Monday, October 16, 2006

I hate to complain

at least when it comes to the things that go beyond the mundane - the poses, the homework blues, traffic on the FDR. When it comes to more important things - my general wellbeing, for example - I tend to withdraw, rather than commit it all to memory via blog or journal or even via phone calls to friends and family who might remember it all later.

Right now, I am coming out of my cave to say: I feel like SHIT. Please allow me to count the ways:

  1. The cast on my nose feels like it weighs several pounds. It's slippery from my massaging arnica gel on my bruised cheekbones, and as a result, it's kind of falling off, which makes it feel even heavier. The good news, because there always is good news, is that I caught a glimpse of my doctor's handiwork, and it is GOOD! Nice, straight bridge, not too narrow, not at all ski-slope-like. I look like me, jonly just a little less so.
  2. I am soooo over these damn JP drains. Surgical drains are never fun. Never even remotely acceptable for that matter. But this time, it is worse than usual. This time, they are irritating the surrounding skin. I have oozing chafing sores, which I have covered with extra durable bandaids, which only creates more annoyances. I can't even imagine what it will feel like when I have to pull those babies off (the bandaids, not the drains, which my doctor will remove sometime between tomorrow and a million years from now, or so it seems). The good news: this is really stretching it, but here goes...when I had my initial surgery four years ago, my drains didn't bother me nearly as much, so perhaps there is an inverse relationship between drain-related annoyance and aesthetic results?
  3. I am anxious over how the breast surgery is going to turn out in the end. I know that no matter what, it will be better than it was before. However, I have no idea where the results will be on the scale of "better than before" and "normal". And that's not even setting the bar very high, is it? I guess all I ever really "wanted" from this surgery was to have increased mobility and decreased tightness and discomfort. But somewhere along the line, I think I kind of started hoping that I would have nice, teardrop shaped breasts at the end of the day. And truthfully, I don't think the odds of that happening are very good. I can already see a slight ridge under my right breast - the same way it was before. I just think that my skin was compromised by radiation, and that's the way it's going to be, no matter how many sheets of Alloderm are placed there, and no matter how talented my surgeon. The good news: even with the slight ridge, the breasts are SOFT! YAY! And even if the Alloderm doesn't take (remember - it's essentially a skin graft, and like all skin grafts, you hold your breath and hope it takes), I still have silicone in there, as opposed to saline, and that is a guarantee of softness as long as I don't develop capsular contracture. If I do develop capsular contracture, like last time, I will have to have another surgery to reverse it. That would suck. And so, my mind spins in circles. We all know that doesn't help. But it is what it is.
  4. My stomach is not tolerating the antibiotics I am taking. No suprise there. Yeah, I know, acidophillus. But still. I am craving protein, for healing I guess, but my stomach really only feels good when I eat bland, carby food. Basically, my tummy is bloated and upset, and I can't find any foods that feel good and satisfy my nutritional nees. The good news: this too shall pass. When all else fails, that's always the good news.
  5. I have to teach a yoga class tomorrow, and I hate the fact that I didn't plan better and get a sub when I could have. But the thing is, bad planning like that is usually the result of ambivalence, and truth be told, I probably didn't want to NOT teach it more than I didn't want to teach it, and so, I am teaching it. It's my private class at Yoga Sutra in which all the students are personal trainers, and they love to do inversions and arm balances, and they're great and they're fun. So, I guess I wanted to teach it. I just didn't want to feel so crappy the night before.
  6. I have to have the packing removed from my nose tomorrow morning. That should be a good thing - a very good thing. But I am terrified. TERRIFIED. I have heard rumors that when they pack your nose, it goes all the way up to your sinuses, and when they remove the packing, it feels like they're unraveling your brain. This is a scary and disgusting thought. Add to that the fact that it feels as if the packing has been surgically sewn to the inside of my nostrils, and you've got one scared chickie here.
  7. I can't keep up with my housework. I know, how much housework can I possibly have, right? But my two boys can walk into a perfectly clean room and within minutes, toys are everywhere. And then they unpack their backpacks, and they each have five handouts to hand to me, and I have to get through each one, write things in my calendar, throw away the stuff I don't need, sign my name to the ones that require a signature, blah blah blah. I feel overwhelmed. This sounds so lame. I am a mom. I should be able to do this. But it's hard when you don't feel good physically.
  8. I think I am having trouble getting off the Vicodin. Yes, I know, I do have a really hard time with pain meds in general, and I like them a little bit too much. But the Vicodin is like this magic fairy dust that you sprinkle on yourself, and suddenly, not only do you not hurt, but you also feel energized and happy. What's not to like? Oh, yeah, the possibility of addiction. There's that. That's kind of unlikable. And so, it's been two days of no Vicodin. Until this evening. I just had to take one. I still have like six left, but I would like to not take them. I hope that I start to feel well enough soon such that I don't feel any pull toward taking any more of them.
  9. I feel horrible without my practice. I hope I feel well enough to start walking around more soon. I need to get some endorphins going.
  10. My head is foggy. I think this might have something to do with the packing in my nose. I feel a bit off balance. I feel groggy, scattered. I hope this passes soon.

I do feel better now, having written all of that. It's a weight off of my shoulders. I really don't think it's just the Vicodin. I think that expressing myself has a calming effect.



Julie said...

{{HUGS}}} I knew you'd come down off the high sometime soon.

First, DRAINS SUCK. DRAINS ARE HORRENDOUS MURDEROUS INVENTIONS... but drains are also the key to this surgery.... when he pulls them, it is such a relief.. and he's such a wonderfully compassionate person, he rubbed my shoulders while he did it.

Second, I haven't heard of anyone having an Alloderm rejection...the reason is that the Alloderm has no genetic material, it's cleansed of the layer and is just a matrix of cells. You can read about it on the lifecell website.

Third, I didn't believe the people who had gone before me when they told me my breasts would soften up over time..they DO. In fact, I remember the girl who was two weeks ahead of me.. her breasts were way software with just two weeks more recovery. They will soften even more.

I imagine you'll not have perfection given the state of your radiated breast and the original mastectomy but I know that if there is a chance, you had the right doctor for it. YOu are beautiful (and I still don't know why you got something removed from your nose) and your breasts are not you.

And, lastly, take it from ME, of all people, the practice will be there when you come back... and look forward to your muscles having some relaxation and not being constantly firing off into limbo land..and the softness of that silicone for Supta K...believe me when I tell you it WILL make a difference.

The Best Doctor In The World was like "What, what pose..what??" :) You can be the other yoga freak on his books ;)

That's it...I'm getting us all those tshirts ;)

Debpc said...

You could always sell the Vicodin to your friends...

boodiba said...

Ah this is the reason why the blogger blogs, I think. In a large part, it's the calming effect. I know that my blog is my therapist's couch as well as my public diary. You can just let it all out. If people want to read, they read. If they want to comment, they comment. There is no obligation. Possibly better than paying someone $90 an hour to say, "And how does that make you FEEL?"

Dinnerland said...

Aww YC, I am sorry you are struggling right now. I recognize my own attempts to quell anxieties by going around in a circle in this blog entry.

Just accept that you're in a bad mood today! It is OK and you will be OK.
Sorry to be all 'therapized,' but just 'sit with the anxiety / mental discomfort.' It will pass quicker if you don't try to control it and MAKE it go away.

Trust. me.

Anyhow, I agree with your assessment of the Vicodin-- better to flush those pills (literally) down the toilet. You are acknowledging liking the narcotic effects for different reasons than the pain effect, and that is a bad road that you just don't need to go down right now.

Soon enough, you'll be able to do natural, endorphin enhancing activities... hang in there until then.

Read "Oh the places you'll go" by Dr. Seuss-- I find that to be an entertaining and soothing bit of reading b/c it acknowledges all of the ups and downs of like and gives an encouraging message at the end.

l, from your sister in dinnerland

Sara said...

That really sucks... but think how drop-dead gorgeous you'll be when it's all over. And keep that extra Vicodin in your cabinet for a rainy day. ;)

Tiffersll said...

OHHHH yeah - send me some vicodin.

Hang in there, you're probably experiencing one of the more difficult parts of recovery right now...


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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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