Thursday, June 28, 2012

Health Update - 28th June 2012

Hey everyone, I hope you're all doing well and enjoying the lovely "summer" weather we're having!

I had my nipple reconstruction done almost 2 weeks ago now and i got the bandages off a week ago. I'm actually really impressed with the job that they done on it and i can't wait now until its all healed up and I can get it tattooed! I'm not going to be posting before and after photos or anything like that but its a welcome change after having a patch of skin where I used to have a nipple for the last 20 or so months! I was a bit sore for a few days afterwards even though my boob and armpit have been numb since my mastectomy so I had to take plenty of painkillers! The morning of my surgery (which was Friday 15th June) I got up at 4am and got the 5am bus to the hospital. G followed me up in the car when he'd gotten the kids off to school etc. I had brought a book so had plenty to keep me occupied while waiting to be called for surgery. One of my plastic surgeons team came around to chat to me and go through everything with me. She was marking me up when she spotted my "thumb print" scar (that happened when i was burnt during my mastectomy) and asked me if I'd like it made smaller while I was having the nipple done. Of course I said yes!I went down to theatre early enough and began worrying about what I always think is the worst past of surgery, getting the cannula in my hand. I HATE needles and i get so nervous when I start thinking about being stuck with one. I start sweating and my heart starts racing! A nice nurse gave me some numbing cream so that it wouldn't hurt as much to get the needle in. My last 2 surgeries I've been brought straight into the theatre to be put to sleep but this time I went into a little "anaesthetic room" to be knocked out. There was the nice nurse and a female anaesthetist who were really lovely to me and were chatting away to me to distract me while the male anaesthetist was slapping the hand off me trying to get a good vein! He finally got in it and they hooked me up to a drip but they had to wiggle it around to get a good flow (ugh!) and thankfully they didn't have to redo it!Then I was given some oxygen and next thing I knew I was in recovery! I think I was out for about 90 minutes or so. I was brought back to the ward and about 3pm I was given some toast and told I could go home. Isn't it funny how the toast you get after fasting just tastes like the nicest toast EVER??? G was up in the waiting room so we walked down to the car and headed home.

I've been complaining of pain in literally ALL of my joints for a long time now. Last summer I went to the doctor and was given a box of 100 painkillers. I only took a couple of them because I didn't want to end up addicted to them or something! While I was having my light treatment last summer, I told my dermatologist about the pain and he told me that he would refer me to a bone and joint specialist, its a spon something or other, I can't ever remember it, and i eventually got an appointment for the end of July this year. The last few weeks though the pain has been unbearable and i was really starting to worry that it was something bad so i went to my GP the day before my operation and he told me that I'd need blood tests and an Xray. I had Googled my symptoms (as we all do!) and came up with psoriatic arthritis, which is a form of arthritis that people with psoriasis get. The GP said the same thing so i had my blood tests done a few days after my surgery and went to the local health centre to have my xrays done. I had to sign the form to say you're not pregnant and it always annoys me when i have to go explaining that u haven't had a period in over 2 years because of chemo and hormone tablets. My hands were xrayed first and then my back. I had to lie on my newly formed nipple which was very uncomfortable but I didn't want to have to go telling the radiographer ANOTHER part of my life story so I laid there and said nothing!

2 days later the doctor rang me to say yes, I do have psoriatic arthritis. He said that he was waiting for some of my blood work to come back so I'd have to come down and see him in a week or so and we would have a chat about what to do next. I told him that I was due to see a specialist anyway so at least the timing there worked out well! He asked me if i had enough painkillers to keep me going til i came down to see him so I told him I had a box of them!I'm going back to see him in the morning so i'll let you all know how it goes! The pain is really awful, my hands, feet, knees, hips, shoulders and basically everywhere hurts like hell and now its starting to hurt when I try to make a fist too so it hurts to pick things up. Walking, and especially pushing Ryan in his buggy is agony. I keep telling G that I'm going to end up in a mobility scooter before long! Wouldn't you think I've been cursed enough for one lifetime already?  I got the phone call from my doctor while I was bussing it up to get my dressing off, of course that had to cause me hardship too! The bandage got stuck to a scab or something to I had to lie there while they let it soak and then the doctor came in and whipped it off!! Good job I can't feel anything there any more eh!?  On my way out I met the female doctor who had suggested making my scar smaller, its now half the size it was, and i thanked her for suggesting it! She got me to show her and agreed that it looks much better so THANK YOU for that!

If you've managed to read this far without falling asleep then congratulations! Myself and G are heading to a friends wedding on saturday so its the first wedding (apart from our own) that we've been to in about 5 years so it will be nice to catch up with some friends and neighbours for the day!

I was asked by the lovely Karen from Lovely Girlie Bits, who works in the hospital, to do a guest post on her ever so popular blog a while back so please feel free to check it out! Here's the link!

Once again, thank you to everyone who reads my blog, I really enjoy having a place to let off steam and get everything off my now 2 nippled chest! ;)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Crappy few weeks!

Well, once again I've been a very bad blogger and not posted in a long time!  I have been very busy though, Ryan ended up in hospital just over 3 weeks ago, he had a seizure in his bed and had to be taken by ambulance to Tallaght Hospital.  Luckily I was in bed with him at the time and when his breathing went funny I started shouting for G.  By the time I had ran downstairs to get some Nurofen for his high temperature his eyes had gone up in the back of his head and he was just in a daze which was so scary!  I just phoned 999 and G took him into the bathroom to splash some cold water on him to try snap him out of it.  He was in hospital for just over 3 days and while he was in hospital we were told that he had a bad chest infection, swollen glands and tonsilitis.  They changed his asthma inhalers as they said the ones our GP had put him on were way too strong for him and he seems to be fine since getting home.  We were up in the hospital yesterday for a scheduled appointment and he seen his own doctor (G told them the doctor he was attending when they went to a+e but nobody seemed to listen to him) who informed me that he had had pneumonia again (Ryan was in hospital with pneumonia when he was 10 months old, the day after my first chemo session) in the same lung.  I was so shocked that I didn't really respond, pneumonia hadn't been mentioned to us when he was in hospital!  He had another xray done yesterday and the doctor rang G today to tell him that there's still some signs of infection so they are going to send us out a prescription for a 2 week antibiotic and he has to go back up for a check up and xray in another 6 weeks time so its really worrying because I know pneumonia can be very dangerous!  Hopefully everything will be ok, he's been in better form for the last 3 weeks than he has been for a LONG time!

As for Aaron, he's in good health as always, doing brilliantly in school and flying it at martial arts! He has his next grading in a months time and he has 1 tip on his belt already so he will have to work hard to get another 2 tips so he can go for his full yellow belt!  He will be getting his summer holidays in just over 2 weeks time so with any luck we'll get to have a lie in here and there!

G is in great form, we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary last weekend and we went out for dinner to The Loft restaurant in Arklow and had a delicious meal!  It was nice to have a couple of hours to chat without 2 screaming mad men running around the place!

And me?  Well I'm going in for my nipple reconstruction in 3 days time and I'm doing everything I can to distract myself because I'm as nervous as hell! I HATE getting knocked out, I don't know if its getting the needle in my hand or the thought of being put to sleep but I get really nervous and worked up so I'm just trying not to think about it!  I had my ultrasound done last week and it wasn't the most pleasant of experiences!  I had to be poked and prodded with a full bladder while doing my best trying not to think about weeing or even worse, wetting myself!!  After 30 minutes I was so relieved to be able to go for a wee but the nurse then said she would have to do an internal ultrasound too so that took about 45 minutes and was just so uncomfortable!  She said that the results would be sent out to my doctor so fingers and toes crossed that everything will be ok!  I'm seeing a specialist next month about my joint pain which is gone really bad lately, I've taken more painkillers in the last week than I have in the last couple of years so I'm hoping there's a reasonable explanation for it all!

I have my driving test in 3 weeks time so I've been going out with my sis in law Lisa to practice (anyone who doesn't know me probably doesn't know that I've only just started learning to drive!) and she says I'm "flying it"! Her words, not mine!  I don't really think I have a hope in hell of passing seeing as I've only driven about 10 times but sure, wouldn't it be a small miracle if I actually managed to pass it???? Time will tell!

So that's whats been going on here lately, that's not even mentioning all the baking I've been doing for cake sales, birthdays, christenings and confirmations!  I am absolutely shattered lately, I just seem to be constantly on the go and I am WRECKED!