This post may be random and could use editing but blame it all on the pain meds.
It’s so nice to be home from the hospital but so challenging as well. There is so much I’m not able to do for myself still let alone take care of the kids. My in-laws took the kids again today to let me rest. Poor Xander is so out of his regular routine and schedule and he’s really frustrated. He is more self-sufficient than his sister though and actually helps out some so he stayed with me yesterday when Jeffrey took Sis to the doctor for her ringworm infection. Yep, that’s all we need right now is an infection in the house but we gotta just keep doing the next thing. Amira had to get a blood draw to check her liver so Daddy took her for ice cream after. I think she was already planning on this because she packed her own sprinkles in her purse for the Dairy Freeze. Such a funny girl!
So, I’m on percocet now at home for pain and those work well. They reduce my pain by about 50% so enough for me to move around but not over do it. I now have strong preferences for pain medication. Here’s the rundown: Vicoden = bad, dilaudid = EVIL, morphine = good, percocet = sleepy and bad dreams but keeps the pain away. I was given dilaudid via IV at the hospital because I wasn’t able to eat anything because of nausea. Well, the dilaudid caused severe nausea and actually wasn’t that great with the pain. I was puking and in pain which was not a good combo. They gave me Zofran with the dilaudid but it didn’t do any good. The nurse would give the injections and then leave the room and I’d immediately need the bucket. Finally, I asked if we could try a different pain medicine. She said she’d have to page a doctor cause it’s the middle of the night. I said I didn’t care, I just needed some different medicine. Once we switched to morphine I was good. The pain was controlled and the nausea started to go away.
This is the stuff I remember at the hospital. There was a lot that went on that I have no memory of. Apparently I’m a pretty bad patient when I’m under anesthesia. I’m demanding and annoying according to Jeffrey. But, he said the nurse was understanding and did a great job anyway. All I remember is the pre-op area and the anesthesiologist getting me really drunk and then I remember a bit in the recovery area. I was in pain and couldn’t find a call button so I removed my pulse oximeter to get someone’s attention. Of course, a nurse came over and scolded me for taking it off and I told her I took it off so I could ask for pain meds. I think she was only slightly amused.
One thing Jeffrey wanted me to write about that was fairly repulsive to both of us occurred in the pre-op room. Dr. Lilly had been by to mark me and then a radiologist came in before the anesthesiologist. The radiologist had to inject something before the surgery so that they could do the sentinel node biopsy to check the lymph nodes for cancer. This sounded pretty normal to me so I wasn’t concerned. But, hell no, it wasn’t that simple. I’m not sure why they had to do this before any kind of anesthesia but the radiologist injected tracer into my nipple. I’ll repeat that for emphasis. He injected radioactive material INTO my NIPPLE. Thankfully the breast nurse was still there and she held my hand for this as Jeffrey was fleeing the room as quickly as possible and there is no doubt they would have had to scoop him up off the floor. Poor guy has been very brave but this was unexpected. It was over quick enough but that was not fun.
At home I have a lot of restrictions but the hardest one is that I can’t raise my elbows above my shoulders. A dear friend/neighbor/cousin stopped by last night to help me shower and that was wonderful. I have 4 drains coming out of the surgical area that need to be emptied at least twice a day. The line need to be stripped and the bulbs emptied and the fluid measured and recorded. So far Jeffrey, his mom, Penny and the home health nurse have helped me do this so I haven’t done it on my own. I also need to change my dressings but I don’t have any leakage there so it’s not too big of a concern. I’m wearing a surgical bra 24 hours a day that holds dressings in place. The nurses and doctors all say that my incision looks great. I haven’t looked yet. Dr. Treece (plastic surgeon) was very pleased when he spoke to Jeffrey that he was able to get a good amount of volume in the tissue expanders. He thought I’d be happy but I keep thinking that’s why my pain level is higher.
Everyday I’m improving but this is going to be a long slow recovery. Thank you to everyone who has sent me notes of encouragement and also those who signed up to bring food. I won’t be cooking for quite awhile so it is much appreciated.