Less than a Week, I feel GREAT!

Mar 05, 2012

Why?  I have so much energy, physical and emotional, but I have to keep my cool and just relax... sigh.  I knew when I was getting ready for my panniculectomy I would have to change a lot of my daily life around, just to recuperate the correct way - without complications.  Believe it or not, I actually had to teach myself how to sleep on my back, and last night was the first time I caught myself trying to roll over to one side... Brenda, no! no! no!  Best thing I can do is listen to my little voice - and NOT argue with me.

People asked me to tell the real deal - how the pain goes, the raw and not so raw moments, so let's start with pain & pain management.  I am grinning a little, all alone in my bed, the cat finally decided to find something to do other than vomit on my bedspread... Obviously, I must have had a dose of oxycodone & two Tylenol, I am typing way too fast, and I am getting a little disjointed in my thought process.  The pain really isn't bad.  The first three days, I wasn't a happy camper, even checking the clock to see when the next four hours had passed and I would be allowed more pain meds.  I am now on day six, and frankly, the dose is now to it's minimum, and I can actually forget the four hour rule before I notice "discomfort".  I said that ridiculous word, but it is true, it is merely discomfort at this time.  I just re-worked my cincher - adding some Velcro inside to make it a one woman job to put back on.  I actually have corsets that are easier to get into.  That's all right, give me some sewing tools, a little spatial reasoning (a big word that means I can see things before they are finished), and I now have a one woman body wrap that looks like a weird elastic sari!  Shaking my head, I blame the meds.  Hmmm, maybe my cincher needs more color?

I actually have been downstairs cooking, and even in my office one flight below that -- so for those keeping score, I am able to climb multiple flights of stairs, with ease.  Just don't tell my family I was trying to be efficient & printing up labels, and even walking across the street to put mail out for my mail carrier - I am so naughty!  Showering has actually become an interesting ritual for me.  I wear a belt that holds my two drainage bulbs -- I look in the mirror seeing a heavy Laura Croft, and I smile!  I asked the nurses at the hospital if I could possible have a second belt - one for showering.  Stripping out of my cincher, losing all clothing, yet strapping on my "shower" belt with drainage bulbs is kind of funny.  I guess I should not catch a glimpse before entering the shower - but I cannot help it!  All I need is the braid.

Since I have not shared photos yet - here is the mental image: From my knees up to my Hoo-ha, I have loose skin.  My Lovely Cooter is still more swollen on the right, so sadly my Private Garden looks lopsided.  I am still wondering what it will look like when the pubic hair grows back in - I think too much!  Then I have this ridge, think of Laura Croft trying to scale Mount Brenda, as she tosses her grenade drainage bulbs over the ledge... Then I catch a glimpse of my butt, and give it an approving nod, "Not bad..."  The warm water feels amazing on my incision, and I am VERY gentle in cleaning the area.  I am very swollen, and it almost feels numb instead of painful, I hope that is all right.  So, my daily activities are becoming easier, and as you can read, I am definitely not upset with the whole process.  For those of us who have lived a long time - maybe even as far as we can remember - having a pannus, this is still shocking to me - I have THIGHS!

I still haven't started pulling out jeans for the "what size will I be" moment, but it is driving me wonky having to wait.  I cannot rush the recovery process, no matter how excited I may be, time is the answer.  Here is another raw emotion that I wondered before surgery: Will the swelling ever really go down?  Will my body look normal, or lumpy?  What if I really didn't lose as much inches as I hoped for?  To answer these bothersome and negative thoughts, I say: We will see, when we see.

Sure, I was hoping that I would be able to pull on a size 22 jean instead of the 28's I was wearing the day before surgery, but if I can't, it is still just a matter of time.  Well, time & work!  I already know, even with the swelling, I have lost 5 inches off my hips.  Numbers on a scale or even a tape measure do NOT show who I am - that is up to my actions.  So, I will be patient, and wait and see.

Oh, and another bothersome problem I am having: My Diet.  I am trying to keep my protein up high, stay away from goodies (I had a couple Girl Scout Cookies, but stopped after enjoying 2), while wondering how will I burn my calories without exercise?  Argh!  I am keeping my food journal up to date, but today I noticed that I entered my weight, and it had not changed from two days ago.  As I type this, I am indulging on cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and balsamic vinegar -- I get crunchies and explosive flavor with little calories.  It is tough to sit around your entire day, not being allowed to exercise, and you still have to eat.  Life isn't fair, but I am not ready to throw in the towel.  For those of you worrying about the gas these veggies can cause - I am actually trying to make my poor bowels happier.  I FINALLY had relief in the bathroom today, and I admittedly almost grabbed my scale.  Yet another issue to deal with while recuperating & taking oxycodone...

For those who have been cheering me on - THANK YOU!  My family & work has been GREAT!  The folks at the hospital are my HEROES - especially my surgeon, Dr Keith Paige!  My friends have been so supportive, I am a lucky woman!  My cats - I am sure they mean well, but maybe a little less company, especially when they have a hairball.  It does take some courage to admit you need help, and it isn't easy for me to accept help, so this whole process is a good learning experience for me.  I will stay less active, physically.  Try hard to catch up on all my correspondence - I swear!  Try not to look in the mirror too long, and remember to always be a kind person!  Here I sit, staying positive from my bed -- thank you for the support!!!

Brenda : )~