So Long 2016

I never know when I’ll get the urge to post, but when it hits, I feel I have to take advantage…even if it’s at 11:30pm on New Years Eve.

So here I sit, wrapped in a faux pashmina, slippers on my feet, glass of pinot at my side, Rory sleeping in his bed and Kamryn writing up a business plan for her “Balloon Messages”.  Honestly, a great idea about sending your loved ones messages in a balloon. She’s currently charging $0.06, but I’m encouraging her to charge about 100% more.

2016 has been a shit year for me.  I feel like I deserve to be selfish. If you know me, you know that my husband, Ryan, passed in August.  That would be more than enough to make this a shit year, but no.  More shit has happened.  A friend and neighbor, Todd, also passed this year and left his wife and two young daughters.  Friends of friends have passed and more have had strokes, cancer diagnosis and former classmates have had other ailments that are atypical for people in our age bracket.

I want to be optimistic for 2017.  I really, really do, but  if you know me, you know I’m a very devout Democrat and I am saddened, dismayed and scared about the next 4 years.  I can’t say much more than that.  I was feeling hopeless, but I do feel like it’s my chance to change how I operate on a day to day basis.  I was watching the news 2 days ago and saw a story about a local woman who was attacked, her jewelry (wedding ring) was stolen along with all of her money and she was assaulted.  There is a Go Fund Me  account set up for her.  If you can, help her out, please do.  I don’t know her, but she needs help and when I needed help this year, I had many, many people at the ready to help me.  I want everyone to have that.  Every living person deserves that.

In 2017 I have decided to count my blessings.  I am beyond blessed.  Things that I used to take advantage of, I will be appreciative of.  I will be thankful for all of my friends and family.  I will be grateful for the roof over my head and the food on my table.  I will try not to complain about the broken dishwasher or leaky gutters.  I won’t wince at the emails that schedule conflicting activities for my kids.  When I get asked if I can help out, I’ll smile and say, “Yes!” when I can instead of scrambling for an excuse not to.  You can do it too.  I’ll fail at times…I know I will.  I won’t always say “yes” because some days I just can’t.

Some days I cry all the way to work because I miss Ryan.  Other days I want to lock myself in my room because everything seems like just too much to take.  Then there are days when I tell my kids how funny, caring and loving their dad was and I’m happy I get the chance to do that.  And on another day, I reminisce about my childhood and my carefree days playing in the creek with my best friend, Sara.   Sometimes, I sing at the top of my lungs…just because I can.  In 40 years, I have had more good than bad and I am thankful for that.

So 2017…bring it.  I got this.

 

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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!!

I’m Sorry President Obama, I Can’t Hear You. I Have A Flag In My Head.

I stayed up to hear The President’s victory speech, but unfortunately, I didn’t hear much until Obama snapped me back to attention by yelling “WE ARE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!”  I was too distracted by watching the people behind The President and to the odd mixture of audience members.

I was watching the woman standing behind Obama’s right shoulder.  She was posing or giving f-me eyes to the camera the entire time.  If you go back and watch the speech again, you can see her either trying to seduce Obama’s back or possibly using her 15 minutes of fame to look a little whorish.

I went in search of a still photo that included the little seductress and found that there were many more people distracted by the woman over Obama’s left shoulder who had stuck her flag in her hair.  I noticed her, but didn’t find her flag-head nearly as distracted as the woman licking her lips and batting her eyes.

Ryan gets credit for the Willow Smith song play.

WE WERE ON A BREAK!

Yesterday I forgot to do my daily post.  I have posted something every single day in 2012 and yesterday I just forgot.  Actually, I remembered at about 8:00 when I was putting the kids to bed, but immediately after I closed their doors, I climbed right into bed and read my book.

I woke up this morning at 4:13 and realized what I had done and it sent a wave of panic through me.  That reaction has led me to make the decision to stop forcing myself to post something every day.  I actually considered getting up and writing something really quick in the hopes that I could sneak it on the sly – or make up an excuse about how I preemptively said I wasn’t going to post anything on 9/21/12.  How ridiculous is that?

First off, I don’t think many people even realize that I committed myself to writing every day.  Secondly, I don’t think many peoplecare if I write something every day, every other day or once a week.

Anyway, I’m still going to post, but I am relieving myself of this daily task.  And now that I have put that in writing, I’m sure I’ll be blessed with infinite ideas about what I could write about.

A New Project

Yes, I decided I needed to take on one more thing to do, as I look at my dining room table with two open and running laptops, notebooks, flashdrives, and hundreds of school directory forms.

I have been following Ashley at Lil Blue Boo for almost as long as she has had her blog.  I was first drawn to her cute crafts and sewing projects, but over time, her life just became so damn interesting to me.

I don’t know Ashley and have only commented on her blog a few times, although I think I have read every post, but one time she did mention me in her blog post here.  The “Amy” she is referring to is me…honest.  I was super excited about it and I told anyone that would listen.  They just smiled and nodded.  To which I would exclaim, “Do you have any idea how many people read her blog!?!?”

Simple pleasures.

That is my segue into my new project!  Ashley is started something called The Lil Journal Project.  At first glance, I thought, why would I need to do this?  I basically have a journal with my daily posting blog.  This is so much more than typing out some words everyday.  Yesterday’s “assignment” was to write a page of things that I found to be simple pleasures.  I filled the entire page in all different colored sharpies.

The reason I’m posting about this today is because I know a lot of people who I think would really benefit from participating in this journal project.  If you miss a day, go back and do it later.  Or don’t do it at all.  I did the first 3 days all on one day and haven’t gotten to the 4th assignment yet.

You may find a hidden talent, a love for writing, drawing or creativity that you never knew you had!

*I am in no way affiliated (except for that one time she mentioned me :-)) with Lil Blue Boo, the blog, products or anything else that sounds legal-like.