Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Day 5 - My first post op checkup

I wore a seat belt today.
And that belt fell between my boobs naturally just as God intended.
Who knew?!


That was just one of the little things that I learned today. 
I like being able to see my toes when I walk. <3
I'm sorry it's not a very good picture, but I was barely holding it together as we drove.  It was my first time out of the house.   My father in law was kind enough to drive Jake and I up to Carmel for the appointment.  Jake slept all the way.  I did not.  In fact, highway riding is rather nauseating.  Don't think I'll do that again voluntarily for another while.  I prefer to ride like a little old lady... slow.  My goal is to drive myself somewhere around Brownsburg sometime by the end of the week.  But this was not that day.  
I also learned that going from Two naps to No naps is no good.  I took no pain relievers today.  I did that so that I would be coherent enough to remember what the doctor told me.  I remember very little of what she said last Thursday.  She asked me if I was showering entirely with my back facing the stream in the shower?  Whoops.   Was I using a hair dryer to dry the steristrips after showering?  Whoops.  Nope.  I've been using Lavender soap on my shoulders and rinsing so things get cleaned all the way down.  Then patting dry with a clean towel, boobs first for no contamination.  No rubbing, just a pat dry, then air dry before I start padding up.  I've been using my old Nursing Pads (man, I knew I saved them for some reason!) as nip covers.  Handy that!
Today I slathered up in PanAway around my stitchy places this morning.  I had a friend come over and bring my coffee, and she stayed and chatted a while.  Then Stacey came to help out with the house, and we chatted a while.  Then my mother in law came, bringing Jacob home from Preschool, and guess what, we chatted a while.  I got no morning nap.  I used my morning rest time, chatting with friends and loved ones.  I liked being able to do so.  And with special thanks to E and Starbucks, I was having a fine time doing so.   But then about 1 I started to crash.  But by then it was too late.  My appointment was at 2, there was no nap in my future.  So I drank some Ningxia Red, and geared up to go see the doctor.  But I missed our afternoon nap too.   And that was too much.  I was exhausted.   I am feeling much better, striving to push to my limits every day so I don't regress much.  But in this case, cutting all naps was a mistake.   At least I got by with Oils.
I have been using my Oils on my chest, but not directly on the wounds.  And the doctor said they all look good.  I liked that!  When I went to the doctor, the nurse removed some stitches and a large glob of glue taking a layer of skin with it.  That wasn't fun.  They had removed the bolster gauze pad holding my newly transplanted nipple, or nip guard as I was referring to it, and put some kind of relective gauze with bacitracin on me.  She said it was like the inside of a bandaid. But it wasn't I think the worst thing was that whatever kind of bandage they put on me, started itching.  By this evening, I felt so white trash, itching and wanting just desperately to scratch.  I touched gently with fingertips just to get a bit of relief, but not a full on scratch.  I didn't want to undo all the healing.  They removed a couple stitches under my arms, which actually are giving me a bit of relief with regard to contact with the bra.  But I'm still So Itchy.  I know it's good and all to get a bit itchy, means that the nerves are starting to heal.  And healing is Good.  But I hate being itchy.  I've been putting on Lavender and Melrose around the areas today, careful not to mess with the stitches or steristrips to combat that a bit.  And I'm really trying to be a compliant patient.  But I couldn't take anymore, and ended up peeling off that bandaid tonight, there were red squares where it was on my chest.  Whatever they put on me, I reacted to it.  Forget that!  So  I wound up slathering up a pair of Chris's old feeding tube gauzies in neosporin and using them instead.   Part of me would much rather use some of my Oily compounds, like my Cuts and Butts, or Rose Ointment.  But I want to be compliant.   So I'll use my Young Living stuff once the wounds are sealed and closed.  But I can use them around the wounds in the mean time.  At least Lavender helps with the itching, for now.  It just relaxes and refreshes me, so I have to watch how much I put on near bedtime or naptime.  For bedtime tonight, it's Melrose and Helichrysum.  Man, I love that Helichrysum.  My sample is getting low, but my new bottle should arrive on Thursday.  Come on Thursday!
Meanwhile I still am not firing on all thrusters, when I found out this evening that my plans had unexpectedly changed, I burst into tears.  Perhaps exhausted, plus a tad hormonal isn't working in my favor.  Blessedly, I had a friend stop by with food, more perfect timing, and my husband is wonderful, and supportive, and offered to bail me out if we needed him to, luckily, I don't think I will need him to do so.  I'm not quite comfortable driving, nor being home alone all day yet with Jacob.  Jake has way too much energy for this slow little old lady.
We are Blessed to have lots of Friends and Fam who have offered to help us out, and like today, they contact me at the Perfect Time, so that even in my time of tears, I know how much we are Loved.  Thank you All!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Day 4 post op or blogging more

I guess I can do more blogging time, since that's about all I feel like doing.  The weather this evening has been a hot mess.  But that gives me an opportunity to brag a bit about my amazing boys.


This is how I spent most of my day.  
My cohort in crime.  
He was threatening to tickle me.  Again.  
When Christopher came home from school, he asked me what Jacob and I did.  I quote, "We watched cartoons, then Grandma took him to Kindermusik while I napped, then he came home and we had lunch and watched more cartoons, then we napped together, then we watched more cartoons."  TV, it's the sick Mama's lifesaver.  Jacob loves Clifford, Octonauts, and a new show called Animal Mechanicals that he loves, that he found on Netflix.  I'm not a fan, so we watched more Octonauts and Clifford.  Lots of Octonauts.  I think Peso's my favorite.  It's a sad day when you can pick a favorite Octonaut and you and the toddler exchange rocking Kwazii impressions.  (By the way, the toddler wins, every time.) 


Then this evening, another one of our friends brought supper for us, making life a smidge easier.   Bless her! 
As Eric and I sat nibbling our dessert, the boys went to play downstairs, and we heard a funny noise.  Could it be, the tornado alarm?  In August?  As it turns out, Yes, Yes it was.  
We watched the news, and as it turned out a lovely wall cloud with a hook was headed our way, a funnel had been spotted in Danville.  So I watched the sky.  One minute the wind was whipping and it was raining, the next it stopped.  OK, stoppage is scary, and then the power blipped.  So we all went downstairs to wait it out.  By that time though the kids were freaking out.   Chris was very concerned we were all going to die because there's a window in the basement.  Even Jacob was freaking out, yelling "Mommy!  A towado is coming a get us!"  Not really boo. But since I felt we all needed to go downstairs, I grabbed the dog and sugar.  The dog was disinclined to come down, so she hung out on the stairs.  


I told the boys this was a Practice.  We were having our own Tornado Drill.  We go in the basement, and we eat lollipops.  I figured by the time our lollipops were done, the scare would be over.  It was.  
And we were fine.  Daddy has built us a good strong house.  It missed our neighborhood, knocked down some trees across town, but Blessedly, all I know were ok.   Even the trees downed were kind enough to take out any people or houses on their way.   I say we were like the Three Little Pigs in the Brick House.  It's going to take a pretty big bad wolf tornado to blow our house down.  We're pretty Blessed in that department too.  Eric really did build us a Great House.  I felt totally safe and comfortable in that basement.  




My only mistake was sugaring the kids up with lollipops at 7 at night.  They were wound!  
We were entertained for the next hour with episodes from Star Wars: The Crazy Wars.    
Honestly, that wasn't so bad either.  They're pretty funny.  Eric missed most of the ones I was entertained by last summer.   So he got a big dose last night.  Here's one to share with you all.  
Enjoy.  

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Day 3 - Off the narcotics

I'm trying to wean off the drugs, only took Neurotin today, which apparently still makes me a little floopsy.  I wanted to try to get off the hydrocodone by day, during the day, while Eric was home.
That way if I got in a bad way, I'd still have Eric home to help me out.  He really is my Voice of Reason.  I am still taking them at night, because frankly, I am not cut out to sleep on my back all night long, and I find if I'm not drugged as I sleep the desire to roll over wakes me in pain where my stitches are if I'm not drugged into immobility.  On the upside, being drugged makes me sleep all night on my back, which is what they want anyway.   During the day, I like to nap in my little upstairs recliner.   It's hard to roll over there too.


I got dressed.  In clothes! 
This cute little bra is looking more and more natural on me.  
I'm getting used to it.  And I really enjoy the way some of my trusted T's fit on me now. 

As with many things that I attempt lately, I got dressed, and had to take a nap.  I got up, had lunch, and had to take a nap.  Luckily, having Eric around meant that I got rest freely, and I took full advantage of that.   I am seriously digging my re-establishment of the art of the two nap day.  


The roses that Jacob picked out for me opened up very prettily too. 


This shot rocks.  It's my new favorite.  Even though the edges aren't as crisp as they could be.  A. I'm on drugs, but B. It gives it a kind of artsy look I didn't intend, but I totally dig.  So Boom, Baby. 
A new favorite.  


The theme for today from my Photo a Day was Kitchen.  Mine is kind of a mess, because we aren't exactly feeling up to doing much within it.  But at the same time, it's kind of Lovely that way. 

A friend brought us dinner tonight, a homemade morrocan cous-cous.  I didn't think to take pictures of it, but I wish I had.  It was simple and scrumptious, a bed of cous cous topped with hunks of beef and veggies.   There were some mild spices like ginger, saffron, and maybe a smidge of turmeric and cinnamon.  Scrumptious, and we didn't have to do anything but have wonderful friends.  

We really are Blessed.  



Saturday, August 13, 2016

Day 2 Post op aka Tiny T-rex arms

All my painkillers wore off this morning.   So, THIS is what it feels like.  Ouch.  I mean, I'm glad I slept through the night and all, sleeping on my back is hard.  But oy.
I took another hydrocodone, which promptly made me nauseous.  And the neurotin adds to the swirliness, and makes my mind kind of flaky.  But I think that's the one that helps me most.  I notice most when that one is about to wear off.

So today, I got the full experience of what the next few weeks is going to feel like, where I can only use my hands and wrists.  Whatever they gave me in hospital is now gone.  So I now just have me.  Bending my elbows is about as much as my arms can handle.  They get very angry if I try to use my shoulders.  Last night, I made the mistake of turning on the lamp on my nightstand.  That was unwise!

When I wash my hands I have to turn gently wash one arm at a time because reaching both was too much.

Then also ty I took a shower. That was big step on progress today.  It felt good to use soap in my hair.  Like Really Good.  I had to be careful not to soak my stitching too much.  Eric kept popping in, and saying, Don't Take Too Long!   I didn't.

I put fresh pajamas on.  I have a pair of Spongebob jammies my mother in law gave me years ago, when she lost weight.   They say Squeeze Me Please, which isn't really funny at this time.  I actually dislike Spongebob immensely, but these jammies are so soft.  So I wear them anyway.  They hang Completely Differently now.  And I like it.  



Check it out, I have cleavage. 
I have cleavage that I didn't have to squish anything together to create.  
They are all up there and perky.  I think they might've been like that in like 8th grade, before they really busted out.  It's kind of cool.  


Christopher went to Black Belt board today. Now that he is a Black Belt, he is allowed to be on the Review Board for anyone taking the Black Belt Test.  He went and observed for almost 4 hours. He is so big. He's been very gentle with me, and a source of calm.  I love this smile.  After his day, he asked to watch Eragon the movie, for Family Movie Night.  We hadn't done anything like that since the Olympics started.  But I figured he earned it. 


Now while we were watching our movie, my phone buzzed. My friend E was literally on my doorstep. And she brought me chocolate. I had been craving chocolate. And she brought chocolate.  And all was good.  Because there was chocolate.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Day 1 post op

I'm a very lucky gal. Having Eric stay home with me has been great.  He will bring me whatever I need, he's been tracking my drugs so I only have missed a dose once and that was because I was asleep.
Jacob wouldn't let me sleep.  He has so much energy, that I just can't handle it.  Even though I was drugged to the hilt this morning, I couldn't sleep with all his noise.  So I asked Eric to take him to the store.  Yesterday was payday, and we were out of a few things.  The funny thing was that my sister had asked Eric last night to write down a few grocery items for her to pick up.  Unfortunately, I couldn't wait for her kindness.  I needed sleep. 


This was how I spent most of the day.  
Princess is very happy that I've built up the pillows on the upstairs couch.   I slept there last night.  I have to sleep on my back, so I thought I'd be most comfortable on the couch.  I felt productive not waking Eric in the night and going to the bathroom all by myself.  Princess has found the spot next to me to be her spot.  She stayed there most of the night, and as it turned out, most of the day too. 


 So Eric took Jake to the store, and this was what I woke up to later.  Jacob brought me flowers!   
Apparently, while they were at Trader Joe's, Jacob went up and told Eric that I NEEDED Pink Roses.  Pink Roses.  Not only was he able to say them, but to identify them.  He knew I needed them.  I guess he was right, because seeing this sweetheart bring me flowers warmed my gorked up heart.  


Absolutely enchanting.  

So after a few hours, I decided to take off my clothes that I'd slept in since the night before.  I changed into fresh clothes and slathered up in Helichrysum and Lavender.  Yesterday I really needed my Frankincense to calm my nerves before the surgery.  Afterwards, I was so Queasy I only wanted Peppermint and AromaEase.  Today, I have fallen in love with Helichrysum.  


My sister and Ma gave me a sample of this oil when I visited earlier this week.  This stuff is magical.  It has some mild painkilling properties, but the real thing it's used for is the Circulatory system.  I've been slathering it up every couple hours, and it takes the edge off the nerve pain too.  I've heard of people using it to stop bloody noses, or in their First Aid kits.   It was Out Of Stock when I needed to get it, so I had to get a sample from Lisa and Mommy.   Thank Goodness they were willing to share.  This is an expensive oil.  Luckily, as I was falling in love with this herby awesomeness, it came back into stock today.  So I totally pushed through an order, wherein I ordered my own bottle of Helichrysum.  I probably shouldn't be allowed to shop when on all these drugs, but I figured it was ok, since I was cashing in points for freebies, so I only spent $10 on shipping.  Good deal for me! Woohoo!  




So this is me. Check it out, my belly button is nowhere near where my bosoms hang now.  They point up.  I put some Lavender on all my skin when I was changing.  My bra that they sent me home in, is really cute. I decided I like it.  The whole look is cute.  Guess I don't need quite as much support as I'm used to now, things are pretty tightly bound in there.  My nips are so padded they look pointy like something out of a 1960s movie. I feel like Ann Margaret in Bye Bye Birdie.  Except she could squish things together, and there's no squishing here.  No squishing at all. 


The side shot.  Sorry for the graphic-ness, but I know a couple of you want to see.  My belly sticks out a bit below my bosom, but not enough to look pregnant, I don't think.  I actually think it looks good.  I can't believe how normal my chest looks.  I hadn't realized how big things had looked or gotten, or how often my shirts had so much to cover.  Even my pajamas hang much better on me now.  They look really cute.  And already, though I am having plenty of pain at the stitch sites, my shoulders feel like a burden has been lifted.  The doctor called to check in on me.  They took off 5 1/2 pounds!  Can you believe that?!  My niece weighed that much.  I lost a whole niece in one day. 

For a splash of productivity, this evening, I went outside for a walk. Granted, it was just to the mailbox and back.  Still, I felt it. It was the furthest I've moved in two days, and it was pushing my limits.  How else will I find my limits if I don't push them?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

I had Surgery

If Boob talk bothers you, don't read this.  


Aren't I stylish?  

I reported to the Surgery Center at 9:30 am after dropping Jacob off at Preschool. I was lucky to get the boys off to school.  We had explained to them what I was going to do.  They knew that Mommy was going to get her breasts fixed, so that they didn't hurt her back and shoulders as much.  They understood that we were going to have to be very careful about hugs and touching after Mommy's surgery.  We had some Surgery paperwork to fill out, then they brought me back to suit up.  I got a gown and hairnet, socks and compression stockings.  Then we got serious.  They put an IV in my arm. It took 3 times to find a good spot.  I was worried that I might be a hard stick since having Jacob.  Turns out I still am.  At first I'd asked that they let me keep my wrists and elbows functional, so that I could still crochet.  They did. I kept singing the Veggie Tales song, "Sport Utility Vehicle" while they dug in my arm.   The second nurse found a spot on top of my arm, just an inch below my elbow, so I could still work my yarn.  That was good, since then we sat there in that pre-op room for over an hour, just waiting.  That made me nervous. More nervous.  I had been ok at home, but this was getting real.   My nurse told me it was good to be nervous.  That's Normal.  She worries about people that come in all pumped up and happy to have plastic surgery, that's unusual.  OK, I'm normal.  Catastrophizing is normal.  OK Good.  


OK, this was my most graphic shot that I'm going to share with you.  My top view after she drew on me.  X marks the boob that was larger, she knew she was going to have to take a little more off that one. To me, it looked like Easter Eggs.  Easter Eggs that they were going to be removing the bottom off of.  The marks are where they were going to cut.  

I remember being rolled into the OR, and moving to a skinny table.  The lamp above me had a pretty teal rim, I remember commenting on that.  They put a warm blanket on me, and turned on the compression stockings.  That was a weird feeling, cool breeze from coming on, and warm blanket.  They buckled my legs down. They had me stretch my arms to pin me down, just like my c-sections and we joked this was not 50 shades of anything.  I looked at my hands, and  I remember the nurse unbuttoning the right shoulder of my gown... and that's all.

I remember being hot when I woke up.  Eric says I was silly, but he didn't videotape me, he only texted my sister, saying that I was awake,ok and saying "Izzawful Hotinhere".  It was.  They had those compression things on my legs, they were annoying.  Finally they took them off, but they wouldn't let me just sleep.  I was thirsty.  They gave me ice.  I was thirsty.  I finally talked them into water.  And as soon as I got water down, they were dressing me and shoving me out the door.  I was apparently, the last surgery of the day.  So I got dressed, thrown in a chair, and rolled to my car.  Moving that fast made me really queasy.  Eric had a spare plastic bag for me to yak in.  He assured me the process took hours for recovery and waking.  It didn't feel like that.  I felt like the whole world was zooming by way too fast.  I remember begging him, please drive like an old lady all the way home so I won't puke.

We made it home and I didn't puke.  When we got home, Mom W. was here with all the boys.  They didn't rush to me or run me down, like I thought they would.  Grandma kept them upstairs and brought them down one at a time for me to love.  That was nice.  They were gentle.

I started to feel really sleepy and queasy.  Mom and Aunt Teri stayed with me, while Eric went on the drug run.  They even made sure the boys got all bathed and cleaned up too.  There are many drugs.  And Eric has been very good about making sure I got them on regular timed schedule.  We didn't want to risk getting behind on pain.  He's a champ.  I've been feeling fine.


The boys curled up and spent some time with me.  
Me and my Sams.  
He was so gentle, just touching my arm, no risk of touching my chest.  


Christopher was my calmer.  He's been here done this.  He's a post surgery pro.  After getting his jammies on he just laid down with me.  He took good care not to touch any areas that were sensitive.  


OK, this is my After shot.  I sent this to my sister.  I haven't opened the bra to see what's going on underneath.  I have vague recollections of the doctor showing me where stitches were and what  not to get wet.  Again, very vague.  Boy, am I Thankful that Eric was and is here for me.  

Monday, August 8, 2016

Olympic Fest

Let the Games Begin!!!

On Friday, the 2016 Olympics in Rio began.   To celebrate this, the Julius family got together.  We started this trend accidentally back in 2008 when the Olympics were being held in Beijing.  We got together for a slumber party and to watch the Opening Ceremonies. The kids were small and it was only Chris and Emily.  So we ordered some Chinese, and watched the Opening Ceremonies.  Chris was small enough to sleep in a pack-n-play in their spare room.  Eric and Mike crashed before the Parade was over, while Kathleen and I watched the whole thing.  And a Tradition was born.


The morning of the Opening Ceremonies, I did my toes.  
Jamberry recently released some Olympic themed Jams, like this Rio Vibes, that also donated with each purchase to pay for Olympic women to get to Rio.  I was down with supporting that.  So I did.  

Then we had to figure out what Brazilian fare we were going to eat.  I decided that rather than try to duplicate some of the amazing Brazilian meat dishes, we should just go have lunch at Fogo de Chao.  
I love that place.  We have taken the boys a couple times.  But this time they were in school, so Chris and Sam had to miss out.   


We chose to go to Fogo with the kids that were available, minus the three oldest.   
So we have Sarah, Jacob, Kristin, and John.  


Here's our whole crew by the map of Brazil, or Brasil.  
We had a lot of time for photos, as the restaurant took over 50 minutes to seat us.  And that was With a reservation.  Eric had a meeting at 2, we'd booked for 12.  At 1 they sat us down.  We complained.  A lot.  

I didn't think to get any pictures of our piles of meat as we ate.  I guess we were just too hungry. 


In exchange for our trouble, they brought us free desserts.   
That was nice.  I love the Papaya Cream.  One waiter told us the papaya has some magic enzymes that help to break down the protein so we don't feel the bloat or discomfort.  I tried not getting the papaya once... I was miserable all the way home.  I eat it every time now.  This time Eric only got a chance for about 2 bites, before he had to go to his meeting.  Though Fogo took another 30 minutes to get our bill. It was the first time I seriously considered walking out on my bill at a nice restaurant.  Like Seriously Considered it.  Since we'd picked up Eric, he opted to call in to his meeting from the quiet of the car while we finished dessert and checked out.  They took So Long, that Eric was done with his meeting and picked us up out front by the time we got all checked out.  We should have left.  

How sad is that?!  It took us almost 3 hours, to eat at a buffet.  A good buffet, but still.  We won't be back at lunchtime, the service was Terrible.  


Meanwhile, when I got home, I prepared for our Party. 
For each of our Olympic Parties, we try to drink a Festive beverage from that country.   For example, when the Olympics were in Vancouver, we learned that they provide cranberries for Ocean Spray, so we drank Cranberry juice, as well as ginger ale, and Crown Royal, all Canadian beverages.  But Brazil took a bit more research.  They like fruit, and juice, and sugar, and all the permutations therein. We learned that their national drink is called the Caipirinha.  It is a lime beverage that uses an alcohol called Cachaca.  Cachaca is distilled from sugar cane, much like rum, but rum is sugar cane cooked into molasses first.  Cachaca is a fermented distilled straight sugar cane beverage.  And it will put hair on your chest!   


                             Sooo Mommy made Caipirinhas.  Very Limey, very refreshing.  
I found they needed a lot of ice.   The Cachaca was too strong straight up for me.  Eric thought they just needed a lot of stirring. 


One of the other things we made were Brazilian chocolate truffles known as Brigadieros.
These fabulous little carmelized chocolate balls are made with mostly cocoa powder and sweetened condensed milk.  It turns out Brazilians love sweetened condensed milk, they put it in all kinds of things.  


My Sam helped me roll up the Brigadieros. 
Since the colors of the Brazilian flag are blue, green, and yellow, I thought he'd have a great time rolling in sprinkles with me.  We chose to go with those sprinkle colors because all of them have no Red 40, which means they are just fine for my Sams!


The final product.  
It's not as fancy as pinterest, but they were really tasty.  
They were a big hit with the kids.  And the perfect sweet break for all the limey tartness we were having, and cheesy bread that we were enjoying for supper.  



The other drink I made was Brazilian Lemonade.  
I found a recipe online.  Turns out Brazilian Lemonade has no Lemons!  
It's Limes and Sugar.  Literally. They love them some Limes and Sugar! 
And sweetened condensed milk. 
It's pureed sliced limes with sugar water, and sweetened condensed milk.  It's so Refreshing!
When Eric tasted it, he said, "It tastes like liquid lime sherbet."  
It really did.  



We got right down to business with Olympic Opening Ceremonies as soon as it got started.   
6 kids, and all kinds of crazy!


My three patriotic sweetboys.  
The Opening Ceremonies started before I remembered to take pictures.  
So, as is usually the case with my sweetboys, if there's a screen, they won't look at me. 


I found these great Carnivale style flowers on sale, and picked one up for every child. 
The kids thought they made great swords.  Doesn't everything?


During a break of the Parade of Nations, we held our own Parade.  


Emily and I rock our festive Olympic nails!
Jamberry had some really cute Olympic themed nails. Even Chris put some on  his toes.  


Sarah didn't make it through the Parade of Nations. 
Kathleen was still awake, but she was having a hard time with a sweet little hotbox on her. 


Eric didn't make it through the Opening Ceremonies.  
His snoring was a only a bit disruptive though, not as bad as usual. 


Oh, and Jose Carioca is from Rio.  He's a Disney Character from Saludos Amigos.  
Though anyone from Rio is a Carioca. 
Kathleen and I wore this shirt the next day. 
We'll be supporting our Olympians and the Cariocas for the next two and a half weeks!