Gray hairs and stripped skin

I remembered what I wanted to complain about on Friday!

My hair is growing in. It’s thick and fluffy and will be back to aggravating me in no time. Well, it’s already aggravating me because my stupid gray hairs are growing back in. Give me a freaking break!? Ugh. Anyway, that’s one of the things I wanted to mention but forgot about.

The second thing is that I am literally pulling my skin off with this stupid tape every day. I stuff my wound with gauze, then tape a gauze pad (or seven, since I’m draining there, too) on top. I try to put the tape in a different place each time so I’m not ripping it off the same skin ever time I change it. I’m running out of skin! Sometimes it even bleeds. This crap hurts. And it’s weird because I don’t have feeling on my skin above the incision line, so I can’t feel it. I can only see that my skin is super red and sometimes bleeding. Below the incision line, I feel, and I don’t like it at all!

Ohhh! And since I hate shaving my legs, I’ll add that it’s quite annoying to have my leg hair growing again.

In other news, it looks like gaping hole is getting smaller. It’s getting harder to stuff the gauze in there. It’s still totally there, though.

What sucks lately

Everything has been pretty good and life is moving along nicely, so I figured I’d throw in a few gripes since everything can’t always be sunshine and rainbows and unicorns.

I’m having trouble falling asleep. I fell asleep early last night (by early I mean 10pm) and that may or may not have been a result of Sleepy Time Tea. I was desperate and figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it. So it was either that or the lack of sleep had finally caught up to me.

My feet still hurt, and no, I still haven’t made an appointment with a podiatrist or anything to get them looked at. They still hurt about as much as they’ve been. No better, no worse. It’s pain on top of my feet, not on the bottom.

I really want some yummy seafood. I want to like pig out on it. Seriously.

The gaping hole is annoying. I’m used to it, but that fact that exists bothers me to an extent.

My shoulder hurts. I think I hurt the muscle, like overstretched it in my sleep or something. I should do some of my PT exercises, but I’d rather whine about it than do something about it at this point.

Seriously though, aren’t there stages of annoyance? Like…you get mad. You complain about it. You stay mad. Then you do something about it. Maybe? I don’t know.

Anyway, I can’t remember the reason I started this post. It’s not one of the aforementioned gripes, it was something else, and I lost it. Ugh.

Oh well. I don’t have any appointments on Monday, so my next doctor related update won’t be until the 20th. This upcoming week may be pretty quiet unless I think of something fun to share!

TTFN 👋🏻

Tomorrow will be a better day…

Thinking positively here…

My fever has gone. I’ve spent the entire day in bed, reading and now watching The Incredible Hulk (getting closer to my Marvel goal!!).

I have eaten a bunch of junk today, with the exception of some grapes. Actually, I had a sunflower butter and strawberry jelly sandwich on whole grain bread, which was healthier than the Moonpies and chips.

I have been managing the aches with Tylenol and ibuprofen. It’s working a little, so is the rest. I’m pretty sore at the site on my right side where Dr. H stuck the drain needle yesterday. There’s a lot of squeezing involved in the draining, to manipulate the fluid to the needle. I don’t usually feel it, but since I’m slowly regaining feeling on the sides, it’s starting to get sore. It’s not terrible though. My lower abdomen is pretty sore on the surface, all around. I just hope I don’t regain full feeling any time soon because that is not going to be fun with a GH in my belly! Ouch.

Funny story: I was laying in bed and Daisy was laying on Brad’s pillow, Sam was laying by the front door. A ridiculously loud burst of thunder came out of nowhere and shook the house. Daisy jumped up and off the pillow, and Sam took off across the house. It was pretty funny.

Anyway, tomorrow will be a better day!

The ugly…

Seems like there’s been quite a bit of that lately. I had my weekly appointment with Dr. H today. He drained ten from my left and seventy from my right. It also hurt! I think I’m getting back some feeling on the sides now. And it was low on the left because…the fluid has been draining out my incision hole! Hooray for that. I mean, I can’t make this stuff up if I tried. But at least I know why there was more than usual discharge this weekend.

So it was an eventful appointment, and I’ll get to the real fun part in a minute. First, he prescribed me an antibiotic. I don’t have an infection that he saw, but he did take cultures to check. I guess it’s a proactive/preventative measure.

Because…

I am now the proud owner of a gaping hole on my belly. Yay!

Yeah, so he cut me open. Thankfully, I still don’t have any feeling in that area so I didn’t feel a thing, except a slight tenderness on the far left side.

The gaping hole, or GH, is about the size of a Kennedy half dollar. Yes, it is basically round. It’s also deep; at least an inch, maybe more. I can’t even describe what it looks like, except that it looks like guts inside. He made me look since I’ll have to pack it twice a day.

So I have this solution stuff that I need to use to wet gauze, wring out the gauze, and stuff it in the GH, one or two pieces. Then I cover it with another piece (and like 12 more on top of that if I don’t want it to leak onto my clothes) and tape it down.

I want to roll my eyes because I am so over this. And there’s nothing I can do at this point, except heal, and it’s taking forever. I wish for magic! Lots and lots of magic. Healing magic.

<<sigh>>

So the GH should heal from the inside out. I guess my incision was healing on the outside, but not on the inside, which is why he cut it open.

Seriously gross stuff. It was almost like being at the dentist, under Novocain, and being able to feel the movement and pressure, and hear stuff, but not feel it. When I saw the scissors come out, I checked out. True story. Not sure I’ll be able to unhear the snipping of my skin, but at least I didn’t feel it.

Anyway, in other news, the scab formerly known as my right nipple has fallen off, so at least my upper half is doing what it’s supposed to do. There’s a little bit of raw skin that’s still healing, but it’s doing pretty well. Nothing to complain about there.

I feel like such a whiner in recent days, but I can’t help it. I feel like this should be the good part of all this, but it’s not. I feel like I should be at least getting to the good part, but I’m not. I’d almost rather be back in the chemo phase because at least then I knew I’d have crap days. And what’s really mind-blowing is that I have a GH in my belly and I feel no pain. It’s just weird. This has all been so weird.

Draining, draining, draining…

Dr H took out about 90 CCs on Monday (took me long enough to post, sorry!). It was less than before, which is good, and not as uncomfortable, which is great! He is probably going to have to keep draining me, but we’ll just take it one week at a time. I asked it there was anything I could do aside from thinking dry thoughts (I need to stop making jokes there, they don’t know what to do with me), and he said there was nothing, he just should have left a drain in, but he knew I was going on vacation…ehh, I would have kept it if I had to, but this (needle draining) is getting easier.

Everything else is looking good. My tummy incision is moving right along. Two parts are slightly gaping open, so I hold them together with butterfly bandaids. It is healing from the inside out, which is weird, but whatever. The scab finally came off, which is actually kind of nice because the incision site looks cleaner, despite the fact it’s an open hole. My right nipple is scabbed and slowly healing (aka preparing to fall off), but it’s doing what it’s supposed to do as well.

I asked about my next surgery (removal of the flaps and nipple reconstruction) and Dr H is thinking roughly September. I lost some skin around the right nipple area, so he wants to make sure it’s fully healed first. So it’ll be a little longer than the original three month wait. This is a good thing though, because I should be able to have the port removed at the same time, since my infusions will definitely be done by September. That’ll knock one surgery off my list! Yay. It’s hard to believe I’ve had three surgeries in the past year. It’s hard to believe a lot of the past year!!

Non-medical update…Brad and I had a nice Fourth of July with his family and some friends. I had too many Lime-A-Ritas, but I think their effects finally wore off after I had McDonalds for lunch. I needed the grease! Well, I probably needed water more…but whatever. Lime-A-Ritas! Yum.

So that was fun…not!

I had an appointment with Dr H and Dr JB yesterday. Everything looked pretty good, the incisions are still healing nicely.

But something had started happening over the last week. I was feeling a little bloated, and when I pushed down on the bloat on the right side of my belly, it would sort of ripple towards the left side. Like a wave… better yet, like a water bed.

I showed them this today. I was pretty sure it was fluid, but maybe it was gas?

So they did an ultrasound, and sure enough, there was a lot of fluid in my abdominal cavity.

Dr H said he was afraid we may have taken the drains out too soon. Well, he wanted the numbers to be under 30 CCs and they were, so that’s why the drains came out. I Googled, and some docs take their patients’ drains out at 40 and 50. So I’m kind of not sure what the proper solution would have been with that.

Granted, I wouldn’t have been happy to be traveling on vacation with the drains, but if I needed to have them in for my health, then they would have stayed in. Period. So I’m not sure how I feel about that, but what’s done is done.

So I was drained today with a huge needle, and several stabs on my left and one on my right. He took out about 190 CCs of fluid. That’s like a cup of fluid, check your Pyrex! It’s an average of 11 CCs a day since I had the drains removed on June 8th. Of course, I’m sure there was a gradual decline, and I’m not still producing that much. I’d be surprised if I need to be drained again next week, but he seems to think so.

It hurt. I’m still a bit numb around there, but the needle pinched the skin pretty bad. I don’t want to have to do that again.

Please send dry thoughts my way…

Oops.

I’m pretty sure I have a pulled muscle in my lower back. I consulted Dr. Google with my symptoms and the location, and it makes sense. It’s tender in certain positions, but particularly when I take deep breaths. So there’s a muscle in your lower back that works with your diaphragm, and it can be pulled or strained.

This doesn’t surprise me considering some of the odd ways I’ve had to maneuver to get myself up and down, laying and sitting, shimmying and scooting…all while trying not to put too much pressure on my upper arms and abs.

And of course, I’m probably doing more than I should in general, but I feel good so it’s hard to not try a little more when I think I can. Despite what anyone says, there’s no rule book for recovery. Everyone is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. I was told to listen to my body, and I have been. I didn’t pull a muscle running a 10k, I probably did it doing something simple, something we all take for granted when we’re healthy and operating at full capacity.

Anyway, needless to say I’m taking a step back and trying to not be as mobile as I’ve been, which is so incredibly frustrating because the walking is fine. I’m good at it even. But unfortunately the getting up and down and readjustment of positions is sometimes a problem. I just hope the increased sitting doesn’t hurt my posture, because I was doing great with that!!

(Did you check out the new title and banner?? Progress!!)

Sprained Ankle

Because again…why not?

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I think I twisted it getting out of the car and sort of falling into a hole…long story…and no, I wasn’t drunk.

Anyway, I’ve been exercising on it and I finally did a little Google search to see why it felt like something was bouncing around the outside of my ankle bone, sort of like a rubber band. Believe it or not, I’ve never had a sprained ankle before, so I had NO idea.

Dr. Google diagnosed me, and I was at the chiropractor later that day or the next day and I mentioned it. They confirmed it sounded like a sprain and suggested an exercise, so I’ve been doing that. They also suggested I get a stabilizer, which I did and it helps. I don’t wear it all the time because it doesn’t hurt all the time, but I do put it on when I exercise, or if I plan to be on my feet for a while.

I skipped one day of exercising, but it was my “rest” day anyway, which was yoga. I probably could have done the yoga without a problem, but I figured I’d just chill out instead and keep off the foot.

I’ve been super busy finishing up the semester (last day is Thursday, yeah!!), but I’ve got lots more to share, so stay tuned for more posts in the next few days!