Sunday, August 28, 2011

I have made a decision

It is hard to believe it has been 3 months since my exchange surgery. Things are great. I love that I don't have to wear a bra if I don't want to and that things are smooth--can't really see my scars anymore. It has taken a while to get used to my new body--like if I do push-ups or pull-ups my boobs go flat. It is quite bizarre looking. My friend and I had a good laugh at the club last week. Oh the little things that make me giggle now.

Well, I have made a decision........and it wasn't easy. I called to make an appointment to have the tattooing done and the next thing I knew, I was making an appt. to have my nipples done too. I guess you have to do the nipples first and then the tattooing. So as I sat on the phone with the PS office, "Ok, let's just do it" flew out of my mouth. Let me tell you, I've gotten so used to not having them that I don't care or even want them, but I do think my husband was happy that I made the appointments. Sometimes it is so easy to get focused on yourself that you don't think of others. And don't get me wrong, my husband is the best and supports me in whatever decisions I make, but I have to admit........I kinda did this one for him. I do want him to find me attractive--right down to the concocted nipples on my chest. Ha!! I really enjoy not worrying about the whole getting cold in a swimsuit or shirt. It has been so nice, but I do understand that it does look a little different not to have them. And although I've come to terms with it all, it won't hurt to get them back. Let's just hope they don't look too funny or stick out too far. UGH!

So, as I get used to the idea of having to go back to the hospital again, I am glad I will get this whole process complete by the year 2012. I'm ready to be done with this all and just live.......with no regrets!!!

I will update you after my mini-procedure on September 9. Is it weird to ask you to pray for my new nipples? he-he.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Second surgery- check

It has been a couple of days since my surgery and things are going well. I still feel a little sore and have some pain if I don't take Advil or a pain pill. I am sore in the middle of my chest which seems strange. And I sneezed today and.......OUCH!! But I do have normal armpits again. Oh, the small things that I"m thankful for. It has been 4 months since I've been able to properly shave them or even see them. It seems strange to have them back.

I had surgery on Friday morning and was home by Friday afternoon. My PS said everything went well, so I am feeling ok about the surgery. This surgery was much different than the first one and although I knew what to expect (sort of) I was still a little nervous. I think the idea of this being the final surgery and that I better like the outcome was a lot of pressure. I did feel a little anxious when we arrived so I was going to the bathroom every few minutes. And yes, I did that embarrassing thing...I peed on my hospital gown and had to grab the corner of pee and walk back to my room and ask for a new gown. Always fun to do!! I was definitely ready for some drugs at that point.

I did like that I walked into the operating room and was able to see what the room looked like and who would be in there. I jumped on the table and in full-service sort of fashion, I had a cuff on my arm and my legs and had an i.v. in my other arm. I laughed at how busy the room was and how many people I had working on my different appendages. And then I passed out. Luckily I don't remember anything past that.

I woke up in a recovery station and was given some yummy saltines and a pain pill. Once that kicked in they took me to a private room where I met Brian and we heard 24 hour care instructions. Pretty easy and simple. It almost seemed too quick to go home. I got another pill and I was wheeled down to our car. I have taken a couple of days to rest and take care of myself. I'm ready for the swelling to be down and to see what these babies are really going to look like. They say it takes 2 weeks for them to take shape. Ugh! It seems like it never ends.

Well, I'm happy this step is over and look forward to looking "normal" in shirts again. I no longer have rock-hard boobs in my armpits. Yippppeeee!! No regrets, but I"m glad it is done!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Another Countdown

Last Thursday my husband reminded me that I have 4 weeks until my next surgery. I try not to think about it because my body is actually getting used to these foreign objects in my body. They don't seem quite as heavy or awkward as they used to (although they are still annoying at times) and my sleep has improved over the past 2 weeks. I am able to run, lift, workout, hug my kids, etc. and I'm starting to feel "normal" again. I cringe thinking that in a little less than 4 weeks, I will be sliced open again, have another recovery time (although it will be shorter), and some more healing for this body to do. I think once this whole process is over I deserve a nice vacation or a fun party! : )

I had a friend ask me, "Now that you know what this all entails, would you have done it?" Or something like that--it made sense when she asked it. I didn't hesitate with my answer (yes), but I did say I would have explored and researched the one-step a little more. Not that I would have definitely picked it, but after months of being uncomfortable and sleep deprived, the one-step procedure does sound tempting. I have been happy with how my body has healed so far and don't regret a thing. I know this was the right decision for ME and I'm happy I did it while I was healthy and young (ok, sort of young).

Little stories:
* Since I don't have feeling in my chest, I have a hard time knowing when my shirt slips down or hangs open (when I bend over). Luckily, I'm getting very good at always checking in. The other day I was pulling weeds in the back yard only to notice my shirt was hanging open as I was bending over...and this isn't a normal look for me. Luckily, I was in the back and no one saw. That would have been a sight to see for my neighbors who don't really like us. Ugh!
* I was watching this random movie one night, they had a mermaid sculpture on the top of the car (I told you it was strange) and I giggled because my chest looked just like the mermaids. So not only do I have a very modest Barbie chest, I now can say I have a mermaid chest, too. It keeps getting better and better!

Well, life has definitely been on the up and I feel good. I keep thanking God that I was able to do this surgery, recover quickly and be with my family through it all. I feel very blessed....even through the minor aches and pains.

Friday, April 15, 2011

It's taking its toll

Well, I had my last injection on Monday and it has been an interesting ride since then. I have had little to no sleep which I'm learning is very important when dealing with kids and family. : ) I spend each night going from my back (which in now just as uncomfortable), to my side and then to my other side. And usually each rotation is about 1/2 hour or so.....if that! I have to laugh because I'm pumped when I get 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep (flashbacks to baby days). I haven't had to sleep in a chair since Tuesday night and that is a great step. It is interesting to me to think about how sleep deprivation effects every part of your day. From no patience with the people around you to feelings of depression to uncontrollable emotions- and I mean crying over nothing (which I almost did today at Costco, but not over nothing. Over a crabby, stubborn child. UGH!). It is crazy the way my emotions have been on a roller coaster ride and I'm ready to get off. Let's just say I do a lot of self talk to talk me down from feeling sad and depressed. Thank God I have such amazing Christian friends who keep me focused, encourage me and just pray for me.

I'm also convinced that i am experiencing yet another one of my mom's symptoms. I have shooting pain in my arms- especially when I am trying to sleep. I have vivid memories of my mom sitting on her green couch each night in her pajamas. Now I know why. It is like a wake up call to your body once you place your head on the pillow and I dread it. Nerves come alive that literally jolt my body at times. It is annoying. And I don't even have a body full of cancer. I can't imagine how my mom did it for so long and didn't complain constantly. I am seeing her journey with cancer in such a different light. What an amazing woman!! I still cry that I don't get to see her and talk with her, but wow, what a blessing to have had such an amazing, loving, caring and godly mother.

Now I wait. I have 8 weeks from today until I have my exchange surgery. Somedays (like today) it seems so far away. I'm excited and have to keep focused on why I did this and the outcome when it is all done. I pray everyone is right when they tell me I won't remember the pain and sleepless nights from these past months (another child bearing similarity). I seriously can't wait until I can sleep again (I'm sure my husband can't either). Until the next surgery, I will perfect my sleeping poses, learn to live with shooting pain in my arms and embrace the next step- no matter when it happens.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Exchange Surgery Set

Last week was kind of a blur. I met with the PS on Thursday and he gave me a once over (made sure my chest was rock hard--if only it were my abs that were) and we scheduled my exchange surgery for June 10. I was excited to get the surgery at the beginning of the summer and learn that I wouldn't need drains. I was so happy to hear this!!!!

Then my mood took a turn. I didn't get another injection and it felt strange. Not that I'm going for Dolly Partten or anything, but I assumed I'd get a little more in-- especially since we talked about doing it the week before. Also, I've had many people tell me to go bigger than I think I'll want. Easier said then done when I have no idea what I want or what this mess will look like when it is fixed up. UGH! So, I left the office and felt uneasy, anxious and completely unsure. I mean, if I'm going through all this pain and discomfort I better like these babies. : ) I called a close friend who has had surgery and talked with her and even looked at a picture of what she looks like in a swimsuit. Wow, talk about a good friend. I couldn't stop thinking about my decision so I called the PS and talked with Nikki. She told me to come in the following week and we would do another injection. I immediately felt better. So, on Monday morning I will get another injection.....maybe my last one, but who knows. I definitely didn't think this part would be as hard as it is for me.

Life has been good since I skipped a week of injections. I can even sleep on my side for a few minutes before it hurts. It just feels good to move from my back. I can't wait until I can see the chiropractor again! I will need to be put back together. I also have been able to workout and run a little more. Nothing like I'm used to, but at least it is something. I'm quickly realizing that these 5+ pounds are going to take me longer to get off then I'd like.

Reality check. We are house sitting and the teenage son was outside playing basketball with our family. He came up behind me with full intentions of being playful, fun and showing his love.... and gave me a HUGE bear hug. All I could do was yell, "You can't do that! You can't do that! You can't do that!" I think he was in shock and didn't know what to do. Brian encouraged him to let go of me and I held in my tears and prayed I wouldn't fall over. I knew he had no idea what he had done and he felt bad. I seriously thought my arms and chest wouldn't go back to their original spots and that the throbbing would last forever. I also kept checking to make sure my chest wasn't deflating. I recovered and talked to him about it. He knew I had surgery, but he quickly learned what that meant. He felt bad, but it was all good. Now he knows not to give me bear hugs until I let him know it is ok. I realized that just because people know I had surgery, it doesn't mean they know what these crazy expanders feel like and how painful it can be.

Well, time to go to bed. I will check in again on Monday and let you know how my injection goes. Hopefully I will have a better feeling when I leave this time.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Getting closer.

Well, a lot has happened in the "boobs of steal" world for me. Last week, I only added 25cc's to each side (this was recommended since the prior week was so horrible) and I had a great week. In fact, I ran the night of my injection and I hadn't done that in about 6 weeks. It was wonderful. Unfortunately, I spent the next day dealing with some soreness, but it was good for my mental health. I ran another time that week and even did my first fitness class. Things were pretty good UNTIL........

Yesterday. I went in for another injection and realized that I have to wait 8 weeks in between my last injection and my exchange surgery and I don't want these expanders in during the summer. So, I decided to go back to 50cc's. MISTAKE! Last night, after taking a pain pill, a muscle relaxant and then 2 alleve, I finally got a couple hours of sleep. It seriously felt like there was a war in my chest. I had sharp pains in my chest and in my arms all night long. No matter what I did I was miserable. I finally sat in a chair and tried to sleep (while I cried). Not a good night.

Today is one of those days when lack of sleep and soreness get the best of my mental state. I want to rip these foreign objects out of my body that make me look like someone who has balloons shoved into her clothes (except much harder!). It makes me want to sleep all day--if only it felt good to do it. Seriously, I love sleeping, but lately I dread it. Usually by Saturday it feels much better, but let me tell you......this exchange surgery can't come fast enough. AHHHHHH! Fortunately, some of my jeans don't fit, so I'm trying hard to control my eating--although my initial thought is to eat until the pain is gone. : ) Ok, I'll stop complaining.

My husband did bring flowers home for me tonight and we went out to dinner, so I didn't need to cook and clean up dinner. The day definitely ended on a good note.

Next Step: Thursday I meet with the plastic surgeon and hopefully get my LAST injection. I am getting closer......

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bad Day

I almost feel guilty telling about my horrible couple of days when I know so many people who are dealing with such major things in their lives right now. So, I will keep it short and as positive as my mind can be (I'm so tired and emotional).

* Had 50 cc's injected yesterday
* Didn't sleep at all because I was so uncomfortable and had pains in my arms and ribs.
* Took pain meds and muscle relaxant and it did nothing for me. Still no sleep.
* Dream about ripping my expanders out....a lot.
* Realize I have a ways to go with these things in and get a little depressed.
* Remind myself I opted to do this and it is a good thing.
* Still feel sad.........and fat.
* Feel as though someone is squeezing me tight and/or sitting on my chest when I breath
* Dreading going to bed now and praying I get some sleep--for my sake and my kids
* End the day with a Shamrock Shake--that's as Irish as it gets in our house.

Positive note: My kids have been so good at not hugging me tightly and being gentle when they are around me. Since my surgery we've done a lot of hand-holding, which I love. Last night, Haddon was upset and came into bed and grabbed my hand to hold it and tonight at a movie, Brady grabbed my hand and hugged it to his face. I love my kids. Just gentle reminders of why I did this surgery!!!