Monday, June 14, 2010

If This Is Monday, It Must Be Saline Day

Yes, indeed, folks. Today was my day to make my little trek back to the plastic surgeon’s office for what was supposed to be my last saline fill.

I was a bit apprehensive about this appointment since I’d had some “out of the ordinary” troubles since last week. My left breast turned a lovely shade of pale lavender (not really mottled like bruising) and a little strange, jagged horizontal line appeared at the top of it. Not to be outdone, my right breast started to sport some bright and interesting bruising in several different (but complementary) colors. I felt like I was a walking advertisement for Crayola crayons, or something.

I also had quite a bit more overall discomfort last week; in fact, I even called the surgeon’s nurse last Tuesday and told her what was going on. She said that although what I was describing sounded “unusual,” she wouldn’t worry about it unless the area was warm to the touch or the pain increased a lot.

When I got there today, the surgeon immediately commented on the discoloration. (Even after a week it was noticeable.) He also admitted it was unusual and gave me some highly technical explanation having to do with the chest wall and the expander and the muscles in the area. Although I didn’t completely understand him, as long as he wasn’t overly concerned, I figured I wasn’t going to worry too much.

He did the fills (ouch) and then told me I would have to come back for one last fill after all.

Happy day.

I got myself re-dressed and hit the road for home. I felt like there was quite a bit more discomfort than usual and much to my dismay, that discomfort only increased until it was transformed into all-out pain. After about a half hour, I was actually in tears from the pain, which didn’t abate (even after taking two Aleve) until I was about 45 minutes from home.

Sarah, bless her heart, had dinner on the table for us. We ate and then Steve left for a church board meeting, after making sure I was sufficiently “doped up” and had everything I needed. (And by the way, he did volunteer--several times--to make the trip with me today but I told him I'd be fine.)

Sarah informed me that if I needed her to pick up anything I dropped from the floor or if I needed her to get anything for me, just to call. She made that sweet speech in between clearing the table after dinner and putting some laundry in the machine.

I am so blessed by this wonderfully supportive family that hangs out with me.

As per usual on a Monday “fill day,” I am headed for bed very early, pain killers on board, book in hand.

Oh, and one more thing.

Since it occurred to me that this whole notion of tissue expanders is as foreign to you as it was to me when I was first diagnosed, I thought I’d include a couple diagrams. The first one is of an empty expander, the second is of one that has been filled. As you can see in the photo, the expanders are placed underneath the chest muscle and skin, which they then expand.

Hence, their name.

Hence the discomfort.


A tissue expander

B port

C catheter

D syringe

E ribs

F pectoralis major muscle

G Other muscles of the chest wall


So there. Now you know the fun I’ve been having!

And that’s all I have for tonight. I am hoping this discomfort (which has just made a re-appearance in the last few minutes) will go away and allow me to sleep tonight.

Thanks for all of your prayers and concern over these past “interesting” weeks of my life. I appreciate each one of you so much!

9 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Unknown said...

Your dinner looks fabulous - better than any restaurant! I'm so glad you like Manteo - it's one of my very favorite places, too.

lesley said...

Bummer, Becky! I hope you feel much better tomorrow ♥

Alyssa said...

So forgive me if this is a dumb question, or if I missed it before (which I am sure I did), but when they fill the expander, how do they get to it? Do they have to stick the tube into the port or do you have a tube coming out of the port? Either way...OUCH. Hope you are feeling better!

Ann Martin said...

Hope you are getting a good night's sleep. Praying the discomfort will end and tomorrow will be a better day. Sarah is a jewel!

Sue G said...

When we were voting on names for your blog and exchanging ideas, did you ever think you would be writing updates on your boobs? Had we known, we could have called it something like Booby Trapped. Just a thought.

You are so blessed to have the family you have. I know you had a hand in helping to mold them into the thoughtful people they are, so kudos to you, my friend.

It won't be long now before the last injection of fluid and both you and your boobs will start to be much perkier.

Anonymous said...

OUCH poor Becky, I must know, are the expanders a permanant "fixture" or do they remove those nasty little painful things did I mention OUCH.

Karo said...

God bless Sarah! I know you have to be super proud of the young lady she is.

Anonymous said...

ouch... so sorry!
at least, Sue's message made me smile.
hooray for Sarah!

mrs pam

Anonymous said...

OUCH! I'm so sorry! I hope you are feeling better today. (((Hugs)))

Kris H