Today wasn’t a very eventful day. We had one hell of a windstorm last night, so I was up late waiting for our house to blow apart in a million pieces. I was awoken by the wind at about 2 a.m. and up for almost a full two hours. After finally falling back asleep, I slept a little past 7:30 a.m. this morning. I am not certain if I did something in my sleep or if my recovering body is suffering setbacks, but I awoke this morning completely stiff and sore in my upper left body. From clavicle to scapula and down to my fingers, I feel like the Tin Man after a month out in the rain – but only on my left side. I got up and inspected myself to see if my left flap was more swollen, bruised, or had to turn to stone (like I felt), but nothing changed over night. I think I am not cleared for physical therapy until I am 4 weeks post-op, but I feel that with all of this stiffness, soreness, and extending immobility setting in I’m going to need much more than physical therapy to fix me.
I didn’t do much physically today because of this weather. It is probably fortunate that I didn’t embark on my neighborhood walk today since I forgot, for the entire day, to put on my abdominal binder. I failed to realize that I hadn’t worn it all day until I was getting up from our couch tonight and was trying to figure out why I was having pain in my abdomen. My plastic surgeon, Dr. Louie, and the PS resident in Dr. Louie’s absence (Dr. Liu), both told me to wear my binder to support my incision. I didn’t think that it would make such a difference, but now I know.
These past few nights, I’ve had some shooting pains on the underside of my “flaps”. I’m not sure, but I think it’s because they’re healing where my doppler wires were recently removed. The doppler wires are implanted during the DIEP flap reconstruction surgery. While in ICU, my nurses (and surgeons) would come in every couple of hours and press on the underside of my reconstructed flaps where the doppler wires were. The wires were hooked up to a speaker, and when pressed on you could hear the “whoosh whoosh whoosh” of blood flow into and out of the flaps. This is done to ensure that the transplanted blood vessels are not failing and that the blood is successfully flowing. The doppler wires are left in, even after being discharged, in case there are any complications (like necrosis) during recovery. When I went in to the plastic surgeon’s office for my follow up, the wires were removed because I was complication and necrosis free. On the underside of my flaps, I have these little holes that are slowly closing from where they entered the flaps. I think this is where my discomfort is coming from, but what do I know. I can’t even see under there. I have to get a hand mirror or rely on my phone to see what’s going on in that underworld.
Today was also our last day of having immediate, on hand help from family. My sister, Angie, returned home to Las Vegas today leaving us here to swim with the little fishes. Before she left, Angie made about 200 lbs of chicken, meatballs, stew, and a lot of other things sitting in our freezer for when we run out of friends that are willing to feed us. I really appreciate that my sisters took time out of their always busy lives to come here and care for me and my family. It isn’t easy work to come into someone’s house and play by their rules, do things their way, and be humble about it. But my sisters did just this , and more, for me, Mike and the girls; and, they did it well. I am thankful for their love, time, help, food, and nurturing of my little family. I am also thankful for my friends that continue to take care of us, bringing us food, well wishes, and happy visits.
This week is going to bring new challenges since my sisters are gone, but hopefully they are injury free challenges. We’ll see. Hope for the best!
And now for the daily dose of forward progress…