Monday, December 5, 2011

Dancing Nipples & Update

Warning - the first part of this post might be TMI.

I was just out of the shower the other morning and I was putting lotion on my arms and legs, and I put the lotion on my hands then rubbed them together, and something caught my eye in the mirror.  I looked directly at the mirror and rubbed my hands together again - as I did so my nipples moved up and down on my chest(not in unison, but alternating..)  It took hardly any motion at all of my arms to make this happen. This of course prompted me to try different motions.  For example, I found that by just squeezing my hand a slight amount I can make my nipple jump about an inch.  It is weird.  I can entertain myself each morning post shower with a wacky nipple show. 

So It's been just over 2 months since my first surgery.  And really for most things I have to consider that I'm only today 6 weeks post op from the second surgery.  I wonder if I hadn't had the second surgery if this is how I would have felt 6 weeks post op.. except with boobs.  Actually I know I would have had a different kind of discomfort.  I would have had hard expander boobs, and that comes with it's own set of issues... that I still get to look forward to - yay. 

I know that I don't want everyone to know every little detail of my experience, but sometimes I'm frustrated that people don't know that this hasn't been easy.  A coworker mentioned that she knew someone else who had this surgery and everything went well and they were recovering just fine like I am.  And I'm certainly happy that person is recovering just fine, but part of me wants to say - "I'm not fine.  This has been really hard, and I'm still in pain, and I still have a LONG way to go."  But I don't.  I just smile and say "oh that's good!"

I'm happy with my timing of all this, I feel like the holidays and upcoming family birthdays (including my 30th!!!) are a good distraction.  I can't help but think of it when I'm dressing, and I frequently feel like I need to check that my fake boobs are in their proper place throughout the day, but I'm doing ok at not dwelling on it.  I think if it were summer I might have a much more difficult time as I'd want to be in lighter clothing and go swimming and all sorts of things that I don't know quite yet how I would manage...

So for an update on how I feel physically..

The pain in general has gotten slightly worse the past couple days and I'm not sure if I should be concerned.. I don't know why it would, but I'm pretty close to my "base level" of pain medication (where I was before the surgery with inflammation from the autoimmune and the lingering chest pain from my lung thing)  So that is good, it's just a little different.. I'm tired and it's hard to say whether that is fatigue from being post surgery or if its from the autoimmune thing or if it is still because of the surgery because of the autoimmune thing...

My arms and are almost completely better.. I only occasionally have little pains in my arms or hands.  My fingers are super sensitive though, like if they slip when I'm trying to open a bottle, that roughness of the lid rubbing against my fingers causes some pain.  Same with hot water, now that I actually feel hot water again... OUCH.  Even in the cold.. I don't remember ever  being such a wimp about my hands in the cold, but I can hardly stand driving glove less in the morning when my steering wheel is cold. 

The skin on my chest is strange.. parts are completely numb and other parts are constantly sensitive and sore  Like the where my cleavage would be if I had boobs still.. that skin is super sensitive, as well as the skin on my ribs surrounding the outter edges of where my boobs would be.  I was disappointed to find that I still had "breast tenderness" with my period.  I had hoped that would go away.. no such luck, pain definitely picked up when I got hormonal.

I can lay on my sides, but because my sides are partly numb/partly sensitive, it takes some work and special positioning of soft blankets to get the position to be comfortable.  but I am soooo glad to not be stuck on my back! (though I know this will come again when I get the expanders back).  I can only occassionlly sleep on my stomach.. its pretty much luck if I just happen to roll into a comfy position, but most of the times when I try, I am not successful. 

I'm working of lifting more and doing more with my arms and muscles.  I'm not working too hard at it because I know they'll just get messed up again, but I'm building towards functioning at a semi normal level and being able to do basic stuff like open doors and jars and staple stuff and use a hole punch, and carry shopping bags (it IS almost Christmas after all.. and I have ALOT of shopping to do) and pull my daughter onto my lap or help her off tall play equipment if she gets stuck (which involves her putting most of her weight around my neck).  So it's coming along, but I'm not training for any weight lifting championships or anything.

So that's that.  I'm getting progressively better everyday, and its a bummer that I'll have to get worse again before I'm done, but for now at least I can find some enjoyment in the silly things that have come about with this - like dancing nipples.

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