Wednesday, March 7, 2012


It has been over two weeks since I last wrote on my blog - is that the longest I have ever gone? And then when I did attempt to work on it today, the computer started acting all funny. I think I've got it working now though.

As you can see in the picture to the left, the kitchen remodeling has begun. Eventually, that added on space out there with the window will also be part of the kitchen. Right now all my top cupboards are sitting on the bench on the other side of the kitchen. It makes things more difficult. I have a feeling things will get even more difficult before this project is finished. A couple of weeks ago we ordered 3 new cupboards and bought the lumber so Paul can build a shelf for the microwave. We could have bought one of those, but figured it was cheaper to make our own. My eventual plan is to have navy counter tops, but we bought an 8 foot piece of tan stuff on clearance. We'll use that along with the stuff we already have until we can afford the new ones. It's going to be a pain in the neck for awhile, but it will be so nice and big when we get done. Being an old farmhouse, the kitchen was already good sized before. But it will be spacious once we get done, which will be nice. I find it very hard to cook and get around in tiny little kitchens. Our first house in Loveland had such a little kitchen. But it was awfully cute. Anyway...

Well, let's see...I had surgery Thursday. That was not pleasant. First, I had to go to the radiology place and get a guide wire inserted. They put you in a chair and push you up to the mammogram machine where they squish the very breath out of you. While all that is going on you are told to hold very, very still while they thread a needle into your breast. Supposedly, they give you a shot of lanocain first, but I really have to wonder about the effectiveness of giving you a shot in order to numb you from the pain of a future needle. At any rate, it's incredibly painful. The nurse kept asking me, "Are you ok? Are you going to faint?" I was just trying to remain still while being tortured, that was all. And then, the dr. decided that he put the wire in the wrong place! So we had to do it all over again. This time the needles was threaded just above my nipple. I probably don't have to mention that that is a very, very sensitive area of the human body...I looked down and there was blood running all down my breast and all over the mammogram machine.

Then, the nurse took two Styrofoam cups - as in, the kind you would serve coffee in - taped them together and then taped them over my breast. I am baffled that in this day of medical advances, they had to use Styrofoam cups to cover my boob. Seriously? Medical technology has not come that far yet? I then had to dress over the cup, which meant I was jutting out the left side by a good 6". I looked like Madonna with Alzheimer's.

I then had a 2 hour gap before my actual surgery. The nurse wheeled me out to the van - thankfully away from the eyes of those who would wonder what terrible disease I must have that caused me to grow a breast 6" taller than the other. The surgery was at a different place. I had intended to run some errands during that time, but instead we sat in the van. I wasn't about to go out in public looking like a freak.

When we did go into the surgery center the receptionist took one look at me and hustled me around the corner, saying sympathetically, "You've already been through the mill today, haven't you?" I nodded and about started crying right then. I didn't like at this place that we had to pay up front. Except for having Sam, I have never had to do that anywhere before. They figure what your insurance will pay and then get their share right up front. So here I'm sitting there with a wire coming out of my breast and I'm digging in my purse for the checkbook. They kind of had me by the short hairs. It just seems tacky to do that.

So they got me all prepped for surgery, including two tries at putting in my IV. The one nurse finally declared, "I give up!" and went and got another nurse. My poor hand... Then, they kept asking me, "Now which breast are we doing?" I kind of wanted to yell sarcastically, "Oh I don't know - maybe the one with the Styrofoam cup taped to it?!!!" But I know they're just doing that for lawsuit purposes. They actually had me walk down to the operating room myself.

All went fine. They said they weren't completely knocking me out, but I have no memory from the time I climbed up on the table until I woke up, trying to yank the tubes out of my nose. After leaving, we went to Fazolis and ate a big lunch (Paul had fasted with me, which was sweet, I thought) and then we went to US Cellular and got me a new phone. The prior week had been tough for our phones. Paul lost his a couple of days after our anniversary. It still has not showed up, so he's been using Will's old one. He was eligible for a new phone and was going to get one, but then, on the Sat. after our anniversary, my phone suddenly began taking pictures at random. It had died. So we had to get me a new phone instead. My contract becomes eligible for renewal this Friday, so Paul will get his new phone then.

And I've spent the last few days recovering. My entire breast is purple, now with some varying shades of yellow and green. It is incredibly painful. I can only wear sports bras and I even have to sleep in them. I'm living on pain pills. The ones I got after the surgery disappeared like Paul's phone, so I've actually been using pain pills from my surgery a year ago. They still work! And I'm so tired all the time - it's terrible!

Yesterday I went shopping all day long. Thankfully, I was by myself, but as the day wore on I got more and more worn out. As I was pulling into Aldi's I called Paul and asked if he'd meet me at the store if he would happen to get off work early enough. I just didn't know how I was going to manage those big, heavy Aldi's bags full of groceries. He said he would but he was still working at that point. I got out of my van and the next thing I knew I was seeing my friend, Tammy and her 11 year old son, Jonathan! They had just finished up their shopping at Aldis. Tammy insisted on going in with me to the store and she and Jonathan ran all over the place, getting what I needed. They unloaded my cart for me, loaded into the bags and then put them in the back of my van and even took the cart back for me. I can't help but see that as totally Providential. It just had not occurred to me that I would need help, but I did. And God provided!

I then went to Walmart to finish my shopping. I was hurting so bad by then that, at one point, I nearly vomited from the pain. I'm so glad I didn't! That would have been totally embarrassing! I kept hoping Paul would show up, but as it turned out, he ended up working until 6pm. That's good, money-wise, but it meant I was on my own. However, I did manage. Fortunately, Walmart bags are smaller and a little easier to handle. I had twenty dollars worth of coupons I used at Walmart yesterday - wow! Normally I have about $9-11 worth of them, but this was amazing!

Well, I think that ends my tale of woe. Every day I'm getting a little bit better. I'm really hoping I can make it to church tonight to teach my Patch kids. I made it Sunday morning because we had to teach Children's Church. But I was feeling it! I figured this would be an easier surgery because it was on something external. I guess it doesn't work that way. About a week before the surgery I watched a 20/20 special on plastic surgery. They had one plastic surgeon on there who put breast implants in his own daughter, which seems really, really icky and slightly unethical/incestuous to me. He also changed his daughter's belly button from an outie to an innie when she was ten. Then they did a segment with Joan Rivers who has had many, many plastic surgeries and they interviewed an 83 year old who had implants put in and some other work done. After what I had done last week - removing one little nodule - I cannot imagine volunteering for that kind of pain, all in the name of beauty. The dr. told Paul that if he had not taken out my tumor (as he called it) I had a 10-20% chance of developing breast cancer at some point there. That's a reasonable reason to have surgery. Increasing my breast size or lifting my face? Not so much! I just have this real aversion to pain and I can't imagine it being worth it - even when I look at side view pictures of myself and sigh because my neck is getting all fleshy and bulgy and I have no clearly defined chin anymore.

I need to go do some laundry and eat some lunch. My next post will not involve words like "purple," "boob," or "wires," I promise!

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