  After the snafu with nuclear medicine last year, Mitch received several free meal vouchers.  I tried to throw those things out on several occasions, but he insisted on keeping them. He was quite proud to use them today, while I cringed at his purchase (hospital cafeteria biscuits and gravy).    

I had another interesting recovering room neighbor.  The young man next to me decided that he wanted to find a wife, he was embarrassed that his mom was the only person in the waiting room for him.  He was 25, showed the nurse his tattoo and discussed the importance of it.  He happened to be from the same town as me--not that I mentioned it, I was just a silent observer whereas he was a constant talker.  My nurse pulled my curtain but it did nothing to shut him up.

I was quickly able to go back to outpatient area and home with Mitch.  I was home by 10:50 which I think might just be the new world record.  I had a little bout of nausea when I got home, but I was glad it happened here so that they didn't keep me extra long at the hospital.  I just ate like half a loaf of great harvest bread and drank some Sierra mist and felt better.  I would have been stuck with just saltines at the hospital.  Off to bed now for another nap.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What a difference

Tomorrow is another surgery day.  I feel perfectly fine about it.  My only worry is that I might sleep through  my alarm.  There has been zero nesting before this one.  However now that I mention it I do have a desire to run to Target and pick up school supplies at 9:00 pm.  I will probably post tomorrow during the wait once the nerves kick in.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer of surgeries

After that last crabby post, here's a good one after a very good day. I am currently reading Gone Girl and like the style of one character, I am going to set the scene a little for you.

The day started off with the girls and I sitting around the kitchen table eating breakfast.  Aila chats me between spoonfuls, "My tooth is really wiggly today...I can push tongue...this way...or that way..."  Then her eyes got really big, "MY TOOTH!  I PUSHED IT OUT!"  That look of amazement in her eyes was priceless.  Then she says, "I lost my first tooth and it's our recital day at Vacation Bible School...this is the best day ever!"  I think she was onto something.

We made our way to St. Norbert for our last day of Vacation Bible School.  I had been wanting to get involved in some way at our church and I figured that this was a pretty obvious volunteer choice for me as I kind of know what I am doing with kids.  To my surprise (I am being honest here), it was a very enjoyable week and my kids loved it.  While I had a little prep time between groups coming to our craft station, I was hanging out in the bright light of the atrium gathering space when I got a phone call.

Emily from Dr. J's office was calling to tell me that I was approved.  My insurance pre-approved the revision to my breast reconstruction that I have been waiting on.  At first I was waiting for Dr. J to get the newest machine, then I was waiting on the appointment to finalize the plans, and this insurance pre-approval was our final hurdle before scheduling the surgery.  Everything finally came together and right then and there we set a date.

I told her that I was willing to make just about anything work.  Other than the first day of school which I clearly couldn't miss, I would clear my schedule if they were going to be able to get me in yet this year.  My options were August 16th or September 20th.  "Oh that's funny," was my immediate response.  The one day that Mitch requested that I not book this was August 16th on the grounds that I "ruined" Father's Day with the recovery from my first surgery of the summer and he would like to not have to take care of me again on his birthday (which is really just a classic Mitch exaggeration and overstatement).  September 20th the other option is 2 days before I our team runs the Fox Cities Marathon as a relay and a day before my cousin's wedding for which I just sent the reply card in for.  Because this surgery is a two part process that needs to be done three months in between, going with the September date will be pushing it to get the second one in before January 1st and a new deductible (which I know I am going to meet anyway, but it would be nice to not meet it in the first month at least).  So after a quick call to Mitch to seek his opinion, we decided on August 16th.  

I don't know if I can state this enough.  I AM SO EXCITED TO HAVE THIS DONE!  This surgery is purely for vanity.  It may not even be noticeable to anyone one else afterward but to me I am hopeful that this will make a huge difference to me. The first thing I notice in pictures of myself if my neckline is at all showing is shadows of the hollowed points.  I've been working out or in the locker room getting ready for swimming and I catch myself in the middle of an action in the mirror and I see the squished deformed look my breasts get as they ripple and move.  Now this isn't all the time, as long as I remain covered, you would never know.  But I really would like to stand in front of the mirror and like what I see no matter how I move. This surgery could really make a difference in helping me not notice the difference.  It feels like a little bonus that I get to have after dealing with all this stuff.

So this summer is now becoming the summer of surgeries for us.  Thankfully though, as I explained to the girls, I am going to have some more owies in a few weeks on my chest and stomach but once this is done I shouldn't need to have any more owies for a long time.

On a side note, all of the issues that I had on my last post have been resolved through a couple of long phone calls.  I am all healed and ready for the next one.