Archives for posts with tag: Stage 1/Week 8

If you’re reading along you’ll notice that my post from yesterday didn’t publish until today (just before this one).  That’s because I had a DEFCON4 freak out last night due to what I thought was my continued trouble with WordPress.  It wasn’t until today when I went into our garage that I realized my snail’s pace upload speed, time-outs and overall “www” troubles were because of a problem in our electrical panel with the wireless router.  So, it’s a double doozy this evening.

Also, in uploading my post from yesterday I noticed that I forgot to mention my first foray into having the Noobs publicly nude and noticed.  Well, kind of publicly nude.  We were in the locker room after the girls’ swimming lesson, post shower, and getting dressed.  I usually just face the wall when I’m getting dressed in the locker room, but Yaya was going all daredevil on the bench while I was trying to put my top on.  So I had to turn around, facing the other locker room occupants topless.  And nipple-less.  I’d like to believe that the mom across the way from me would be mortified if she could see the look on her own face when she saw me.  Being that we’ve been in swim lessons for over 6 months with basically the same moms and kids, the other moms in our group most likely noticed when I was not at lessons with our girls.  I’m sure after my only-very-noticeable abdominal scar was spotted last week, they all assumed I had a very rough tummy tuck.  But after yesterday and the cartoonish, popped out eyes I received, I’m sure there is a mind reeling with questions about my Barbie noobs.

It didn’t really bother me when I noticed the other mom staring.  I figured it would happen sooner or later, but it did throw me off a little.  I mean, typically, I’m cool as a summer squash whilst nude and ogled in semi-public settings.  It did bother me when I thought about our girls.  Not in the sense that I worry about my girls seeing me and staring.  I mean it in that I worry about either (or both) of our girls having to go through this, and someone staring at them after their first phase of surgery.  As a mother, a lot of things bring out the Mama Bear in me.  Someone shooting an awkward look at either of my girls for any reason raises my hackles.  It also gave me a push towards my nipple reconstruction, which is quickly approaching. I am confident that my noobs will look more like boobs with reconstructed nipples.  (Tangent:  What will I call the reconstructed nipples?  Ripples?  RecoNipples?)  I also want to go through with the nipple reconstruction in case anyone in my family has to do this.  I want to be a good example of the end result.  If, unfortunately, one of our girls has to do this – I want them to have a wealth of information about this, as well as a living, breathing, aging example.

In the words of Snoop Dogg, “But, uh, back to the lecture at hand”.  Today was my gym day.  I feel like we did a ton of squatting, lunging, and some stretching of my upper body.  I had, by no means, an easy workout –  just different.  It is hard for me to be accepting of my limitations and the physical set backs that came with my surgery.  I wish I could tell you that I was doing push ups, pull ups, dumbbell flies and the like, but I’m not.  Just working to increase my range of motion gets my heart rate up, and today I was pouring sweat using the TRX bands to stretch my chest after our workout.  I have lost a lot of muscle from my legs and muscle definition all around, but it will come back.  I am sore tonight, kind of from head to toe.  I’m so surprised at how even a slow paced work out takes so much out of me both during the work out and over the course of the remaining day.  As it has been a running theme in this recovery for me, I am aware that I need to practice patience and acceptance.  Having stated that, I would like to draw attention to the fact that my patience and acceptance are typically allotted to my children and not for myself!  But I’m trying.  I am a work in progress in so many different facets.  But, aren’t we all?  (This is where the resounding ‘YES’ should come in.)  I’ll be back at it with Paul on Friday and, hopefully, a little bit closer to ass-kicking condition than I am today.  Until then, I’m just going to rely on my 2-ton vehicle as my method of self defense.  So LOOK OUT!

 

 

So…I didn’t post yesterday.  With being back at work, getting back into my “physical” routine, and being pretty far along in my healing – my days aren’t very “content rich” for the intended audience of this blog.  Which is good news for me, but this far into my recovery it isn’t really “newsworthy”.

I feel pretty good 90% of the day.  There is a lot that I can do today that I couldn’t do two weeks ago.  There was a lot that I did last week that I couldn’t do the prior month.  A lot of these things I am able to do pain free or almost pain free.  It requires something really unexpected and jarring, or something intended to challenge me, to produce a pain response.  Interacting with our daughters often produces this set of circumstances because twin toddlers are innately wild, spontaneous, rough and fun.  So, while I have had a few incidences of pain in my days lately, they’re not the norm.

Discomfort is something that is part of my nights.  Things like poor posture, really pushing myself with my PT stretches or exercises, really aggressive play (usually tossing the girls up in the air), and weight lifting cause me discomfort in the evenings.  It (discomfort) doesn’t occur anywhere new or unexpected, and it is waning.  I still also cannot sleep on my left side.  A combination of having more swelling on my left side (still) and tender spots prevent me from staying on that side of my body for any extent of time.  This doesn’t really interfere with my life.  It interferes with my desire to be the big spoon when it’s spooning time at night (but so does my husband’s pride).

The newsworthy item that I have tonight is that I rode my bike to and from the office (a/k/a my own “wheelz of steel”).  It’s been a long time since I was last on my bike because Seattle’s winter drizzle is endless and I am mostly a fair weather cyclist/runner/fan/human.  But it was mostly significant because I previously had pain in my underarms and underneath my flaps post-op whenever I put pressure or weight down on my hands for a length of time.  Being that I am not an avid cyclist and still push down on my handlebars a lot, I thought I’d be uncomfortable on this ride.  Gladly, I had no pain in my upper body.  My abdominal incision scar is a little tender tonight.  Since there are still some parts of my scar that are pretty taut, any activity that involves a lot of repetitive flexion and extension of my legs really aggravates my scar.  The flexion/extension sort of stretches out my abdominal region, then area around my scar and surrounding it becomes hyper sensitive and tender, but usually settles down after a day or two.  The scar tissue on my right side is always more tender than the left, and I think that is because that part of my scar is higher and sets right where my pants rub it whenever I move.

Tomorrow, I may have shed some tears.  I’m back at the gym with Paul tomorrow and I think we’re going to try some more strength training.  I’ve lost a lot of muscle mass, tone, definition…existence.  I’m so glad that I went into my surgery so healthy.  I can’t emphasize enough what a difference this made in my recovery.  And I can’t image doing that first 10 days of recovery, just trying to get myself out of bed and ambulate, being unhealthy.  This process asks a lot of your body and is so taxing physically, mentally, and emotionally.  So, if you plan on having this surgery I think it’d be greatly beneficial to your own recovery if you could go into surgery as healthy as you can be.

 

And now, shield your eyes or rubberneck away.  YOU DECIDE!

 

 

05/08/12 – Frontal

05/08/12 – Flaps

05/08/12 – Abdomen

05/08/12 – Right

 

05/08/12 – Left

 

 

Glorious, glorious sunshine today.  The girls and I got it together this morning and headed out, just the 3 of us, to the Mobile Food Rodeo near the Fremont Market.  It was such a great adventure filled with delicious new foods to try, a lot of interesting people watching, and herds of people (see what I did there?!).  As is often the problem on a beautiful day in Seattle, everyone pours outside – particularly to where food is offered.  We spent the better part of 20 minutes trying to find a place to park our family bus, and I finally decided that since it was such a nice day, we had the jogging stroller, and I was feeling pretty good…I’d take a bit of a jog!

We parked a couple of miles away from the Rodeo itself along the Burke-Gilman Trail.  I got the ladies out of the car, into the stroller, tightened my “bralette” as tight as it would go, and we were off for my first post-op run!  EXCITING…but slow.  Running is one of those things that is tough on its own, so adding some sensitive areas post-op made it more challenging than the usual huffing, puffing, anaerobic duty it is.  I still haven’t been able to comfortably wear any of the sports bras I own, which has precluded me from running prior to today.  Most women would go out and try a couple of different ones on and, possibly even, buy a new one.  I haven’t had a chance to do these things though.  So, off I went, unexpectedly running with improper support.  It was uncomfortable, but not painful.  My slow pace in combination with the thankfully flat, easy trail made it tolerable.  There’s no way I’ll be doing any significant distances this week, but it felt GREAT.  Our girls LOVE being in the stroller when I run.  They constantly say, “Mommy go fast!”  To which I always respond, “Puuuuuuuuuuuh!”, followed by fainting.  But today was no exception.  I ran quickly for maybe 50 yards and decided to save the speed for another day when I wasn’t carrying 30 lbs of back pack and was actually properly dressed for it.

Again, the food rodeo was great.  If you live in the area and have a chance to go when they do something similar in September, GO!  I was so glad I took the girls.  They both tried new things, although one more eagerly than the other, and had fun being out with me.  It  made my heart so full.  The mini donuts, mini corn dogs, and sliders we ate made my arteries full, too, but that’s a different story.

Round trip, I probably ran just under 3 miles today while pushing our cutie pies in the stroller, carrying a back pack full of “just-in-case”, and all without incident.  Great news, right?  THOUGHT SO.  Tomorrow I hope to ride my bike to/from work using the Interlaken Trail.  I don’t think that riding my bike will present any issues with my arms or chest.  But I don’t know anything, really.  Wish me luck!

I just wanted to send out my Beastie Boys love.  MCA, AdRock and Mike D are so much a part of my life soundtrack.  Yesterday was a very sad day for the family, friends and fans of Adam Yauch.  Cancer is a bitch and it is pervasive.  Live a healthy life to try and protect yourself from cancer.  Take preventative measures if they’re available.  But should you find yourself diagnosed, you fight.  For your right.  Alright?

I have a lot of reasons for not posting yesterday.  #1 reason is WordPress surrounded by a litany of F bombs.  #2 reason is exhaustion.  I have just been beat this week.  One of our daughters has been having an allergic reaction to who-knows-what all week; she has had massive hives coming and going.  But I wasn’t terrified by this until Wednesday when she woke up from her nap, said her mouth hurt, and I saw that her tongue was swollen.  She’s now on an alternating regiment of anti-histamines and we’re trying to get in to see a specialist, but a couple of times a night I get up, go into the nursery, and just listen to her breathe.  So, it’s been a rough week.  And then yesterday I was tired times twelve because we all got up early, then I had to take our little lady to the pediatrician, go back home, then to the pharmacy, then to torture hour with Paul, then into the office, then back to home for dinner, baths, life as we know it.

Speaking of Paul the Torturer, I had one hell of a workout yesterday.  I’m still unable to do the exercises I was doing pre-surgery, but that will take some time and a little more physical therapy to get my ROM back to where it was.  However, we did some core work and my core hurt yesterday.  Which meant that I was unable to sit myself up in bed this morning.

I had the DIEP Flap reconstruction, not the Free TRAM Flap reconstruction.  I chose the DIEP Flap for a lot of reasons, but in large part because I was worried about having another part of my abdominal wall compromised.  During pregnancy and after I had our girls, I had Diastasis Recti (because I was the size of Delaware by my 7th month of pregnancy).  It took me until about my 18th month post partum to be able to work my core well and hard enough to close the gap, but I’m not sure if it ever went back to they way it was before I turned in to a pachyderm.  So, long story still too long, I didn’t want to do any more to compromise my abdominal muscles because it took so much work to bring them back together through a lot of exercise and ca$hmoneybling.

In my first 10 days recovering from surgery, I was glad that I’d done so much work strengthening my core and legs before my surgery date.  It hurt so much to use my arms or do anything that involved engaging my chest muscles.  So I relied, as much as I could, on my core and leg strength.  Now, don’t get me wrong, the first week you don’t even want to clear your throat because it’s uncomfortable to tighten your abdominal muscles at all.  But it (abdominal pain) resolves so much faster than the other areas.  The thing that still holds me back so much is the tautness of my skin and the discomfort on and in the area surrounding my abdominal scar.  There were a few times yesterday where I felt like I may split at the seam.  But, I didn’t!  The good news is that I successfully completed 3 set of full sit ups (with an assist).  The bad news is that I completed 3 sets of sit ups and will now certainly be asked to do more.  :\

Look out below!  NOOBS!

 

 

 

 

 

05/05/12 – Frontal

05/05/12 – Flaps

05/05/12 – Abdomen

05/05/12 – Left

05/05/12 – Right

 

 

 

 

 

Boy, I am sore today.  It’s always interesting to me how things that feel uncomfortable today will settle in tomorrow.

As I discussed last night, my physical therapy appointment seemed pretty basic and kind of ho-hum.  Rachel and I went over my previous exercises, took measurements, and then it seemed that the next 30 minutes went by pretty quickly.  I tried my newly assigned exercises, talked about where I had pain or discomfort, did a few modifications, and moved on.  But as the day went on, I started to ache in my shoulder girdle, around my pectoral muscles and in my underarm area.

I had a hard time getting to sleep last night because of my soreness and didn’t sleep very well.  It’s not pain, but a dull, sort of throbbing ache which has continued into today.  I know that this is expected with just regular exercise, but it is such a different kind of ache around my noobs.   I know now that I’m so far post-op that I can do anything, really, that would injure them but I always worry when I experience new or a different type of discomfort.  I am so worried about set backs and anxious to get my body back to normal.  But because I am so worried about those things, I am trying to be a little better to my body.  Today I tried to “take it easy” and not have my usual rough house session with our girls after their nap.  We did get a little rowdy before bedtime, but it wasn’t too much.

Everything that I feel these days is limited to very mild discomfort.  Rachel asked me at my appointment what my highest level of pain has been since I last saw her.  It took a  moment, but it was nice to report that I haven’t felt any discomfort over a level 2 (and that was thanks to a swift kick to the noob at the park (on accident)).  I haven’t had to continue alternating doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen throughout the day for a while now.  Today I did take some ibuprofen because I’m not winning awards for staying uncomfortable.  No one is.  So, while today hurts a little – it’s only a little bit.

Tomorrow will hurt a lot.  I’m going to see Paul.