Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Dec 10th

First and foremost, I missed buddy check 9 day yesterday. I wasn't up to posting after hanging over the toilet for the entire day. So give your girls a squeeze and a good once over for the month!

Surgery on Wednesday went well. It was a little over 6 hours and lucky for me it felt like 2 seconds. The only thing I remember in recovery was thinking how much it hurt. Hurt to move, hurt to talk, hurt to breathe. Of course the whole rest of the day was pretty foggy from medications. I felt like there was an elephant sitting on my chest. I had the expanders in both sides and also drains in both sides and an incision where they removed my port. I look like a battlefield. Although it was kinda nice to look down and see "bumps" in my bra. I couldn't even move without help from someone. It is pretty hard to remember much because I felt like I was either wanting to be asleep or asleep most of the stay in the hospital. Just those painful thoughts of having to get up to go to the bathroom and sitting up to breathe into the inspirometer, which measures your lung capacity and to cough. I swear it was a torturing hospital. Okay not really but I definitely wasn't prepared for the amount of pain that came along with it. That hurt also to breathe so deeply. The first day I barley made it up to 500 meanwhile Jon tried it for fun and can make it all the way to the top at 5000. Ha! I had and still have to think about breathing deeply because it hurts to do that so instinctively I breathe shallow so it doesn't hurt. But apparently can cause pneumonia. I prepared myself for the amount of pain I had at my first surgery and this was 100 times more painful. I couldn't put weight on either arm so had to get up by my nurse or whomever was there with hugging me around my shoulders and pulling me up. My right side (cancer side that was radiated and used Alloderm on) hurt significantly worse than my left side. I seriously couldn't even move my right arm without sharp shooting pains in my right arm pit. Also during surgery my lip was caught between the intubation tube and my teeth the entire time and I woke up with a huge fat lip on the right side. I felt nauseous the entire time which was another bonus. When Dr. Brewster came back to check on me that night and I told her how much pain I was in she decided to drain some of the saline in my expander so there wasn't as much pressure on that side. My mom was there and she uses this instrument that looks like a stud finder to find where the right part of the expander is and then uses a syringe with a needle on it to suck the saline out. She said that with some patients they don't feel it because most of that area is numb from surgeries. Yeah, not me.... Apparently that is what I get to look forward to in getting them filled up the next few months. Needless to say, not a fun experience and then my poor mom had to go sit down afterwards because she thought she was going to be sick from watching. I guess she won't be able to come to my appointments with me to get them filled. I felt a little better after she took some saline out but it still hurt. She came again in the morning to drain some more off of it. So I got to experience that twice in 24 hours. I ended up staying 2 nights because I was still so uncomfortable after the first night. Of course the administration lady came up to my room and said that my insurance doesn't pre approve extra nights in the hospital and will determine if they will cover it only after they have the claim. Super. I can't tell you how happy I have been with my insurance company lately. On a funny note, I was saying how I was so sleepy. I fell asleep on Thursday in the middle of doing my inspirometer breathing with the thing in my mouth, also fell asleep in the middle of eating crackers once with a cracker in my hand, and also a few times with a glass of water in my hands. That would have made a pretty funny picture. I came home on Friday afternoon. My mom came to pick me up and when I got out to the car (she drives a suburban) I instantly thought, how the heck am I going to get into this car? Since I couldn't even stand up by myself, it was interesting. Of course I was in tears after I finally got in the car and had to pull myself in with my arms and the nurse had to lift me in by my arms. Then the car ride home sucked too. I could literally feel the expanders sliding across my chest muscle when we turned a corner. Every time we hit a bump in the road it felt like someone ripping open my skin. My mom tried to slow WAY down to go over the railroad tracks and of course it was still awful. I think I was in tears the whole way home and so was my mom, she felt so bad for me. Much of the weekend was spent on the couch and over the toilet. The pain has gotten a little better everyday but is definitely still there. I went in for a follow up appointment this morning and Dr. Brewster decided to pull out the drain on my left side. These are always fun and memorable experiences. For those who aren't familiar with drains it is a suction drain that collects extra fluids from a wound after surgery and then it empties into a bulb. Click here if you are really interested in what the Jackson Pratt drain looks like. As you can imagine it isn't much fun. There are a few sutures that hold it in place that she cuts and then one large yank and it comes out of your skin. Unfortunately for me, mine got stuck 1/2 way through and had to have 2 big yanks. Double ouch! Dr. Brewster also thought the culprit for my nausea was my antibiotic so she gave me a different one to try. I spent the rest of the day on the couch resting from the 2 hours I was out and about this morning. Jon picked up my new prescription for arythromyacin and I took one with dinner. Now about an hour after dinner the nausea in starting in again. Good times. I was teasing my mom whiles she was here dropping off dinner that it was a good thing she wasn't there to get my drain pulled out today because she would have fainted. Of course then I remembered that Jon would be at work on Thursday for my next appointment and then realized that she would be going with me to get the other one yanked out. I hope she does okay, I am more worried about her! After about an hour I am starting to feel queasy from the other med. Hopefully I don't spend the rest of the night over the toilet. Thanks for every one's prayers, thoughts, and phone calls. Sorry if I talked to you on Thursday or Friday and I was way out of it!


Toni said...

I'm so sorry to hear that your surgery was so awful! I'm sure it hurts to throw up when you're already feeling like poo. I'm excited to see you in a week and a half!

The Bluths said...

Ugh! That sounds horrible! how long do you think the recovery will be? I hope not long!

Ritagirl said...

Oh GOSH I remember all those feelings. The pain, the expanders, the JP drains, learning how to stand up again. Wishing you the best girl...hope the rest of your experience goes better than mine did.