So the end of week 4 found me back at the Doctor’s office for my check up. I was told I should be the poster child for this surgery. I am healing wonderfully, moving my arms like I should and not having any pain. She was even surprised that I drove myself to the appointment. A good 45 min drive from Wake Forest.
She is real happy with shrinking size (12cm x 4 cm on the right and 11 cm x 31/2cm on the left. Don’t know the size when it was first done, but it sounds good) the new epithelial skin that is coming in nicely all around the edges. You can see it really well on the 4 week pics. I will get to why the wounds are so red later in this post.
So all in all, I am progressing like I should and am real happy.
And this blog is doing what it is supposed to. On Tuesday night I got to speak with a friend of a friend (who I now count as a new friend) who told me she was brought to tears when our mutal friend showed her this blog. She said she finally had someone who could relate to what she has been going through for years and years. We talked for a good hour, going over war stories regarding the disease. Our physical and emotional battles. The fact that other people who don’t have it, may be able to sympathize, but really can’t understand what it is like.
It was good to talk to someone else who has been going through it as well. My brother can relate, because he will get a cyst occassionally. But unless you suffer from the disease to the extent that my new friend and I have/do, it is really just unfathomable. And my husband is so supportive and wonderfully blind to the scars and yuck that comes with having a wife with this disease, but neither can he really understand not only the physical pain, but the emotional pain of having somone, even someone you love, and you know loves you, see this disgusting disease.
And it made me feel wonderful that I could have touched someone with my story. Helped in some kind of way. I even learned more talking with her as well.
So, C, I can’t wait to meet you in person, and I hope it will be soon.
Since I had such a wonderful check up, and since Armand was heading out of town the next day for his newest Success Training Event (that this surgery has kept me from attending and running the registraiton, which is killing me. Those who know me well, know my innner control freak is going nuts right now, knowing our whole staff is out in LA without me, doing my job for me) I decided it was time for a date night. He definately deserved it after dealing with this with me for the past 4 weeks.
We had a wonderful dinner at a new-to-us restaurant and then went to see The Kings Speech. I highly recommend it. It deserves all the awards it is up for. Thank you Judy for baby sitting Avery at the house. Seeing as how she woke up throwing up, and didn’t end up going to school, I guess she could have stayed at your house. LOL Wouldn’t have been that fun for you in the AM. It was good to get out and feel like a normal person again. Without feeling like I have huge diapers under each arm.
With such a good check up, I thought I could look at different types of dressing. With the smaller size I figured I could use smaller gauze for the saline packing and use these really cool large Nexcare Bandages that actually cover the entire area! With the smaller gauze and smaller bandages, I would have less bulk and not feel so conspicuous out in public.
Here comes the old addage….that’s what I get for thinking. NOT a good idea to chenge from what was working. I know that it is not always the case, but for this instance, IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT!
So after our date, I didn’t feel like doing a bandage change. I had already had 3 changes that day, one in the am, one at the Dr and one before we went out. No need for another one, right? So I went about 5 hours longer than usual between my night time change and the next am change. PLUS the new gauze, less saline and different bandages.
I stood in the shower for 30 minutes straight with the water directed right on the gauze and it would not budge. I finally got the left arm gauze off, and almost passed out in the shower stall. Not necessarily from pain, but from anxity, fear, the actual feeling of pulling the beautiful new skin that I spent all week growing, off, and the blood that subsequently occured. No hemorage, but still blood running down my arm.
Got out of the shower and called for Armand. I wasnt’ going to put Danielle through this type of change. Luckily he was up due to Avery being sick all morning. He came down and we tried going back to the original way we did the changes, by soaking them in saline and slowing pulling them. It took him another 30 to 45 minutes to finally get it off. After much cursing, fear we would have to go to the emergency room to get it off, because it didn’t look like it would budge.
After many tears of frustration on my part, he finally was able to get it all the way off. Again, no real pain to speak of (it wasn’t comfortable, but it wasn’t real pain). Then another 15 minutes of pressure to stop the bleeding, we were finally able to dress both arms again and get things back to normal.
I can promise that I will not get cocky or ahead of myself again. While I am doing amazingly well, I AM NOT HEALED YET. That is my new mantra…I AM NOT HEALED YET. I AM NOT HEALED YET. I will stick to what we know has been working and working well for us for the past 4 weeks. And I will tell myself daily that I AM NOT HEALED YET until the Dr. tells me otherwise.
Kind of looks like a pattern for me doesn’t it? Pushing to be better faster. I’m working on that.
So even with the drama of this mornings bandage change, I still feel like I am doing amazingly well and the pictures, while a bit redder and angrier than they have been, show much progress from last week. Along the edgers you can really see the new epithelial sking coming in nicely. That is the skin that will continue to grow and pull in towards the center to bring the whole thing together. Pretty awsome how the body works to heal itself.
Til next weeks adventure.