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Monday, 15 April 2013

Surgery Part Two - warning, scary graphic photo.

Friday the 5th of April and I've sat up for the first time, had my catheter removed and am beginning my recovery.  Damn it was hard.  After Elvis and Cathy helped me to sit up, they helped me to lie back down, which was even more difficult.  About half an hour later I had to pee, at least I thought I had to pee, it was hard to tell if the pain was my bladder or my incision across my abdomen.
cut from hip to hip and new belly button

The nurse asked if I wanted to get up to pee.  No way, I'm not trying that again.  So they got this weird gadget called a slip pan, yep it's a bed pan, but it "slips" underneath you if you cannot move, and explained to me how it worked.  After a bit of complaining I decided to give it a shot.  How embarrassing though, having two nurses slide this silly thing under me.  It didn't work, they left the room, they ran the tap, they tried everything, I could not pee.  I was certain that I had to pee.  Cathy suggested they bring a commode (portable loo) and put it beside my bed for me to try.  That meant getting out of bed, I really, really didn't want to do that, but I was desperate.  The pain was excruciating but with the help of Cathy I made it into a sitting position.  Then a two foot shuffle over to the commode and bravo!  Success!  The second I sat down my bladder behaved and did what it was supposed to do, I guess I'm just one of those people that needs to be "sitting on the toilet", I mean really, peeing lying down?  What were they thinking.

As the day progressed my migraine got worse and worse.  None of the pain meds were working, migraines are different and although I had lots of hydromorphone in my system, my head was still pounding like you wouldn't believe.  I barely slept that night between nurses checks and splitting, blood pounding pain.

The following morning at around seven o'clock I asked for assistance to get up to pee (this was now about my fifth time so I was getting pretty good at it).  Unfortunately the second I was sitting on the commode I felt sick and before the nurses could get me anything bigger than a small paper dish I was projective vomiting purple stuff all over the place.  That was horrendous, as it was, clearing my throat or coughing was difficult and painful with the big incision, can you imagine the pain when my entire body was heaving with vomit.  I felt so bad for the nurses though because they had to clean both me and the room back up afterwards.   At least I went pee again though.  By the time they got me back into the bed I was exhausted.

That night they finally gave me Demerol and Gravol to help the migraine, and after a day or so it did eventually abate.  As the days progressed - I was in the hospital for six days - I managed to get a little better at getting in and out of bed, I was able to walk to the bathroom in my room and even managed a few short walks down the hall with Wade's help.  He was there with me every free moment he had, helping me wash, helping me walk, helping me sit, even hand feeding me Haagen Dazs ice-cream.  He is unbelievable.  I was so incapacitated and so mortified by my situation and Wade took it all in stride, he helped me with everything and never once made me feel like the useless git I thought I was.
delicious hospital food

Every day I got stronger and I knew when hospital food started to taste boring that it was time for me to go home.  Well, not exactly home, I still have not been home yet.  I am in what I call transitional care, Wade took me to my dad's where my dad and his wife have been looking after me.  Perhaps spoiling me would be a better way to put it.  I am getting three lovely meals a day, have been drinking amazing mango and pineapple juices and am just gimping around doing nothing.

On a not so great note, yesterday my reconstruction started to go all hard at the edges, and especially under my arm.  I called the surgeons office today and the assistant said it sounded like fat necrosis, which is certainly not a good thing, but it didn't require me to rush right in.  I have no idea how they will manage to fix it, but will find out tomorrow and will update in the blog.  For now, my breast that was originally soft tissue has now become this rock hard lump sitting there.  I really hope it does not mean they have to remove it all, because I don't think I could possibly handle going back under the knife again.  So, I'm thinking positive, I'm increasing my walking - today I walked around the block and I'm not going to worry about it as I cannot do anything about it right now.

On that note, I'm exhausted and hungry.  Time for lunch.

Enjoy the sunshine,

Love,
Michelle

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