Friday, June 13, 2014

Update Part Dos, and why I'm probably not in danger of being a drug addict

OK, now that we're all on the same page, I have more updates for you and a couple funny stories. Hopefully I can get them across to be as funny as I think they are.

Where we left off…
I got home from the hospital on Friday June 6th and pretty much slept the whole time. Saturday I felt pretty good, all things considered (I find that I use that phrase a lot now) and even though I was in bed most of the time, I had many visitors and I didn't even nap!

Sunday and Monday were a little rougher. The drain sites were extremely tender and the drains themselves make me feel less than human. Aaron's been fantastic, just hugging me when I cry over silly things, helping me get dressed, making sure I eat and forcing me to walk. At first it was laps up and down the hallway upstairs but we've graduated to walks around the 'hood. They're very short, but it's something.

Just some of the beautiful flowers I've received

My first follow up with the plastic surgeon was Tuesday, exactly one week after surgery. I had a mini-meltdown at home while trying to dress for my first venture out of the house. I don't want to get too graphic, but I came home with four drains: one in each boob and one on each side of my abdomen, right about hip-level. I'm wearing a weird surgical bra to keep everything up there in place and I have a big ole incision from hip to hip, plus my belly button has been moved so it looks kinda creepy, too. The placement of the abdominal drains make it so that I can't really pull up anything very far. To be honest, at home I usually just wear underwear on my bottom half. So I kind of lose it when I can't figure out anything to wear that won't hurt (and that won't show off my nasty hairy legs). Finally Aaron grabbed a maxi skirt and it worked perfectly because it's extra long, so I put the waistband up under my boobs and it worked like a charm. Off we go.

On this particular morning, it was rainy and kind of cool, but of course I have AHF (Asshole Hot Flashes, for the uninformed) so I have the air cranked up and my poor zero-body-fat, always cold husband has goosebumps on top of his goosebumps. [Sidenote, in the hospital my room was freezing, to everyone but me. Aaron would wear a sweater and jeans to visit me, and the nurses eventually gave him two blankets.]

So we get to the surgeon's office about 10 minutes early. I had taken pain meds before we left the house so I'm feeling slightly loopy. The waiting room was pretty full and we sat right beneath a TV set which had an HGTV show with Lara Spencer about repurposing flea market finds or some shit and it was loud and annoying (probably wouldn't have been any other time). There was a married couple who were just talking, and while they were louder than I would be in a waiting room, they weren't obnoxious, but I'm getting hyper-sensitive to all the noises around me. I'm burning up. I'm in pain. Then there were these two older-than-me ladies who are looking at a phone and bidding on eBay on some fucking Lilly Pulitzer handbag. "Oo, $21, that's a great price, put that in there..." Finally after 40 minutes in the waiting room we got taken back to an exam room. As soon as we walked in there I started crying and telling Aaron all about why I was about to lose my shit.

The surgeon came in and asked how I was and I could hardly talk and all I could say was "please take out these drains." Aaron filled him in on my breakdown and the surgeon said "you should have outbid them." He was great, and while he sympathized with my pain, he made sure I knew that it would be devastating to remove the drains too early. I know. I get it. He took out the two on the right side, and that has made a huge difference. I go back to see him next Tuesday.

In the Facebook updates, Aaron mentioned a funny story about pain meds. The first night in the hospital, when I finally got to my room, I was told about the PCA pump for pain management. All I remember is that the nurse said "when the light on the pump is green, you can push the button for pain meds." I knew there was no chance of overdose, but I think I had it in my head that the time between the green lights would be an hour. It was really 10 minutes. So after about nine hours when the nurse asked me about my pain she said "just so you know, you're allowed 2 milligrams per hour, and you only used 1.6 milligrams all night." Holy shit! You can bet I pressed that button more frequently after that. As my sister-in-law said, "who thinks it's a good idea to give direction like that to someone who's just been under anesthesia for eight hours?"

Things are going as well as can be expected. I'm happy to know that this part is behind me, but I know I still have a lot ahead of me, too. Emotions are all over the place. Sometimes I quite literally think this is all a bad dream and it's not really happening to me. I need to thank you all again (and again) for all the love and support. It is truly uplifting and it helps more than you can even imagine!


  1. Seriously, patients who were just under anesthesia cannot be in charge of anything. LOLOL

    It is happening to you, unfortunately, but fortunately you are dealing with it really well. Love you!

  2. Oh my Gwen Coco, I've been thinking of you often and sending prayers your way. I can't imagine how tough this is, not only the physical, but the mental. Breakdowns are ok, and I love that Aaron is by your side through all of it. You're a rock star! <3

  3. I think you are handling everything better than most. Of course you'll have tough days and experiences that make you meltdown, but you are also so funny and thankful. Thank you for continuing to share your story! Keep it real!


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