Friday, December 28, 2012
Well that suckedÖ That could describe a lot of things in the past week. Well two weeks. I just checked. My last blog was on the 17thÖ
The #1 thing that sucked a$$ is my surgery recovery. I had my left arm near my elbow redone, about six inches or so of it Ė to remove a fat pad/loose skin near my elbow, and a revision on my right armpit area where a piece of skin stuck out like a triangle from the end of the scar.
Well the left arm is fine. It still hurts a little, but thatís to be expected. I had the surgery on the 11th, so Iím only 2.5 weeks post surgery. That sideís scar is also healing really well. No problems. The other side is a completely different story.
So what I didnít realize when I was getting this done is that they would have to completely remove the first armpit scar and give me a new one to fix one tiny end of the scar. Apparently scar tissue is too hard to stitch and isnít very strong, so doctors opt to remove all of the old scar tissue to pull together skin. I still have a little elasticity there since I had plenty of extra arm skin Ė so that wasnít a problem.
I begged to get my stitches out the Friday before Christmas. The armpit stitches were the worst. They itched, they hurt, they were red and irritated and uncomfortableÖ I hated them. For some reason it felt like they were worse this time around. I either was on a lot of drugs four months ago and donít remember Ė or I was in so much pain everywhere I didnít notice.
This time around though, I guess I did too muchÖ My doctor agreed to take out my stitches, but told me to take it easy. Now Iím warning you Ė the next bit will be a bit gross Ė so donít read it if youíre eating or this stuff freaks you out.
When the nurse took out the stitches, the wound opened up a little. She even said, ďHmm, I wonder if he should look at thisÖĒ but never got the doctor. So she sent me home and told me to be careful and to watch for ooze and the color of the stuff on the bandages.
Friday night it didnít look too bad. I put bandages over it and started my baking spree and packed the car to drive home for Christmas. Saturday morning there was some yellow oozeÖ and my wound hurt, and it was a little more open, but I didnít think anything of it.
Saturday night it had really started to hurt, and I complained enough that my doctor sister (who I donít really get along with) offered to look at it. Apparently sometime on Saturday my incision wound opened up. Like kinda ripped itself open. So I wasnít just complaining about painÖ it actually was a problem.
So then my sister explained I needed wet to dry bandages to rip out the dead tissue that was thereÖ its exactly as excruciatingly painful as it sounds. Probably more so Ė because it was effing horrible. And I had to do that several times. It was so bad I put my arm in a sling so I wouldnít move it or bump it as much. *gross warningÖ everytime we pulled it off I started gushing blood for the first few times.
According to my sister this was good because healing, blah, blah, blahÖ what also happened, is that my incision continued to rip until the whole thing was open. Its about four inches long and is about 2.5-3Ē apart in the middle. Its open Ė nasty Ė and painful as all get out.
Add into this the fact that I need to keep it covered in a bandaid/gauze/cover in my armpit. The armpit moves a lot. Plus Iím allergic to adhesives. Bandage adhesive, bandage tape, surgical tape, all of it. Iíve been making due, but my skin just looks awful. I have a lot of reaction rashes around my wound from the bandages I have been using. For the first few days I had a t-shirt wrapped around my neck and my armpit to try to keep the bandages in place. So I had to sleep with what felt like a noose around my neck, trying not to lay on my injured wound side. *Horrible.
So we had a huge party on the 23rd at my parents house. I had a sling on Ė everyone kept asking me what was wrongÖ so I had to go through the story like 20 times, I kid you not. Plus TJ came over, so he met my family Ė and a million other people Ė and it was super stressful.
Christmas Eve and Day were both stressful with my family. Its just a lot to deal with. I got out of some stuff because of my wound and not being able to move without really hurting myself. It definitely threw a wrench in my Christmas plans.
My doctor sister said it was looking better -- and she went home. I ended up having to drive 2 hours to go see my plastic surgeon, waited over an hour for my appt because he was in surgery late, only to have him tell me it will close on its own given enough time. No time frameÖ no real estimates for when its going to stop hurting so badlyÖ but lot of bandage materialÖ
Then I had to drive 2 hours back to my parents. I have a lot of stuff going on in StL these next few days, so there was no point in staying in Columbia.
So thatís it Ė I got a little more Percocet for the pain, and was told to let it go. He doesnít know why this happened, what went wrong, it was just a fluke. Just a very painful, fluke. My doctor sister said he took the stitches out too early, and she would have just left them in for another week, no matter how painful it was to me Ė whatís happening now is way more painful.
So thatís that. I havenít been typing obviously because I havenít wanted to move my arm. Iím barely moving it now + 2 percocet is how Iím blogging today.
And with the holidays and being in a lot of pain, I havenít been counting calories. I havenít been exercising, but I know the important part now is to heal, then I can refocus on everything. I honest to god am trying not to move so it doesnít hurt so bad Ė but its me, so Iím trying to help cook and clean and not just be in the way.
My momís anxiety/depression/agoraphobia is kicking in hardcore since she had people in the house on the 23/24/25Ö She canít handle that much stress. Plus my dad is trying to do major home renovations at the same time Ė driving me and her both nuts. And the house is all torn up from the parties and the serious home renovations that they did the week before the partyÖ Its just a lot. A lot of emotions. Iíve been avoiding it as much as I can by separating myself from the situation and going to go see TJ and stay out of the momma dramaÖ but I havenít gotten off scott free. Sheís been guilt tripping me and I just canít handle it.
So the plan for today = shower ;-) + get myself all dressed up + do some shopping (I need another strapless bra since one isnít going to cut it and shoulder straps suck) + meet TJís parents for dinnerÖ So lots to do and its already lunch.
I hope everyone had a good holidays. With New Yearís coming up Ė I know this is a time we all struggle to not get wasted and eat too much, regret it, and promise to do better next year. I quit making New Years resolutions years ago. Why let a date on a calendar tell you when to start making changes. When you decide = thatís when you should start. Donít wait. Iím going to try to keep making smarter decisions and not let myself go nuts. Hopefully 2013 will get me to my goal weight, but if it doesnít, Iíll just keep working at it. Iíll get there eventually, and you all will to, if we just stick to it.
Iím going nuts not working out right now, so once this sucker heals, Iím getting back in the game.
Monday, December 17, 2012
I need some kindling for my Spark
My Spark, like many others, has come and go lately. I did so well when I was losingÖ and I did lose. Iíve lost almost or around 100# depending on just how fat I used to be (I honestly donít know if I ever got to 300, but I know I was close).
So now after losing all of that, youíd think that Iíd feel amazing. And most days I do. Other days though that sneaky inner fat girl voice likes to come out and tell me that Iím worthless or that I look horrible in that top, or that person over there is staring at you for a negative reason. Usually I just tell her to STFU, but sometimes she sneaks in.
Lately I canít get her to shut up. I think itís partly stress from nearing the end of my PhD, trying to find a job when all I hear about is everyone who is over-educated and unemployable, family pressures, and just the holiday season in general Ė but sheís gotten a lot louder.
On the 11th I had my brachioplasty revision. I had some stressful stuff happen in the month beforehand with my family and my grandmother, then I threw a party where I felt like NO ONE helped, and then I spent four days with my mother. I didnít include this in my last blog, but my mom ended up getting mad at me for being ungrateful or whatever set her off this time Ė then she stopped talking to me, cleaned up, changed the sheets, packed up her truck, and just left in the middle of the evening. She canít see well at night and her meds make her a dangerous driver after dark. Did that stop her? Could I change her mind? Nope. And she didnít talk to me until today.
So add in surgery stress and pain and narcotic medication = my diet went off the deep end. Hardcore off the deep end. Iím still getting over the after effects of being on narcotic pain killers *if you know what I mean, so I know Iím carrying extra weight. The swelling isnít so bad right now, so I donít think I have a water weight gain. But regardless I am avoiding my scale until Friday at the earliest. I just donít want to know what my week of depression and pain did.
Now I need my Spark. Iím still a little mopey and I fully admit that. I STILL feel like crap from the surgery. I still am finding excuses to eat junk. I usually start out my day saying I am going to eat the soup I have in the kitchen, or the chicken cesear salad I boughtÖ and then I donít. Then I eat toasted ravioli because that is St. Louis comfort food and follow it up with a bowl of slow churned ice cream. Which is perfect for me since Iím lactose intolerant :-/ -- cue still recovering from narcotics as my excuse Ė nothing is moving :-/
I went to see my plastic surgeon today because Iím starting to feel sick and my incisions still hurt. He said theyíre fine. Theyíre better than fine. He offered me antibiotics but I declined. I just donít want to become too resistant in case I actually need them. Until then I just need to quit b*tching and get some rest.
So why do I feel like crap? Iím trying to figure out if what Iím doing is making me feel badÖ The short answer is YES. I am the reason I feel like crap. Iím eating crap, I feel like crap. Whoída thunk? Am I eating fried foods? Dairy? Caffeinated beverages? Not drinking enough water? Stuffing my face full of sugar? Answer = YES to all of the above. No wonder I feel like sh*t.
I had a great Spark going into my surgery week. Now I just need to recover. My short plan for this is to:
a) Get my diet in order. This means more freggies, more water, NO fried food period. Also, quit it with the sugar. I definitely notice a change in the way I feel after sugar (as I write this Iím rethinking the licorice I have with my diet cocoa right now)
b) Up my water intake. What happened to the person who drank 3L+ a day? She started drinking diet soda again and backslid into carbonated hell.
c) Stop it with the caffeine already! I was off caffeine for almost a year. ThenÖ yeaÖ I allowed it a littleÖ then a little moreÖ then I needed it moreÖ and now waking up is like punching myself in the face with a brick. I used to be able to pop out of bed and wake up without a problem. Today I woke up with a headache, hit snooze six times, and then had no time for breakfast and ended up eating McDonalds. Not good. No Caffeine!
d) Start doing SOMETHING fitness related. My arms are not an excuse. I know I canít use them for about a month or so now so I donít stretch out my new scarsÖ but I have abs, and legs, and glutes that can all get a workout and I can get moving. Anything is better than nothing right? Iím going to start with my stationary bike and watch some Netflix. It worked when I was 250#, so it will still work now.
e) Get back to Sparking. Last time I had my surgery I avoided Spark because I hated how inactive I had to be. But that was three months ago when I was doing 4-5 5ks a week on my treadmill plus strength training. Needless to say, I havenít gotten back to that. I NEED to. Sparking seems to help.
So thatís it. I know I have a Spark in me somewhere. I just need to find some kindling Ė something small to get me going again.
And of course its Christmas time. Luckily for me I donít have to move any furniture or help with the heavy duty cleaning of my parents house because of my arm surgery *this is awesome, Iím usually the slave labor out of all of my sisters. But my parents are having a massive Christmas party on the 23rd. They decided to move to Kentucky near the Lake and retire with a boat and some goats. *not joking! So this is their last Christmas (and mine) in the only house I have ever known them living in. They built it when my mom was pregnant Ė and now 28 years later are getting ready to move to the middle of no where Kentucky.
So now with this giant party, I know Iím going to see a lot of people whom I havenít seen in a few months to a few years. So thereís going to be a lot of *you look amazing, or *holy crap! Right now I donít feel like I deserve it, but I just need to remind myself this may have been the seventh time I have fallen down on my journey, but Iím going to get up again for the eighth time and keep moving. Plus TJ is meeting my entire family *eep and possibly spending Christmas with usÖ and then Iím meeting TJs momÖ so thereís that whole ball of stress induced anxiety. I just know that this is a temporary feelingÖ I need to get my endorphins back and to do that I need some exercise. So for now, Iím going to stop blogging Ė two massive ones in one day (!) and put the roast in the oven for dinner. Then shimmy back here to my office for some Sons of Anarchy on Netflix and my stationary bike. Combined those should be enough to make me feel like Iím moving in the right direction a little closer to a Spark and less of an ember.
Monday, December 17, 2012
So Iíve been busy being not busy. Lately.
Last week started out crappy. I had one of the worst migraines Iíve had in a long time. The weather change and allergies have been affecting a lot of people around here. So after waking up at 5am in pain from the migraine, taking meds, and crawling back to bedÖ I had to get up and ready for a work meeting they rescheduled to include me in.
After that horrible 4 hour meeting (we didnít leave until almost 1PM!) I went back home and crawled back in bed. BUT since I had surgery the next day and my mother was coming down to stay I had to clean. It wasnít much since I had deep cleaned for the party that weekend, but it was enough that I had to actually get up and move and do it.
I guess I should re-cap the weekend before I get to the surgery stuff. I stupidly offered to host the grad student holiday party at my house. And that meant cooking as well. And cleaning. In my stupid head it also seemed like the perfect time to clean and organize my closets. So my office closet was done the week before Ė now my closet, the hall closet, the linen closet, and the closet in the spare room that Iím now renting out is also clean. So then I had to actually clean the rooms.
Iíve been trained to freak out and clean if anyone is coming over, so I had to over do it. TJ was down and busily watching the Army/Navy game while I ran around freaking out. I had to cook a turkey! And surprise, surprise the people who bought it didnít let me get it early enough so it was still frozen that morning. After some more thawing in the sink in the morning, it was still only partially frozen inside when I was getting it ready to put in the oven. *I couldnít find the giblets because it was still so frozen deep inside of the turkey (eep!)
And then I had rolls to make, and stuffing, and mashed potatos, and gravyÖ basically an entire thanksgiving dinner. People were supposed to bring side dishes and dessertsÖ guess what. They didnít. Cue STRESS. I ended up microwaving vegetables and boiling some carrots. And people offered to help, but I didnít really let them. So all in all I made a 20# garlic/herb/butter roasted turkey with lemons and oranges inside, mashed potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, brown gravy, sausage/apple stuffing, vegetarian stuffing, yeast rolls, parker house rolls, mixed vegetables, and boiled carrots. By myself. For 23 people. I officially went off the deep end stress wise. I ended up not even really eating. I was so beyond the point of ridiculousness by that point that I just sat on the floor and played with my friends baby. Then I ate a lot of chocolate.
So Sunday I just kind of relaxed on the couch with TJ. And didnít really do much of anything but eat leftovers and some more chocolate.
Then the Monday migraineÖ
Which brings us up to Tuesday. So three months ago I had my bat wing/chicken wing/extra arm skin removed from both arms. They didnít match perfectly so I had one small thing on the right side to fix and a chunk of fat to remove from my left elbow so it looked the same size as my right elbow. I donít know what I was thinking, but I didnít think that it would be as bad as it has been.
Plus my mom was here. Sheís nuts. She hates the fact that I have a roommate, but also tells me Iím not smart with my money which the roommate helps to bring inÖ so cest la vie. I deal. She was more nervous upset than I was about the surgery. She gets over protective and nervous and fidgety, which annoys the crap out of me, which then annoys her because Iím not grateful, which then incites a vicious cycle. Add in a lot of pain meds and a surgery and after three or four days weíre about to kill each other.
This time around I didnít get anesthesia. I just got some valium and a little more dopey meds and locals. So basically I got to watch. This probably grosses out a lot of people, but Iím a scientist and Iím weird. What kind of surprised me was the fact that instead of just removing the small part on the right side that stuck out, my doctor decided to remove my entire right armpit scar and give me a new one that would look better. Apparently I stretched it out too much and he wanted to give me a better looking scar. So now I have a 6Ē scar in my armpit healing instead of just a small 1 or 2Ē one that I was expecting.
The left side I knew would be more extensive. They didnít really wrap me up as well as they did the first time, so I get to see all of the gross stitches and stuff as they are healing. When my mom and I tried to cover everything with gauze since I was still a little bloody, we used standard bandage tape. Turns outÖ Iím allergic. Found that out the next morning when I had giant water blisters everywhere the tape touched my skin.
So thatís been fun. I definitely used my Percocet and valium to help me get through a) recovery and b) that much time with my mother. But now its been a week and Iím still in pain and my stitches are still red. This may or may not be normal so Iím on my way to the doc to get them checked out.
Iíll add more details later, but I just wanted everyone to know what has been up for the last week or so.
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