Friday, 24 April 2009

57. Pangs and hurty thangs

After overdoing it last week and thinking I was doing just great and surely after 4 weeks my body had started healing pretty good by now, I started to suffer for my exertion. I had been moving some rocks (yes rocks..not big ones) around near the pond as we tried to fix a leak. It was a job that had to be done and I tried to be careful. Two days later I felt like I'd been punched in the boobs, back and sides! I still do but its a weird sensation, like an internal bruise ache but only in my boobs now. I guess that will go with time as the muscle inside sorts itself out.

So after my overdoing it incident I started to really look at my back more closely. I noticed a puss-like area on one of my back scars. After having a bath it had disappeared but left a red sore area and there was a black spike sticking out of my back - a stitch! If I look over my shoulder in the mirror I can see my back scars, just, and so by using a hand held mirror and contorting my body a little I can see a bit closer. I spotted another black bobble too - another stitch end. I've been using Bio Oil for the last couple of weeks (week 3-4) to help my scars soften but I have stopped for days now since my scars have started to weep and gone a little yellow and dark purple!

I decided (after much persuasion from Chris, my husband) that I should go and check it out. I called Jenny my Breast Care Nurse (BCN) and left a message about my scars and asked what to do. She called back some time later and told me to go to the GP or to drop in and see her if I could. I decided to think about it over the weekend and then by Wednesday things hadn't improved so I called my local doctors surgery to make an appointment.

Thursday, 1.30pm - Health Centre

I booked in, chose a seat and scanned the room. Virtually empty apart from a couple with a very chatty and happy little boy abour 4 years old. I was happily sat watching and listening to them and their son, smiling to myself. And then, as they got called by the buzzer, the woman stood up and turned towards me. She had a huge bump. And the significance of this? I had a pang of something I thought I would never feel. Sadness. Sadness about pregnancy. It was something deep and as they went through the door my eyes welled up. I blinked it all away. I tried to stop being cruel to myself, I've dealt with all that stuff, the kids stuff. And just as I think the feeling has passed, and as buses do, along came another woman with a huge bump..on her way out of her appointment. She stroked her stretched belly affectionately. I shrank inside. I curled up.

My nurse came and called me in and I asked her for a tissue as my nose was running. I disguised my moment from her and went into the issues of my scars and surgery. This helped me forget the minutes before as I launched into the hows and whys and the BRCA1 gene. She was very interested and very impressed with my surgery. She couldn't believe my boobs had been rebuilt with my back muscles and skin. I let her touch them so she could feel how some areas are still hard inside. She was quite amazed all round.

On looking at my scars, she confirmed the stitches had made it through my skin and there had been some scar opening up and weeping but it had dried and started healing again. Maybe I'd been overdoing it or too much physio? I told her I'd been a little too active in the garden and that I would take it easy. We switched my prescription from Codeine to Co-Codemal so I don't have to take Paracetomal and Codeine and get less of a dose of Codeine which is constipating opiate. I had to make a follow up appointment to see a nurse again in a week to keep an eye on the 'bobble' and stitch end that had been pushed out through my skin. That made me feel better, no antibiotics, no infection just some monitoring.

I have done little all week, no physio, no lifting, nothing. I feel better for it and the fluid on my back is now almost gone. The seroma at the top of my scars on my back has gone down a lot now and is itchy but I know things are getting better. I still hurt but it feels like a world away from the week in hospital now. Your body and mind is equipped with a blurring mode to help forget bad stuff. I am glad to be distancing myself from all that worry, all that stabbing pain, all that fidgeting.

I actually slept on my back with just 2 pillows last night for the first time in 6 weeks. I only woke once, briefly, and I can lie for very short periods on my side now, enough comfort to doze. It's great. Truly great. Normality will be mine again. Yes it will!


Anonymous said...

L.A. - reading this brought tears to my eyes. That must be a terrible feeling, knowing that you aren't going to have children (from your own body anyway). My heart really goes out to you..but I do still feel like you've made the right choice, and as you mentioned earlier, you can have that sense of inner peace, and not feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, or have that dark cloud following you around, you are free now. *hugs*