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Learning to cope.

Don't worry, I'm still here, and I'm still pissed, but it's getting better. You would think after 4 miscarriages and 2 failed reconstructions I would be better at coping with loss, but I'm not. These recent events did nothing more than send me back into another depressive state. Don't worry, soon I will cycle out of it and be happy or as happy as a bitch like me can be. I have a lot of anger left about all this, but it's mostly because I don't want this to be all for nothing. I don't want to waste another year of my life waiting to undergo surgery again. When I see the doctor next week I am going to ask him if there is anyway he can put another expander in now since I still have an open wound. Of course the fluids leaking from the wound need to decrease greatly before that's a possibility.
In fact a couple nights ago when Ruben was changing my dressings, he pulled out the gauze and saw that I still had excess fluids inside the wound area. So I thought ok, gimme a pan and I'll lean over and let it drain. Well I put the pan up against my chest and began to raise up. Upon doing so my knee nicked Ruben in the nuts and he went down in pain. I lost focus and the fluid went all down my side and got all over the bed. I had to be cleaned up and changed as well as the bed. Not a fun experience for any of us. But now we know no more bright ideas like that!
Other than that, I really have to say that I have the greatest husband in the world. Through nearly 8 years of marriage and over 9 years of being together, we've really had some tests and strains, but if what he's been doing lately isn't a sign that he loves me I don't know what is. I am very blessed to have him! Especially since I feel like I have been (or am being) such a burden to him. The man carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, with work and home - juggling it all, yet he never falters and puts up with all my shit. I mean seriously, for the last few days I have just been like one seriously pissed off cat. I just attack his ass the second he walks in the door - RRRREOOOOOOOOOOOW, but he knows to just back away and leave me alone till I calm down. It's not his fault, it's just being caged up all day in bed - bored and pissed off. I shouldn't yell at him, but crying into the pillows and hitting the bed hasn't helped. It wouldn't be so bad if this wound would be sewn shut and healed so I could start being active again. The only time I go out is for doctor's appointments. I actually want to get on my elliptical machine to work out some aggression but can't. So not being able to do anything is only adding to the problem. Ya know, one can only watch so much E!, and VH1 - not to mention like how many times can you read TMZ? After a while you know all the gossip in Hollywood and become rather bored with it all.
Maybe I should trying gaming to pass the time. I can't even recall the last time I played solitaire. I tried playing my DS for a while, but became very bored with the handheld device, and I can't play Wii right now since it involves too much arm action. So maybe I should try some poker or slots. I know somewhere around here we have a disc from IGT of different video games they just came out with. A little harmless gaming might be fun to pass the time, of course there's always movies to watch if I would just get up and put them in, but it's a pain messing with the surround sound and having like 4 damn remotes! But I do seriously need to catch up on all the past seasons of Grey's before the new season starts on the 27th. Yay! I can't wait. At least that there gives me something to look forward to. God I love Thursdays!


Failed again.

It's been sort of a crappy time for me. I saw the doctor on Friday worried about the hard tissue in my breast, which he assured me would just dissolve on it's own. Upon hearing that, we had been relieved because we thought it might have something to do with fat necrosis, which could have required surgery. He commented on how the wound was looking great, but still did not close it up.

Fast forward to Saturday. I noticed I had a headache, and the aches/pains were back in my shins - which has been rare these days, given that I am on narcotics 24/7. I also felt feverish. Ruben disagreed with me, but the thermometer did not. I had a fairly low temp of 102. Both the pain and the fever has since been intermittent.

Sunday morning I awoke Ruben at 7:30. My gown, tank, and bandages were soaked. I had actually felt it earlier in my sleep, but thought it may have been from sweating after a fever broke. He changed my bandages as usual, hoping that it was the hardness dissolving that had caused all this excess fluid. Later that afternoon, it happened again. I was soaked. And all through-out this time, I had done nothing out of the ordinary. As Ruben changed my drenched bandages this time he noticed something new. Aside from the quarter sized hole I've had for weeks, it appeared I had a "new hole". Beyond this new hole, he thought he saw something plastic. Immediately he call my doctor, who asked to see me in his office Monday after he finished up his surgeries.

Monday morning came and went without any problems. After arriving to the office pretty drugged up as I usually do when I know there's going to be something done, we were told that we were indeed seeing the tissue expander. Of course in my drugged up state, I do not recall much of the specifics - like how this occurred. What I do remember was a some clipping done on my hole (either to remove fatty tissue, or to make it bigger), puncturing a hole in the expander, draining the warm fluid out of the expander that accidentally ran over my side and got half my pants wet, and the doctor trying to ease the expander out from under my muscle without causing too much pain. Luckily I was drugged, and held my eyes tightly closed through-out the process. I recall asking how long I have to wait before we can try again, but I do not recall him letting us know when it would be possible. Hell I don't even know when he intends to sew close this wound! I have a follow up appointment with him next week in which I hope to get several answers if not procedures done! In the meantime there is no more use of that nasty green ointment. Instead Ruben has to pack my wound with gauze - meaning that he has to actually take this gauze roll, unroll it, and use his finger to push it in the hole in my chest, to fill that area underneath the skin with this gauze so that it will absorb any fluids. I know it sounds gross, and trust me, it feels even worse. It feels as though some of the hard fatty areas are now gone, but it's hard to say as there is no partially filled implant under the tissue pushing it all forward.

So once again, I have another failed reconstruction, except this time it involves the left breast instead of the right. And once again, I will most likely be uneven given breast size, just opposite to the original way. I have no idea when this will recover, or when I can undergo the procedure again. I don't even know at which point he will begin with the saline injections to increase the size of the right expander. All I know is that my hopes for big, new boobs for Christmas is gone, and most likely (especially with my luck) it will be a year before he will attempt it again. All I know is that I am beyond pissed off. I took things as easy as I could this time around and it still got fucked up. So all I can do now, despite my anger, is wallow in bed as I am still recovering, and be pissed off at the world.

Oh, and if things aren't bad enough, I woke up this morning with a wonderful cough/cold. And this afternoon it rained and stormed a bit, so it's nice and gloomy out. Isn't life just grand?


Plenty of inspiration

Everywhere I look I find inspiration for scrapbooking. Right now I'm big on neutrals, mixing brown with another color, or brights like green and blue or another eye catching color. And let's not forget, there is also my everyday favorite, plain 'ol blue. I have so many ideas right now, not to mention several unfinished projects. Awaiting on my desk is a board book I am altering, a round album I am working on, and several layouts just waiting for title work or journaling. It's not that I don't have the desire or drive to create, it's just that I am still healing. With this quarter size hole in my chest I want to continue taking it easy until the doctor sutures it up and the incision heals. I'm sure I could get away with doing a little work, but the fact that my left side seems to be close to rock hard, I worry constantly about the possibility of needing corrective surgery to fix it. So in the meantime, I sit and admire others work. Below are some of Cynthia's layouts. She has been a longtime favorite of mine. Enjoy!

1. Woman's Best Friend, 2. My Happy Place, 3. High School Musical Freak, 4. True Blue, 5. 5 things, 6. i love you, 7. Girly Girl, 8. Year of Scrapbooking, 9. Hot Chicks, 10. blah blah blahg, 11. Kids At Play, 12. CD sleeve, 13. Lucky Dog, 14. Family, 15. K is for Kids, 16. Cute


A Post for Lora

As promised, these pictures are for Lora.

She had posted some pictures of her nightly walk, and one of the several 8 legged friends she encounters each night.

Well this may not be a spider, but I think I may have her beat. Ruben came across this beast while cutting the grass a couple weeks ago. It is known as a "Devil's Horse" grasshopper that averages about 3 inches in length. It doesn't really hop all that well, but it had no problem crawling up the brick of the house. I took this picture as it was just across from the 2nd story window. Upon first glance I thought it was a tarantula.

This last picture is in regards to how kids never seem to cooperate when you take them to have professional pictures done. Her little girl had posed beautifully for some pictures done at her school while mom wasn't around. These pictures here happen to be my favorite of Natalie, even though they're a few years old. The lady who took them worked her magic, while I just sat back and watched. She was a real natural getting the best to come out of Natalie. In fact, if I were still in Vegas I'd love to go back to her. I think I'll have to see if the Target Studio here is just as good! I couldn't find all of the originals, so I had to take a picture of the ones I have hanging on the wall.


Back to School

Yup, it's an early day for me, the beginning of many. I don't know how I'm going to do it when I can't even get a handle on this insomnia. I'm so sleep deprived, I think I may need to take a nap. It's going to take at least a week to get back into this routine. Summer went by so fast! Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Natalie is back in school. It gives me some quiet time around here to get things done. She's excited as well. We took her to school for her first day, so we could meet her teacher, drop off supplies, and verify things. Natalie was excited to find out that several of her previous classmates were in her new class. I'm glad she'll have that comfort of familiarity in her new surroundings. All in all, this morning went off without a hitch. I'm sure come 4:00 she'll have so much to tell me, she won't be able to contain herself.

Yesterday I had another follow up appointment with my plastic surgeon. While my wound is looking nice, it seems that he won't be sewing it closed anytime soon. He told me he wanted to wait 2 weeks before seeing me again. In the meantime we're to continue cleaning it with saline, applying the green ointment, and packing it with gauze so that it will keep draining. All this was fine and dandy until about 3:00 this morning when I noticed a big wet spot on my shirt. Sure enough I leaked right through it all. Beings the middle of the night I didn't want to awake Ruben to change the dressings, so I took matters into my own hands. Much to my dismay I learned that it was not an easy task by any means. I think I used half a roll of tape just to hold the bandage in place. So here I am, another two weeks with this big, nasty hole in me.

Till next time - Be safe out there!


Personality Test

Found this on Lora's page. This is really no surprise for those who know me.

Click to view my Personality Profile page

"ISTJs are often called inspectors. They have a keen sense of right and wrong, especially in their area of interest and/or responsibility. They are noted for devotion to duty. Punctuality is a watchword of the ISTJ. The secretary, clerk, or business(wo)man by whom others set their clocks is likely to be an ISTJ."
"ISTJs are very loyal, faithful, and dependable. They place great importance on honesty and integrity. They are "good citizens" who can be depended on to do the right thing for their families and communities. While they generally take things very seriously, they also usually have an offbeat sense of humor and can be a lot of fun - especially at family or work-related gatherings."
"...characterized by decisiveness in practical affairs, are the guardians of institutions, and if only one adjective could be selected, "super dependable" would best describe them."



Don't get me wrong, I want to clarify right off the bat that I love my husband very much, and bless his soul the man is putting in over-time taking care of me. For the past two weeks at least, he has done a wonderful, yet hard job of cleaning up my incision sites nightly, and applying fresh bandages. Honestly I couldn't ask for a better man to be my husband, my partner in this journey called life. However, I think the poor man is getting more than he signed up for - the cleaning, the caring, the pampering, all on top of having to clean, medicate, pack, and bandage a big, gnarly, gaping hole in my chest. The man truly deserves the "Husband of the Year" award! But despite it all, there is one flaw - he is an enabler of sorts, he allows my demons to get the best of me. Let me explain. It seems that for nearly 2 months now, I have been battling an ever growing case of insomnia. Nothing seems to help me sleep - not Melatonin, Lunesta, or Ambiem. Even my stash of medications and ever potent pain killers are no longer doing the trick of knocking me out. On occasion I will luckily succumb to sleep with the aid of Benedryl, but it's not something you take daily. During my insomnia streaks, I often lay in bed restless, trying to relax and drift off to sleep, but most often the restlessness annoys me and I am prompted to get up and move about. I often roam the house through-out the night. I go downstairs, get a drink, go to the bathroom in which I often spend wasted time gazing in the mirrors at my imperfection and often find myself picking at my blemishes. Sometimes I venture into my scrap studio and not able to organize my mess, or work on any projects, I'm left with the computer, playing on-line, passing the time till I feel like I might finally be able to sleep. Sometimes I'm out at 3:00, others I'm still awake at dawn. Last night was no exception to this. I don't recall what time I actually knocked out, but I remember being up at my desk around 4:00. So obviously when this happens, I am often sound asleep come time to wake up. So what does Ruben do, he lets me sleep. When I finally awoke today, I freaked upon realizing it was 2:00 in the afternoon! When I asked him why he let me sleep half the day away, his response was that I looked peaceful. However sweet, it doesn't help with my insomnia - in fact it just adds to it. What I need is regularity and a somewhat strict schedule - especially now more than ever as school starts next week! Agh! I feel so unprepared. At least we will have 3 weekdays to work on a schedule before school is actually in session - god help me!


Follow Up

I followed up with my doctor today. Since my plastic surgeon is back in the office, he wanted to see me and take over for the on-call doctor. Instead of being sutured up, as I thought I would be, I instead was cut open even more. It seems the doctor removed a chunk of tissue from my breast. As he worked, I laid with my eyes closed trying hard to relax and ignore what he was doing - so, I had no idea what was in store for me once the bandages came off. Since he removed tissue, and also went ahead and took out my drainage tube, I was advised to change bandages every 2 hours. Of course once we got home we got busy with other things, and 2 hours quickly came and went. Next thing I know I felt wet along my left upper side. Sure enough I leaked through the bandages. As Ruben removed it, I saw what indeed was done. Ruben himself had a hard time containing his composure. I still have about a quarter size hole in my chest, but now you literally can see inside me. You can stick your finger inside the hole quite a bit - I'd go as far as guessing about a 1/4 inch. It's even more gnarly than the original wound. When Ruben cleans it, he has to put a bit of the gauze inside the hole, and add plenty more on top, to help soak up any and all leaking fluids. Yes, it is really as disgusting as it sounds! Sorry I had to share all the gory details, but several people are wanting to know how my recovery is progressing. Despite the way it sounds, it doesn't really hurt. Still no localized pain, just overall pain. I also was fortunate enough to have my staples removed, so both sides are finally free. However, it seems I have somewhat injured the muscles surrounding the right upper side and back. It's quite painful when I reach for something. The doc just says it will take time, but it's normal and not from doing too much too fast. I go back on Tuesday for another follow up. Hopefully this time I will be able to have my wound closed, so the healing process can begin on that side. The sooner it begins healing, the sooner I will be on my way to getting my first injections!

In other news, we now have 2 new baths! Both Natalie's bath, and the downstairs bath have been removed and replaced with new a bath, shower, and fixtures. We are one step closer to being done, and we're so in love with the new units!


Incision Update

Friday I saw the on-call Plastic Surgeon as mine is currently out of town. Originally I thought that he trimmed away the dead tissue in his office and had sewn me back up, but after two days of applying this medicated ointment we realized what was really happening. Last night as Ruben was changing the bandages he saw that this green ointment is eating away the dead tissue, leaving me with an open wound. Concerned, he called the doctor's office, to which he found out that my stitches had been removed, and that this ointment is doing exactly what it should. Left with a gnarly gaping hole in my chest, the doctor said to keep applying the ointment until my follow up appointment on Friday, during which time he would sew the wound close. He told us not to worry in the meantime, as my muscle is there protecting me - but I find it hard not to worry when I have a quarter size hole in my chest! At least I'm not in pain through-out this whole process. Since they severed the nerve endings, I don't really feel pain, although I have lots of muscle spasms and an overall painful, achy feeling on that side - just no localized pain. I'm finally starting to re-gain my strength on that side, but having this drain tube still intact really limits my ability to do certain things or feel comfortable. I want so badly to sleep on that side and can't! But even though I am feeling somewhat better and stronger, I am still taking it easy. I don't want to make the gaping hole any worse than it is! however, I have a hair appointment on Wednesday that I have waited 2 months for, and I refuse to cancel it. Somehow, someway I plan to drive myself there and go through with my appointment as scheduled. Luckily the salon isn't far, as it's just down the street on Highway 90. If Danny had his license, I might consider letting him drive me there, but in my condition and with my daughter with us, I don't think it would be wise to be giving any driving lessons! I'll manage, I am feeling better, and think that I really can drive myself the short distance. The only hindrance is this damn drain tube!
Tomorrow after 8 full weeks of waiting, they are finally coming to start the remodel on 1 of the bathrooms. We were told it would only take a day to complete, then on Wednesday they will replace the other bath. After the baths/showers are installed, Ruben will have little left to do - just the paint, light fixtures and new counter/sinks once we order them. Of course we still need to find a contractor to remodel the master bath, since it is a custom job. But slowly but surely we are getting there. We still have much painting to do, as most of the downstairs will require at least a touch up once Ruben paints the ceiling, but it's all coming together. We have new furniture for our living and dining room, and I just am so in love with the overall look. I really love my house here and can't imagine ever living anywhere else now. I'll never find another house like this. I know I have been horrible with posting before and after pictures, but I promise I will soon. You won't believe the transformation!

So out of curiosity has anyone been watching A&E's show The Two Corey's? I've been following it the last 2 weeks. I remember as a teenager being so head over heals in love with Corey Haim - and even given his drug problems, rumored stroke, and weight problems I still find him pretty damn good looking. I'd like to see him make a successful comeback now that he has conquered his demons. About a decade ago I dated this guy, who when I first met him held an uncanny resemblance to Corey Haim - but he later turned out to be psychotic, so I ended it after a year. It took me a long time to see how he was brainwashing and affecting me. But hey, you live, you learn! Anyway, check out the show if you get a chance. It's mildly entertaining, and you'll be surprised to find that Corey Feldman is married and his wife is hot!

I'll check back in later this week and let you know how everything goes.


One down one to go

Followed up at the PS office today. I made an appointment to be seen because I didn't like the way my left side was healing. In fact I guess you could say it wasn't healing. Some of the tissue around the incision site was dying, as it was black. Since my right side was healing up nicely, they went ahead and removed the drain tube from that side, but left my staples intact. Not sure when they will remove the staples, most likely once my left side starts draining less and the tube is ready to be taken out. But since I have tissue that has turned black and is dying on the left side I have to go meet with an on-call doctor tomorrow (my actual PS is out of town, and won't be back for another week.) So this on-call doctor that I am supposed to see tomorrow is going to cut me open in his office, trim away the dead tissue, and suture it closed once again. It doesn't sound like much fun. In fact it sounds pretty damn painful, but I'm sure he will give me some local anesthetic to ease the pain. All in all it's better than going back into the hospital, and a hell of a lot better than having the tissue expander removed and being told I have to wait 6 months before trying reconstruction again - which is what happened when reconstruction failed last time on my right breast. So tomorrow morning I will just get up, take my pain meds and a xanax to chill my ass out. Hopefully it will be enough to withstand a panic attack. I've noticed since my surgery that when I've had panic attacks lately that my chest muscles seize up. They tighten and won't relax no matter how hard I try to calm down. Trust me, it is NOT a pleasant feeling! Luckily when they removed the breast tissue from the left side, the doctor left plenty of loose skin around the tissue expander, so them having to cut away the dead tissue is no problem. Wish me luck!! I'll let you know how it goes.