Monday, March 22, 2010

I forgot to tell you...

That along with everything else happening yesterday when I broke down, I forgot to tell you I had a yeast infection too!  Now really?  Could nothing more happen to me?  Lord!

So I went to a doctor here in town today...great doctor, I really liked him....Anyway, this rash is a reaction from one of the three antibiotics I am on...nothing will help other than to stop taking the medicine.  Benadryl won't even help, ugh.  It will take a day or two to go down...I have to go to work tomorrow like this, ugh!  Here is this morning my neck/chest area...

All of this nonsense is driving me crazy!  I am not a sickly person, I don't run to the doctor at the sign of some little thing, but I am at my second week of work and missed another day, now I have to go into work like this!  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, someone help me!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I finally broke down...

So, the past week has been emotional or actually just tonight. try to make an extremely long story shorter...

I started my new job on Tuesday instead of Monday because of the follow-up appointment with the surgeon.  The work week went great, meeting a bunch of people that you may not remember their names next week, but it was great and I am so looking forward to this job.  I have a feeling I will be extremely busy, which is fantastic!  I want the day to fly by so fast that I don't realize what time it is!  I even had dinner with my boss' wife and kids on Thursday (he had to go out of town or he would of been with us) and it was great, I really love his wife.  Of course I spent most of the time talking about me, which I hate about myself, but I was telling about the surgery and stuff.  Not that I had to, she reads this blog, ugh...I feel like such a blow hard sometimes.  Ha ha, I heard that word on CSI last week and it has been in my head, just had to use it. :)

Anyway, so....Friday I noticed some red bumps on my thighs...but I had worn a new pair of pants on Thursday without washing them, so I thought it was just that and I didn't even think twice about it (because I didn't see it anywhere else)...and it didn't itch, so it wasn't bothering me.  That same night I noticed the hard knot on the inside of my knee had changed...the center of the knot was very soft and the skin looked thin, almost like a blood blister or something.  It didn't raise up or anything, but it just looked like it was full of fluid.  So, I made note of it in my brain and moved on.

Saturday morning, after I dragged my butt out of bed and made breakfast for the family...what did Charlotte do but crawl back into bed of course...after she ate, ha ha!  So, I went in there and climbed into bed with her and was just chatting for a few minutes....and then I felt my knee was wet.  I pulled up the leg of my jammies and noticed that the knot had popped!  GROSS!  So I went and cleaned it out, it was blood and yellow puss coming out, I know, it's sick, I almost couldn't do it, but I felt like I got it all out and put the prescription antibiotic cream on it that I have, and bandaged it up.  It is still hard around the center.  So I don't know what is going on, I am going to call my doctor tomorrow.

Now, back to the red bumps on my thighs...I noticed they were getting a little more...and I drove back to the hotel in Charlottesville tonight (Sunday) for work tomorrow...and I get up and go to the bathroom and I notice the bumps on my thigh are more red....and then I see a few on my arms....and then I look in the mirror and I see it on my neck!!  I took a picture and sent it to my mom and then called her and started crying.  I can't take it any more, I am so tired of being sick!  Ugh,  I always cry when I talk to my mom and I'm sad...because you always know your mommy will make it better. :)  She told me to stop taking the antibiotics and take some Benadryl.   I also sent the picture to my sister (who is a nurse and was at work) and she asked the doctor at work (and told her the antibiotics I am on) and the doctor said to take Benadryl and keep taking the antibiotics and call my doctor tomorrow.  So, I listened to the doctor...and of course they were wrong.  I should of stopped taking the antibiotics like my mom said...Mom's are ALWAYS right!  :p

So, I drove up to the grocery store, talked to my son and husband on the way back (cried on the phone with my husband) and took the Benadryl and am about to hop into bed.  I am a worry wart...I don't know if people notice but my thinking is a little twisted...

Just a TINY glimpse of where my brain is running:      So if this rash is an allergic reaction...another allergic reaction is for your throat to swell up (is my throat swelling up, omg, is it??)...and if I take my sleeping pill tonight...will I wake up if my throat swells??  Will I die alone in this hotel??  OMG how horrible, if I die I want to at least be around my family (wth!?!?).  OMG, I am moving to a new place, we are supposed to go to settlement and what if I die??  Would Tim still move?  Would they let him out of the contract on the house?....and so on and so's twisted, seriously.

Anyway, I am going to bed...hope this isn't my last post (ok ok, I am joking, really, I hope)...I am going to call my doc tomorrow and see where we go from here....wish me luck.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Emergency Room Visit

So, earlier last week, I noticed some tenderness on the inside of my knee, above the drain hole (I love saying drain hole, not sure why).  I had had some tenderness sometimes before the drain was removed, I thought it was just from moving around a lot at night now and bending my knee more.  Anyway, yesterday morning, I noticed some red patches around the off to the ER I went.  I definitely didn't want to have an infection and let it get worse!  I do love the hospital here, they are all so friendly and nice, but 6 hours later....ugh.

Basically I do have a small infection (the doctor said skin infection, so not even inside) and they did an ultrasound on my knee and CBC (complete blood count).  The blood work was perfectly normal but there is a small amount of fluid build up in the track of where my drain was...but not even enough to stick a needle in and take out.  I have to follow-up with the surgeon who was on call there on Monday, just to make sure that it's just normal swelling and more fluid isn't building up, but other than that it's ok.  They gave me an IV antibiotic and two more to take for the next 10 days.  I have never taken two antibiotics at the same time...and I took a nap for 4 hours today!  I haven't felt nauseas yet, or had to visit the bathroom a lot, which antibiotics sometimes do to people, but I have lost my appetite (which isn't a bad thing right now) and had a headache that wouldn't quit.  One of the antibiotics said headache was a side effect...first time I had ever seen that also.  I guess I just don't take antibiotics a lot!

What this means is I don't start my job in Charlottesville tomorrow, which is a bummer, I hate having to do that, but I do need to follow-up with the surgeon before I head down.  The surgeon told me to tell his office when I called that I need to be seen right away, so they don't put me off, which is good.  In a perfect world I will see the surgeon tomorrow and all will be fine, and be on my way to Charlottesville tomorrow evening to start on Tuesday!

I will update later this week. :D

Friday, March 12, 2010

Not as dramatic as I hoped!

Alright, so here's what everyone has been waiting for, but I almost don't want to post, ha ha!  Took pictures yesterday and today, and my 3-week post-op pictures look better than my 6-week, isn't that horrible?  Ok, you can still see a difference, but jeez, I almost feel like I am going backwards!  I know it's a lot of swelling still, and I am doing a lot more (not sitting in bed all day) which makes the swelling worse, but I am disappointed in the difference, ha ha.  Anyway, here it is...

So, you can see a huge difference, especially in the arms and legs, but look at the swelling in the upper thighs both inside and outside, ha ha!  Ok, also I realized I lied, I did wear a garment the night before I took that last pic, it's the night after that I didn't wear it!  Oh well, and you can see the swelling on the inside of the left knee where the drain was taken out, will tell you about that in a minute!  Actually you can see the swelling everywhere!  I know, I know, swelling will happen for MONTHS...but I want it gone NOW!  I am such an instant gratification type of person. :D

Ok, so also in that third picture, I am wearing a pre-surgery bra, it was hard to get the boobies in it!  I have to wear a sports bra for 3 weeks more and then move to regular bra's, so I will go get measured and fitted then.  I did measure for the sports bra and this one is a 40D...and pre-surgery I was 36/38 B/C.  I don't know how I went UP in the bottom number, but I am hoping it's still a little swelling.  Also, that is for this particular sports bra, that is one of those super supportive ones, so it may just be this one, we'll see.

Ok, they are:

                                   Pre Surgery:         6 Weeks Post-Op:
Middle of Thigh:                  27"                          23"
Hips:                                   50"                          46"
Waist:                                 40"                          38"
Weight:                             215.5                      211.5

I can tell you that I have been eating like a pig lately, and then sitting around for 6 weeks made it even I probably would of lost a lot more if I ate healthier!  I am now through with it, I swear. :D  No more peanut butter M&M's while I am laying in bed all day watching TV. :D

All in all it's going good.  I don't have to wear my garment any more, and I don't wear the arm ones (only a separate sports bra) but I do continue to wear the body one during the day since the drain just came out a few days ago, and some swelling is developing inside the knee (please don't let it be a bad seroma where I have to go to the doc, please, I beg!!).   I am also going to wear the body one to help maintain swelling, I may go get one of those Spanx instead, some people suggest those instead of this garment to help with swelling and to be more comfortable (of course after your initial 6 weeks of wearing this one).  So, anyway, a seroma is just fluid, just like swelling, but swelling is in the tissues and a seroma is just the fluid sitting there in a pocket.  The only issue is that a seroma can develop scar tissue around it, which kind of seals it off from the body, so your body can't absorb that case they go in and scrape the scar tissue out and put another drain inmaybe...I have a few seroma's right now, but they are small.  One along my left arm scar, one along my right arm scar (almost gone already) and I think one forming on the inside of my left knee just above the drain hole.  That one is sensitive right now, but I am going to watch it.  I was going to go to my doctor today but decided not to, I don't want to go to him today and move to Charlottesville on Sunday and have to find someone else.  Bottom line is I will watch it, and if it gets any worse (in pain or size) then I will either go to an ambulatory care center, or find a doc in Charlottesville.  Oh, speaking of which, I am going to tell you this story about looking for a plastic surgeon who would see me...I will do that after I tell you about the drain...

Ok, Corrie came over Monday night after work...she had to get here and get it done so she could go home and watch Lost!!  :D  Anyway, she got here around 6:30pm and I had already dosed myself up on Ibuprofen and Tylenol (about an hour apart) because I was so scared of the pain.  The pain on the inside of the left knee I told you about a few minutes ago has been off and on for a while, so I could never tell if it was the drain itself or swelling.  I thought it was because I moved around a lot more at night now and now lay on my side with my knees bent and the drain was bending inside and maybe hurting me...who knows...anyway...  So, I am freaking out that this is going to hurt since it's been in so long, that I am almost crying already, before anything even happens!!  I take my garment off, Corrie washes her hands, we prepare.....I lay on the bed with a towel under my knee, and literally wrap my head in the body pillow I have...thinking I am going to scream...and she starts to pull.  She puts one hand on the thigh just above the drain hole (that's such a funny thing to say...drain hole)...and holds my knee and pulls with the other hand...I feel it moving inside my leg...that funny feeling again...but guess what!!!  No pain!  WOW, I was amazed....and I could feel her pulling pretty hard!  But the most disgusting thing happened...she had to pull fairly hard to get it out, and when the end of the drain came out, this long stringy piece of something flung out and landed on her hand!!  As well as some blood came out and of course splashed on my sheets (past where the towel was) and even on my sock!  Ok, here is a picture of what a drain looks like...

So, the clear part of the tube was outside my thigh, and the white part was inside and running up inside my thigh.  This drain I could actually see the white part at the drain hole, so it wasn't so much to pull out this time.  Anyway, the white part is kind of hollow so the fluid can run through it, and this long stringy thing (kinda white and red together) looked like it was the shape of the inside of the white part of the drain, and about that long too!  Anyway, it flung on her hand and although I didn't see it initially (head wrapped in pillow) she told me the first time she tried to pick it up off her hand she couldn't get it, it was slimy!!  I did see the thing after she put it on the was disgusting!  So if that thing was inside that part of the drain, then it wasn't really draining much in my upper thigh anyway, right?  Also Dr. S said maybe the drain was causing the that's what I am hoping!  Anyway, it was done and over in 5 seconds, and it was disgusting!  Corrie is great and no way I could of done this without her!  She sure is one great best friend. :)  Corrie...I love you MAN!

Alright, on to the finding a doctor, I was thinking the other day before I heard back from Dr. S...that maybe I should find a plastic surgeon to follow up with, instead of just my primary doctor (who is an internist), because they've seen a lot more of this stuff.  So...I start Googling plastic surgeons both where I live now and in Charlottesville, VA, where I am moving next week...and I want to send emails to them, to explain more of my situation, and see if they would see me.  I knew I would run into some surgeons who would NOT want to see me because of going to Mexico, but I figured I would find one or two with at least some curiosity to want to see the work that was I emailed three different doctors..and called the University of Virginia Plastic Surgery department (it's a teaching hospital, why WOULDN'T they want to see me to teach others, right??).  I heard back from two of the doctors and said to contact UVA and that he wouldn't see me, one said he would see me but he doesn't participate with my insurance so it would be $300 for first visit, and UVA called me back and the woman basically said go to an urgent care facility or emergency room if I needed (they would then call the PS on duty), that nobody there would see me.  I was shocked...and the last doctor just hasn't bothered to reply yet....he actually is the VP of UVA Plastic Surgery Department.  Do you believe that?  Doctors suck!!  They are all so snobby and stuck up.  If a patient needs help, they need help, who cares about the rest, they still get paid, right?!?!

Ok, here's some more pics...check out this bootie...
The angle of the picture is a little different, but you can see a lot more junk in the trunk...when he took off the skin back there, it left it flat and more saggy than it already was...she he cleaned some of the fat he lipo'd off of me, and put it back in...heh, funny, huh?  You can see the thighs are better, but still very very swollen.  When lipo is done you swell for so long that it's hard to tell a difference sometimes!  You can see the more flatness in the belly, even with the hematoma I still have.  It's going down though.  I still have that skin that hangs over the elbow...gross...but I have skinnier upper arms...not sure if anything could of been done about that...would of probably had to make a scar cross ways on my elbow...that may of taken it a little too far!

Ok, so I bought a new bathing suit at Costco yesterday...same size as I have been here's a pic.  It's 7am in the morning, and I don't look too happy, do I?  Ha ha!  And for some reason I look like I am hunching over a bit, maybe it's just the size of the boobs!!  And look, I can wear a bathing suit without some hugely supportive top!!  Also, wanted to add, it may not look like much of a difference, but when I walk the skin on my thighs doesn't wave at almost used to HURT sometimes when it shook...especially when I was going to the gym and jogging on the treadmill, ugh...

I tried to find a before picture in a bathing suit, but this is the best I could find.  This was a year ago April/May, on our Honeymoon...look closely and you can actually see the skin 'pooling' around the bottom of my legs...I always kept the crotch area covered up because it looked horrible!!

Ok, to end this extremely long post, all is well.  My butt still gets sore (it's sore right now)...and I still have some openings in some of my incisions but those are healing, slowly.  My thighs are still very swollen, but they are getting better.  I still have the hematoma in the belly, but it's going down.  I have some small seroma's that are going away, and I think I have one forming in my left leg where my drain came out of, so I am watching that closely.

Would I do it again?  Yes

What I do it again exactly this way?  No - I would of added two surgeries...the anchor cut (that goes up the belly to get rid of more skin) and the upper body lift (to get rid of the skin that hangs over the back of the bra)...and I would of broken it up into two surgeries.

Ta-ta for now...I again appreciate all the support!  I can't believe that people have looked at this page over 800 times since Valentine's Day!  Wow!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Today is THE Day!

Ok, no, it's not 6 weeks yet, that is going to happen in a couple of days, so stay tuned for the new pictures...but today my last drain is coming out, yes, yes it's coming out!!  It is not draining less than 30cc's, it's not even draining less than 100cc's a day, but Dr. S says take it out.  He said the drain may actually be causing the pull it out.  I spoke with him on the phone to confirm what his email says...sometimes it's a little hard to understand his English in an email...but he said to do it!  So, his theory is, take it out, let the drain hole close up, which will force my body to start absorbing the fluid.  I think that makes sense, but I hate to see how the drain hole is going to be leaking for the next few days!  Anyway, the reason I think it makes sense is because I swell...every day I swell.  I come home from work and take my socks off and I can see where my calves are swollen...this is even before I think a bit of swelling for me is normal.  If this doesn't force the body to start reabsorbing the fluid, then he says go to my PCP and if my PCP can't fix prepared to fly back to Mexico!  I am really praying and hoping that this works out.  I start my new job on Monday....keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Corrie is coming by after work...I will post more later or tomorrow to let you know how it went.  I really feel this one may hurt a bit because it's been in so long!!