Today was great!  Since all of my incisions are completely healed I was able to go with the girls and Cate back to our parent & tot swimming lessons.  The girls hadn’t been in weeks because the class requires 1 adult for every child in the water, and we simply couldn’t find anyone free on Tuesday mornings to take the girls with Cate.  It was phenomenal in so many ways.

Everyone knows about the joys of buoyancy.  I didn’t know that being back in a pool with my kids would buoy my spirits so much.  It felt great (emotionally) doing another “normal” again together with the girls; it felt awkward (physically) trying to get used to the feeling of so much movement from me and our munchkins.  I felt the pool was a safe re-entry into physicality with the kids because I didn’t have to rely on my own physical strength 100% because we were in the water.  I swam with Olivia; she typically refuses to swim with anyone else.  She always wrestles me a little bit when she is bored with the swimming practice drills and wants only to play with the pool toys; today was no different in that regard.  It was different to try and manage her (physically) while still not having my full range of motion in my arms.  We do a drill where we (the parent) prop one leg up on top of the knee of the other under water.  We make a table top this way to lay the child upon.  They rest their belly on the parent’s thigh, so they’re partially immersed in position like they’re swimming but your leg is just below them to support them in the water.  It sounds easy enough, but trying to get a toddler that is learning to swim used to this posture and relaxed is a challenge.  Limbs are flailing, water is splashing everywhere, and you’re trying to control midget chaos while keeping your kid afloat.  It’s a workout, usually, and today even more so.  I still cannot raise my arms straight up, move them behind me, or too far out from my sides.  So trying to control Olivia’s cyclone was super difficult but we all survived.  I also took several body blows, punches to the noobs, and am happy to report that I’m not in any more discomfort that I have been since my recovery got easier.  The middle of my back hurts constantly these days, but I think that has a lot to do with how my posture has changed since surgery.

All morning I was entirely grateful for how strong my legs are.  Paul and I worked really hard on building leg strength before my surgery since we figured they’d be working overtime while my arms were out of commission.  I can’t tell you how well this has served me.  You probably don’t think about how much you use your arms to get up from the bed, a chair, the floor, out of the car, etc.  I have either been using my arms on a very limited basis to do these things or not at all.  I’ve also been using my legs to complete the motion of opening a heavy door (by way of the inner thigh against the door frame), to close heavy doors (kung fu style), and I use my simian toes to pick things up off of the floor and kick them up to my hands.  (Handy trick you can also learn in Vegas between the rush hours of 10 p.m. – 4 a.m. in some places ;).)  Since I’ve been trying to pick up or carry the girls as of yesterday, I ask them to put their arms around my neck and hold on tight to me while I’m in a squat position.  I then make sure I have a good grip on them, and vice versa, and use my legs to propel our weight up instead of lifting with my back.  It makes a huge difference in how my arms and chest feel when I do this correctly.  In short, if you’re getting ready to go through this process, work on your leg strength prior to the big day.  You’ll need it and be glad that you did.

Tomorrow is my first day of physical therapy.  I’m excited to learn why I’m having pain in different areas, the muscle groups involved and implicated in my surgery/recovery, improving my ROM and strength, and how soon I can get back to my usual self (and working out!).  I am terribly nervous about how much pain and/or discomfort is going to come with PT.  I have my appointment in the early morning, which I planned just in case I need to call my doctor’s office about pain issues later in the day.

I keep trying to upload my daily photos but am getting an “internal error” message during the upload process.  I have been at this for 41 minutes now and am giving up in the name of sleep!  If I can resolve it tomorrow morning, I’ll update this post with tonight’s photos.  Wish me luck in PT!!!!

04/17/12 - Frontal

04/17/12 - Flaps

04/17/12 - Abdomen

04/17/12 - Nipple site

04/17/12 - Left Side

04/17/12 - Right Side