Friday, October 7, 2011

hospital and recovery time

I got out of hospital this Monday. As supportive as all my loved ones and friends were for visiting me I started getting frustrated and sad with the whole situation. The doctor let me go home on the reason that he thought I would be better off at home with myself or my family emptying my own drains rather than the nurses doing it wrong every time. They broke one of them (woops).

The pain has been quite bad and I can't use my arm too much. They had quite a field day moving my muscles around. The op was actually pretty much complicated in the end actually - On doing administrations with one of the head nurses you had to write out to your knowledge what you thought the doctor would be doing so I wrote down 'Bi lateral mastectomy, node disection and taking out my port' On signing the note off the nurse said 'according to theatre you are having just your left side removed'. I was so frustrated on the news. According to my doctor I could only have the effected side removed due to the fact of my alien blood clots that had invaded my lungs. No1 had discussed this with me however. I was livered! On having to get used to the idea of having no breasts at all - I now had to look defromed and only have 1? really now??? I understood the terms in the end but wow - due to doctors being on holiday it wasn't discussed with me that I would have only one disected in the end. Not brilliant news at all in the slightest. I was wheeled off thankfully very calm with the help of premeds. Upon entering theatre and seeing all the equipment they were about to use just sent me off in a downward spiral - thankfully I was put to sleep very soon after.

On waking up I was suddenly very confused. I was shivering to such an extent my teeth were chattering and the nursing staff were telling my family and Nigel that they had to say their quick goodbyes so they could get me stabilized. I was in ICU. Great....The surgery was much longer than anticipated. What was supposed to be just 2 hours lasted 6 hours on the table. The doctor had struggled to take my nodes out beause of my muscles. My body had gone into a bit of shock and according to my nurse I was breathing a bit funny so they had to monitor me very closely for that evening. That night the pain was quite bad. Felt like I had been shot through my shoulder and my throat was so dry from the pipes that had been in my mouth and down my throat that all I could do was have ice chips given to me the whole night. By morning I was a bit better and I was given my first meal in a day. I felt a bit like a invalid to an extent because I had to have a nurse feed me because I couldn't move my arms or lift my body. It's terrible feeling so incompetent. Thankfully later that day I was put back into my ward - Thats when my sea of flowers, cards, phone calls, balloons and messages started. Wow - I have so many people who care. It's just too overwhelming...

I spent from Wednesday to Monday in hospital and my family and visitors kept me quite busy with visits the whole time. Was a good thing I suppose because it kept my mind busy instead of thinking of my amputated lady lump. When my guests wern't there I was sleeping, having my blood pressure checked or visiting my dear friend who was 2 doors up from my room who had been in a motor bike accident. Very convenient!
I learn a valuable lesson the first day being out of ICU. If a nurse asks you to say what your pain is on a scale of 1-10 do not answer 7-8. This may be a trick question. If you answer this you get a suppository and there is no changing your answer! If you answer 5 and below you don't get anything. 6 or 7 is a pill. 7-8 a suppository and 9-10 is an injection. Injections were only given to me at night when I was about to go to sleep. That was the best pain killer which lasted me quite a while - they gave me Pethadine. Aaaah how I miss it. 

Now that I am out of hospital I get silly pain pills that don't do much at all. I had to ask the doctor for something extra because my arm is still so sore. I still have my drain which I hope to loose today. Been carrying it around since the op and I am really getting tired of it now. I'm down to about 40ml every 12hrs which is apparently a good thing. Changing into day clothes has been a real hastle in the past few days. Every morning I have been struggling to find something to wear due to the fact that it looks ever so obvious that I am 1 boobed now. So eventually on finding something to wear on Wednesday I begged my mom if we couldn't find a solution somewhere to make me look more 'symetrical'. We found a shop called Storm in  A G cup which cater for bigger laddies and prosthesis fittings. I needed a prosthesis stat! Sadly they could not give me one because I still have drains and major swelling so we opted for the next best thing. A big old lady bra with no wiring and a insert called  a 'softy' to make me look 'normal'. In about 6 weeks I can get a prosthesis until I get my reconstruction done.

A week before my big day I had a photoshoot done. Something very out of character for me considering it was mostly without clothes on but I wanted to commemorate and document what I was about to go through. It seemed for some reason like a very big step for me - letting go almost. The photographer and myself have chosen to document before, during and after reconstruction. Should be quite interesting. Many people asked why I was having it done and my answer was to the extent of the fact that I can't go back on something like
a mastectomy and therefore wanted pics for various reasons. We may decide to use them for an exhibit, use them in a publication I have been pondering on or even just for my own.

 So thats it ladies and gentleman - next chapter closed and well...almost dusted... 

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