Wednesday, August 22, 2012

No More Plastic's Clinic

This morning I went to see the surgeon.  He is very pleased with my progress.  There are only 3 spots on the right side of the back that still need daily dressing changes and the draining on the left breast is getting better everyday.  I go back to see the surgeon on September 11th and this time it's in his office, not at the hospital.  It's a relief to have come far enough not to have to go to the Plastic's clinic anymore.  I don't like being in the hospital and the wait is usually hours and hours.  Even if I have to wait as long in the doctor's office, the setting is much for palatable than the hospital. 

Further proof that I've progressed nicely is if all goes as planned, one more week and I go back to work.  Going back after such a long time is going to be interesting.  I've never been off work for 7 weeks before and I expect I'm going to have a mountain of work on my desk.  I just hope I have the strength to work full time when I do go back.  All I can do is play things by ear and take it one day at a time.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

21 Years And Counting

It's hard to believe that this is the 21st wedding anniversary to the best man in the world.  Paul is always there for me though everything.  I don't know what I ever did to deserve him but I am forever grateful to have him in my life.  Thank you Paul for being the best husband ever.  Rather than get mushy, which I'm not very good at, I'll just leave it at that. 

Tomorrow I go back to see the surgeon and I have some questions for him.  I want to start lifting weights and I need to know when it's safe to do so.  I also need to know when it's safe to have a mammogram.  I just hope I don't forget to actually ask the questions. 

I'm pretty pleased that I've been able to walk on the treadmill every day.  I didn't walk this morning because I was tired after a so so night sleep but I did walk when I got hime tonight and even though I didn't do my usual minimum 3 miles I did get close at 45 minutes and 2.76 miles and it's better than nothing at all.  Tomorrow I have to be at the clinic very early so I won't be able to walk before I go.  I'm hoping I have the time after I get home before the nurse shows up.

The knitting is coming along nicely.  I have a serious case of startitis.  I am almost finished with the first slipper I started.  I just have the strap left.  I also started knitting Jordan using Classic Elite Allegoro yarn and Buttercup using Hempathy.  I'm further along with the Buttercup but on Friday I'll be working on Jorday so I should be able to make some progress then. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Getting Out & About

It's been a busy week.  On Tuesday my friend Robbie and I hung out.  It felt so good.  The last few times I saw him was when I was in the hospital - first after surgery and then when I had the infection.  We met at Scarborough Town Centre and then went to Canadian Tire and finally to Creative for some knit time.

Wednesday I went to the Plastic's Clinic to see the surgeon.  He doesn't seem conerned about the areas on my back that are still so so.  The one he wants to keep an eye on is the left breast so I have to go back again on Wednesday.  It's still draining and has a bit of an abscess going on when squeezed.  I find it uncomfortable.  I use that word because I wouldn't say it's really painful, although I did take 2 extra strength Tylenol yesterday morning because of the discomfort. 

The surgeon informed me yesterday that "Once everything has settled down," he will fix the issue I've had ever since the reconstruction was done years ago and build a nipple on the right "breast" at the same time.  I asked if that could be done in his office and he said no.  It will have to be done in the hospital but it's a procedure that only takes about an hour and I go home the same day.  I am in NO RUSH TO DO THIS RIGHT NOW.  I'm guessing I'll probably do it next spring or summer.  I want to make sure everything has totally settled down before I do anything.

Yesterday the wound treatment nurse came to see me.  Her sole purpose in life is to cut the amount of visits the nurse makes to my place.  She checked the breast and my back and then informed me that the bandages should be changed every other day and not daily.  Therefore I should only shower every other day.  On the days I don't shower I should just sponge bathe.  Well I was told by the surgeon that I need to walk more inorder for the swelling to go down in my left leg.  I've been walking on the treadmill daily and increasing speed and incline as I am able.  I work up a sweat when I'm done and not showering, for me, just isn't an option.  She finally relented and said based on that she will send a report to the surgeon and keep things the way they are for now.  I just hope my body hurries up and heals before I'm told too bad.

I also went to Creative for their knit night last night.  It was nice to be back and see everyone.  I didn't stay until close but I can feel myself getting stronger every day.  I'm thinking I might actually go back to work (even if it's part time) after next week.

On the knitting front I'm working on that left over sock yarn scarf and a pair of slippers.  I'm using Regia sock yarn for the slippers and the pattern is Kate Atherley's Open House Socks.  Progress is slower than I would like but such is life sometimes.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Getting There

The nurse has been coming to the apartment daily since I came home from the hospital on Wednesday.  She says that things are progressing nicely.  The healing is faster than she thought it would be based on her assessment when she saw me on Thursday.  The draining from my left thigh is very little now.  I didn't notice anything after I had my shower this morning but the nurse covered it just to play it safe.  We don't want any funky little bugs getting in the opening where the draining was.  The left breast is still draining after the leak it sprung on Thursday and today looked a little worse than it did yesterday.  The nurse said there was an abscess where the draining was occuring and she squeezed it.  Not a very pleasant experience but necessary and I've been through worse than that over the course of this journey.

I finally built up enough confidence to actually leave the apartment on Saturday.  I went to the drug store to get some liquid vitamin E and then I did a quick stop at a Creative just to say hi.  I didn't hang around much and, believe it or not, I didn't even pick up my knitting. Yesterday Paul and I went to Costco and grocery shopping and then over to my FIL for a few hours.  By the time I got home I was so tired I never did manage to go on the treadmill. 

Not much knitting has gone on since I got home.  Funny enough I was knitting more in the hospital than I have since I got home.  I'm knitting a scarf with left over sock yarn and it will join other scarves our Relay for Life team knit that goes to cancer patients. 

More to follow as time allows.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Home At Last

After 12 days in the hospital and a stay that seemed like it would never end, I finally came home yesterday afternoon.  I'm so glad to be home but I won't lie.  That safety of being in the hospital I think was a bit of a crutch and I'm a little nervous as well.  I'll be much happier when the next 10 days go by and I finish the rest of the antibiotics I'm on and everything stays the way it is now.

The left thigh is still draining and the doctor thinks it might for another week or two.  So he has arranged for home care to come daily to change the bandage in that area.  Other that that most of the other incisions are healing nicely.  The right thigh. both arms, right breast and left back are almost there.  The right back isn't quite there yet and I had a nasty reaction to this bandage they tried using on me in the hospital.  I don't recall it being used on me before.  I think the name is something like Tegaline.  It's a clear plastic similar to what they use when you have an IV put it. Well boy did I have a reaction to that.  My left thigh had blisters wherever the bandage touched my skin and the left breast is still pretty red where the bandage touched my skin.  When the drain was finally removed yesterday the nurse wanted to use that same tape on me because they had used it there to secure the drain so when I showered it wouldn't detach from where the tube in my side connected to the suction tube (it did it twice before).  Luckily that area didn't react but I told the nurse not to use it because I wasn't taking any chances.  Nothing but Medipore tape for me from now on.  It's the only stuff my body doesn't react to and believe me it isn't easy to find.  Paul went to a Shopper's Home Health place and even they didn't carry it.  Luckily the hospital provided it for me so the nurse will have it when she comes later today.

I did get some knitting done while I was in the hospital.  I finished the socks I cast on July 13th (surgery day) and Paul brought me more sock yarn on Saturday.  I also knit two scarves for Relay for Life with yarn my friend Joan brought me.  By the time I finished both those scarves I was ready for some sock knitting.  I don't do much knitting with 8mm needles or boucle yarn.  I've had this yarn ready to knit for a long time but everytime I wanted to get to it something would distract me and the yarn would be put aside yet again.  This is yarn from my friend Maggie who used to dye yarn under Dyed in the Wool Handmade.  It's 80% merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon.  I finished the second sock yesterday just before the nurse came to do the bandage and discharge me.  The socks are knit toe up and the pattern is a simple 2 row pattern repeat of k3, p3 on rnd 1 and p1, k1 on rnd 2.  I decided to do a twisted rib k1tbl, p1, for the cuff.  They fit perfectly and now I just have to block these and the other socks.
I'm hoping to start getting out and about soon.  The doctor told me I'm ok to do pretty much anything I want now because tomorrow will be 4 weeks post op but, to be honest, I'm a little scared.  I'd love to be able to go to my two favourite LYS and see everyone again but I'm afraid of being out with people and possibly risking catching something again.  So I'll probably wait until next Thursday before I go to knit night at Creative Yarns and maybe go to The Purple Purl on Saturday or Sunday next weekend.  I'll almost be done with the antibiotics by then so I'll probably feel safer mingling with people by then.                                                                                                                                     

Friday, August 03, 2012

It's Been A Rough Road

Today is 3 weeks since my surgery.  Everything was moving along so well and then I hit a snag.  Last Wednesday I developed a fever.  Within hours it was quite high at 105F or 40.5C.  I went to the emergency room at the hospital and was given IV antibiotics and sent home.  The nurse came to the apartment on Thursday and brought a pump for the aministration of more IV antibiotics.  On Friday I went back to the hospital for my appointment at the Plastic's Clinic and the doctor took one look at me and told me I was being admitted.  That was last Friday.  I'm still here but I think things are finally on the upswing.  On Wednesday the doctor inserted a drain to help get rid of the fluids my body produced after the surgery.  It hurt like a mofo and I screeched like a banchee but I survived.  They also started me on another very powerful antibiotic and it seems to be working.  They stopped the first antibiotic today so hopefully everything is under control.

It's a long weekend here in Ontario so when I'll go home is questionable.  I'm hoping for Monday but miracles can happen.

I have been difficult at times here at Scarborough General Hospital but the nurses have been wonderful and from the time of my surgery to today I have received excellent care.  I just am getting impatient at this point and really can't wait to go home.

More to follow as time and health allows.   The post today is possible because I'm feeling a lot better and hubby brought me my iPad so I'm posting from that.