5 Days Out

The time has arrived for some updates.  This week has been much easier than I ever imagined.  While I can’t say that it was completely pain free – far from it, but it was not nearly as bad as I was preparing for.  I may have a bit higher pain tolerance than someone who has never had an operation.  I had 4 very invasive stomach surgeries in the last 7 years where my stomach muscles were cut each and every time.  That is where the pain is – at least in my experience.

In this procedure, my stomach muscles weren’t cut, but sewed tighter together.  That caused some pain, but not like when they are cut.  The actual incision area is completely numb.  Actually, I’m numb from my newly placed belly button down to my hip joints.  I was told that may stay that way which doesn’t really matter too much to me – I don’t think I have had much feeling in my lower abdomen since 2006.

Yesterday I went in for my follow up appointment and to have the two Jackson-Pratt drains removed.  I was dreading the removal not because I was afraid it was going to hurt, but having things pulled out of your body just isn’t a whole helluva a lot of fun.  Also, I had a pretty good idea that the tube for the drains were about a foot long and threaded up through my abdomen.  *Insert gag here*

I was pretty nauseous yesterday from the pain medication and the antibiotics I was taking so by the time I got to my appointment, I was dreading the drain removal even more.  I was terrified that I was going to throw up and tear open my incision in the process.  No, not afraid of puking all over my doctor’s office – that’s why they have the tile floors. 

My doctor removed my girdle, aka the sausage casing, and that was the most liberating feeling I have felt in the last 5 days.  I got a good look at what was going on underneath there and I have to say, I’m very happy – even with all the swelling.  There wasn’t any bruising that I could see and the incision is so thin, I can’t even imagine what it will look like in a year.  She replaced all of my little band-aids from the liposuction incisions, cleaned the dried blood from my belly button and replaced the tape covering the tummy tuck incision.  Once that was complete, it was time to remove the two drains.  The tubes were stitched into two small incisions right below my tummy tuck incision.  I was instructed to take a deep breath and let it out – she would pull the tube out on the exhale.  I took a deep breath, covered my face with my hands and let out a loud exhale.  I was afraid of hearing the removal as well as feeling it.  One down, one to go.  Deep breath in….and…whoooooooooooooooosh.  Second drain out!  Not bad at all.  She covered the two holes with some antibacterial ointment and a bandage and then squeezed me back into another girdle.

Dr. S told me to expect some drainage from the tube sites, which I do have.  Once I got home, I was beat.  It was the most I had moved in 4 days and I was exhausted.  After a few hours, I started to feel a bit feverish.  I am no stranger to infection – I have had countless overnight stays in the hospital due to infection where I needed IV antibiotics that they ended up needing to put an IV in my foot because my veins in my hands and arms were shot.  I know that a fever is the first sign and I was not pleased.  I called my doctor to let her know and she assured me that she didn’t see any infection, but thought the fever was probably due to me doing so much and not being used to it.  Well, as it turns out, she may have been right.  After a couple of hours, the fever was gone. 

Today was my first shower since Monday morning and it has made a world of difference.  The only real pain I have is in my thighs – it feels like I went on a really hard uphill run. My back is the other source of pain.  I am not a back sleeper and that’s all I have been doing for the last 4 nights and it has caught up to me.  I may attempt to sleep on my side tonight. 

After my shower, I took a couple of pictures.  For the Truebies out there – it looks like I have Hep V because that purple marker won’t come off my skin and I can’t scrub.  The bruises finally surfaced on my thighs today too.  It looks like I got beat and kind of feels like that if I touch them.  I only posted the side view – I’ll do a front view with the next shower – the picture was just a little too revealing for me to put it out there on the interwebs.

 

I Have No Belly!

I’m a bit late in my post-op post due to my realization that I am not allowed to sit up straight for some time. I must remain in a hunched position while standing and at a 45° angle while laying down. The latter makes it difficult for me to sleep, thus the 1:30am posting from my phone.

Preparation for my surgery started shortly after 6:00am. After a brief search for a suitable vein for my IV, I was covered with warm blankets and a “Bear Huggie” which distributed warm air all over my body. My doctor came in and sectioned off my soon to be gone parts with a purple marker before wheeling me in to the operating room promptly at 7:00. I was given a “margarita” injection and before I even had the chance to enjoy it, it was lights out.

I awoke at around 11:30 and immediately felt pain in my upper abdomen. Not horrible pain, but definite discomfort. A nurse was close by and gave me Percocet as well as fentanyl in my IV. Needless to say, that pretty much took care of that. I snacked on a few saltines and ginger ale and before I knew it, it was time to go home. I had a momentary stint of nausea, but made it home vomit free.

I am wrapped in what can best be described as a black sausage casing with a strategically placed opening. The casing is not to be removed for a few days which means no showers and no hair washing.

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My doctor called me around 3:00 and after I told her what I had been up to since arriving home, she informed me I wasn’t taking enough pain medication. Unfortunately, the Percocet is making me extremely nauseous and the best way to prevent that is to eat. I have forced down a bag a pretzels, two pudding cups, two jello cups and 1/2 a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Kamryn and Rory made me get well cards and Kamryn may have a future at Hallmark.

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Overall, the pain isn’t that bad. It’s far less than previous surgeries I have had and I don’t anticipate needing to be on the pain meds for too long. My legs started hurting after I got up for the first time, but even that is fairly manageable. Tomorrow my doctor is making a house call to see how I’m doing and hopefully, I’ll get a glimpse at what’s under my black suit. And hopefully it’s a nice birthday present.

Apologies for the choppy writing – I took a couple pain pills and flowing paragraphs are escaping me.

Hello Old Friend

It has been well over a year since I sat in front of my computer and vigorously typed out a blog post.  I started out with such dedication and then committed to a full year of daily posts only to throw my hands up in the air after 9 1/2 months and now, here I am again. 

I have had a few people ask me why I don’t blog anymore and my response lies somewhere between a shoulder shrug and a lengthy explanation of it starting to consume my life.  I had actually started blogging because in the background of my daily life, there was something occurring that only my close friends and family knew about and one day…one glorious day…all would be revealed.

Well, that day finally came, it was actually quite anti-climatic and not surprisingly, colors aren’t more vibrant, the sun doesn’t shine brighter and I’m not floating on my own bed of happiness.  To make a five year long story short, I settled a medical malpractice lawsuit for an undisclosed amount of money.  Am I rich?  Monetarily, no.  Am I happy with the outcome?  Meh…I guess.  I’m just glad it’s over.  Do I have anything else to say about it?  Not really. 

After the birth of Rory, 5 1/2 years ago, I had countless complications that resulted in countless corrective surgeries and leaving countless scars all over my body, but mostly on my stomach.  I vowed that once I could afford it, I would have one final surgery to remove all the scar tissue and unsightly scars that I was left with.  Well, with the settlement of my lawsuit, that day has arrived and much sooner than I originally anticipated.

I had gone in for a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon on Wednesday, July 23rd and discussed what I was unhappy with about my body.  I was told I was a perfect candidate for a mini tummy tuck.  I already knew that because off and on over the last 5 years I had perused numerous before and after photos of other women who had similar “situations” with their abdomens.  My doctor asked me when I wanted to have the surgery and I jokingly asked her if she could fit me in that afternoon.  She said it would most likely not be schedule for about 4 weeks.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t going to work for me and her receptionist said she would see how soon it could be scheduled.  To my surprise, I received a call later that afternoon saying they could fit me in on the 28th as long as I could come in the next day to do my pre-op appointment. 

July 28th, the day before my 38th birthday, I will be going under the knife…hopefully for the very last time.  I will be having a mini tummy tuck and liposuction on my thighs  – I figured since I was already there, why not throw in (or out) a little fat removal?  While I’m not scared to have this done, I am a little nervous and a lot excited. 

So why the blog post?  I want to document the process.  I have told a handful of people and the most common reaction is, “I’m jealous!”  I know everyone that has any kind of procedure done has a different experience, but I’ll share exactly what it was like for me.  It will also save me from having to tell the same story over and over again. It will also serve as a reminder of how painful surgery is in case I get some kind of plastic surgery obsession.  I have heard people say it’s like a tattoo…you can’t get just one. 

The process started yesterday when I went to pick up all of my supplies: my prescriptions that I’ll need after the surgery, a shirt that buttons up in the front (not easy to find), extra pillows, pudding, soup,  jello, Gatorade, ice packs, and hard candy.  Today consists of washing all of my bed linens so they are clean and fresh after I take my 13 step antibacterial shower tonight and another one tomorrow morning.

And finally.  I debated this in my mind a lot before I decided to do it.  What would be the point of me writing about having cosmetic surgery if I didn’t show you the before picture?  I figured a link would be better than inserting a picture.  It’s not something that everyone wants to see.

There you have it.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s, drug induced, post-op post.  It’s sure to be fun filled with maybe some gory pictures!!

A Birthday, A Binky, and Some Balloons

Today is Rory’s 4th birthday.  We have been preparing for this birthday ever since his 3rd birthday.  Last year, I wanted Rory to rid our house of all binkies.  Rory’s craziness outlasted my love of sleep and he was granted access to Binky for sleeping only.  That lasted about a week before Binky was once again a permanent fixture in Rory’s mouth.  He never took it out of the house – he was a closeted binky-sucker.

About a month ago I really started driving it home to Rory that his Binky was not going to be around once he turned 4.  He was once again seemingly excited to rid himself of his Binky, but I had my doubts.  I also knew that if we didn’t really get rid of Binky, I would give in and let him have it as soon as the going got a little tough.  We decided that tying Binky to the end of a bunch of balloons and letting it fly away was the proper way to expose of his plastic oral fixation.

Rory and all of his ladies.

Rory and all of his ladies.

Kamryn really wanted to be the one to let the balloons go because she is a control freak like her mom, but I insisted that Rory be the one to do it.  He needed closure.  So after we all counted to three, he released the balloons and up, DSC05539

up, DSC05541

up,DSC05540 and up it went.  There was not much wind and Binky appeared to be going straight up in the air.  I had already said that if that damn binky ended up back at our house or if the balloons all popped and it fell right at Rory’s feet, we would be taking it home and he would be allowed to have it as long as he wanted.  Of course it did not and Binky is now somewhere east of San Diego.  In hindsight, I wish I would have attached a note for the whoever found it to email me so I knew how far it had gotten, but I may had been too tempted to go pick it up if I knew.  Not knowing is best.

After about 5 minutes, Binky was no longer visible to the naked eye so the kids flew kites, drove remote control cars and we looked on as our children gazed out over our beautiful city on a gorgeous day,DSC05553 on a little boy’s birthday.

DSC05561Happy birthday, to my wonderfully crazy, silly, naughty, hilarious, adorable, and best little boy!!

Pants Not On Fire!

I have been known to boast about my daughter’s seemingly inability to lie to me.  Don’t get me wrong, she does bad things, but she ALWAYS comes clean about it – usually with little to no prodding.  Of course I know this is not the norm and I also know that this will not last.  Rory is proof of that.  That kid lies like a rug.

This weekend I noticed that Kamryn seemed a little stuffed up and was probably coming down with the cold that so many of her classmates and friends have had the last few weeks.  I wasn’t all that surprised to hear her wake up Sunday night, shuffle into the bathroom and gag into the toilet.  I figured she had a nice little sinus drainage down her throat and it was upsetting her stomach.

When I asked her what didn’t feel good she said, “Am I going to go to school tomorrow?”  I told her that we would see when she got up in the morning.  After 3 more visits to the porcelain throne, I told her she could just sleep in tomorrow and stay home and rest.

All day Monday Kamryn laid on the couch, watching The Disney Channel and coloring pictures.  We had a brief discussion about why she wasn’t at school after I told her she would not be allowed to play Just Dance.  That didn’t prevent her from jumping up and dancing to commercial jingles, though.

It was clear that she would be going to school on Tuesday.  This morning, she got up on her own, ate some oatmeal, got dressed and then started complaining about being too tired to go to school.  I told her she was going because being too tired is not a reason to stay home – especially when she slept 12 hours last night.  I told her to do some jumping jacks to wake up, instead she laid down on the couch and pretended to fall back asleep.

And the Oscar goes too…..

I got my little actress out the door and in the car without much of a problem and once we were actually at school in the classroom, I knew she was fine.  Every morning I stay in her class for about a half hour reading with Kamryn and her classmates and every time I looked at Kamryn, she was smiling and visiting with her friends.  I told her teacher that she was complaining about being too tired and then I jokingly said, “If she annoys you too much, call me and I’ll come and get her.”  Mrs. M laughed, I laughed, we laughed together.  So imagine my surprise when I got a call at 9:58 from the school saying they had Kamryn in the office with a stomachache.

Kamryn had been sent back to her class to get her backpack by the time I got there so I went down to her classroom to retrieve her.  She was sitting at her table waiting for one of her friends to finish coloring her a get well picture.  When Kamryn saw me in the door, a huge smile spread across her face and as we walked out of her class, she said without an ounce of restraint, “This is the 2nd time I got to leave school early!”

I almost turned her right around and marched her back into the classroom, but I didn’t think it would be fair to Mrs. M to have to deal with Kamryn whining the rest of the afternoon.  I didn’t say anything until we walked out of the school doors.

Once we were in the car I said, “When we get home, I want you to take your shoes off, get your homework out of your backpack and go back to your room and do it.  You will not be watching TV, you will not watch anything on the tablet, you will not have access to my phone.  You are going to lay in bed and rest all day.”

The look of disgust was almost worth having to go pick her up.  I asked her if she really felt sick and she said, “My tummy hurts.”  I told her that was fine and that the rest would do her good.  And then the questions:  If I feel better, can I watch a show?  No.  If I take a long rest can I watch one show?  No.  Can I color?  Maybe.  Can I play with Legos?  Maybe.

So I asked her again, “Do you really feel sick?”  And she told me, “No.”  She then had to listen to my lecture about how school is important and that she needs to be there to learn.  I asked her if she would rather be laying in her bed, staring at the ceiling or at school with her friends.  She said she wanted to be with her friends.

Now, if I thought for one minute there was something going on at school like she was being bullied or having a problem with her teacher, believe me, I would get to the bottom of it, but since I am at that school every single day and watch her interact in that environment, there isn’t even the slightest concern when it comes to that with her.  This was strictly Kamryn wanting to stay home and be lazy.  Unacceptable.

I let her come out of her room to eat lunch and I was showered with praise about how I am the bestest mom in the world and I’m so funny and so pretty.  After lunch I told her to go back and lay down.  Rory had finished his lunch and was looking all over for the tablet.  I got up, walked back to Kamryn’s room where I found her in her closet watching Baby Bratz on Netflix.

I took the tablet away, gave it to Rory and was immediately told I was the meanest mom.  She even took the time to pen her disdain.Kamryn's_noteIf you can’t read her phonetic note, it says:

You are the worstest, selfish, baddest mom ever.  I am never going to love you ever again.  Never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never.

Never going to love you again.

I told her that her note hurt my feelings and made me feel very sad.  She told me I hurt her feelings because I wouldn’t let her watch her shows.  I told her that wasn’t the same thing and that she was just mad because I wouldn’t let her watch the shows and that I didn’t do anything to hurt her.

She stomped off to her room and 15 minutes later, she came out to tell me she was sorry that she hurt my feelings and gave me a hug.  Then she told me she does love me.  See?  Cannot tell a lie.Kamryn&Aggie

I Did A Good Deed…I Think

I had my first taste of freedom today after a week of the kids being off of school for Thanksgiving break.  To say that the kids function much better when they have a strict schedule is an understatement.

I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do.  I knew I wanted to go for a run since that hasn’t been a priority of mine lately, but beyond that, I didn’t know if I should sit at home and catch up on some DVR’d shows, read my book or run errands.  I decided that I needed to run errands.  I had a check that needed to be deposited and a couple of things that needed to be returned at different stores.

I had finished my returns and had just pulled into the parking lot of my bank.  There was an older woman walking through the middle of the parking lot so I was waiting for her to pick a side before pulling into a spot.  I watched a man in his late 70’s or early 80’s get in his car and put it in reverse.  I took a quick glance at the woman walking and she had almost made it to the curb and she was thankfully out of the way of any traffic.  I couldn’t help but think of the South Park episode, Grey Dawn.  If you don’t know it, look it up.

The shiny, silver Infiniti parked next to the man wasn’t quite so lucky.  He started backing up and I was cringing because I knew he was going to hit the back panel of the neighboring car.  Sure enough, the entire right side of his car rubbed up against the back left panel of the Infiniti, leaving a nice black scratch.  He stopped, pulled back in his spot and because I like to think the best of people, I assumed he was going to get out and check out the damage.  Nah…he tried to reposition his car and ended up pulling out and hitting the car again.

At this point, I had gotten out of my car and was walking towards the ATM while watching some inter-vehicular dry humping.  I was also searching in my purse for a pen because it was pretty clear that the guy driving wasn’t going to stop, much less leave a note.  I wrote down his license plate and I’m almost 100% certain that he saw me standing there writing it down, but he still chose not to stop.

Once I had finished my banking business, I returned to my car and began scripting my tattle-tale note to the silver Infiniti driver.  I already was starting to feel kind of bad.  What if my note somehow results in this man losing his license?  And then I thought, Well, if that’s the case, he may have a lot of prior accidents and shouldn’t be driving.  And then I started to feel like an ageist.  But then I argued that he did hit another car…twice.  And then I thought, It’s just a car!  Who cares?  But then I thought of how I would react if I came out of somewhere to find a big scratch on my car.  Through all of my inner turmoil, I had written the following note:

I saw someone hit your car this morning.  He was backing out and rubbed against your back panel.  He was driving a red Toyota Camry (I think) I’m not 100% sure on the make and model, but his license plate is 6***236.  If you have any questions, you can email me at…

After placing my note under the windshield wiper of the car, I noticed the United States Naval Academy license plate holder on the Infiniti.  Hmmm, I wonder if this guy hit an Officer’s car!?  I felt a little better about tattling.  But what if the guy in the red Camry was an Officer?  I had no idea what the hell was going on in my head.

I got home around 2:45 after picking Kamryn up from school.  I checked my email and sure enough, I had an email from Susan. :

Dear Amy:

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a note on my car. May I call you to ask a couple of questions?

My cell phone number is 619-xxx-xxxx.

Thanks again. That was very thoughtful of you.

Kind regards,

Susan

I called Susan and left her a message along with my number.  Normally, I wouldn’t give my number to anyone I didn’t know, but with the power of the internet, I found out all kinds of things on Susan before giving her my number and she seems like a pretty trustworthy gal (and a previous dancer).  She never attended the Naval Academy, though.

Anyway, Susan called back about 20 minutes later and was extremely grateful for my note.  She was so grateful, she said she wanted to give me something for my trouble.  I refused, but I’m a little curious as to what she would have given me.  A cup of coffee?  A check?  A spa day?  I wonder what a note about a car getting hit goes for these days?

Susan’s last words to me were, “Thanks again, Amy.  You did a good deed.”
I’m pretty sure red Toyota Camry guy doesn’t think so.

Flashback Friday Hostess Style

I’m sure most have heard the awful news that Hostess is going out of business.  I haven’t had a Hostess product in awhile, but I have chalked up quite a few indulgences in my 36 years.  How you eat a Hostess Cupcake is more of a personal preference than the underwear you choose to wear under your chinos.  I preferred to peel off the frosting and set it aside.  I would then break the cake in half and lick out the cream filling.  I would eat the cake next and finally the frosting wafer.

I loved the two pack of cupcakes.  Whenever I bought it, I would eat one cupcake with the intention of saving the second for the next day.  Inevitably, I would eat that second cupcake within the hour.  Screw Sprinkles – I like Hostess Cupcakes. Besides the cupcakes, a very close runner up in my Hostess indulgences were the Fruit Pies.  I remember eating these all the time as a kid.  They were so much better than real pie because of that layer of sugary glaze on the outside.  I didn’t like pie crust as a kid because it wasn’t sweet enough.  This solved that problem and made a piece of pie a convenient, handheld delight.

I liked the blueberry one the best, but those were sometimes hard to find.  I made Ryan go out and find me one when I was pregnant with one of the kids and I believe I had to settle for apple.  I had such a huge craving that I probably could have eaten 6 in one sitting.  I loved everything about these pies – the taste, the weight (they were heavy!) and even the wrapper.  Luckily, I didn’t eat 6 because I may have gone into a diabetic coma or had a heart attack.  The “real fruit” pies are absolutely horrible for you.

Fruit Pie Nutritional Information

Another one of my favorites was the Ho Ho.

It was basically just a cupcake flattened and rolled up, but the frosting was that waxy stuff that left a greasy feeling in your mouth.  I always tried to completely unroll the Ho Ho before I ate it, but that was a next to impossible feat.

Hostess held the market on so many scrumptious little pastries like SnoBalls, Ding Dongs, Donettes, Suzy Q’s, Chocodiles and Sweet Rolls.  Each one had their own little qualities and characteristics that was unique to that one product.  The store brand knock offs didn’t really compare to the Hostess brands.  They would do in a pinch, but they just didn’t quite satisfy that Hostess craving.

One Hostess product that I never really liked was the Twinkie.  I didn’t like the texture of the cake.  It was way too spongy for my liking.  I never felt like I fully got it chewed up in my mouth.  Also, the urban legend that a Twinkie had a nearly infinite shelf life never much appealed to me.

I know I’m not the only one that feels like a little part of their childhood is dying with that blue and red cellophane wrapper.  These products really are snack classics.