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! ;)


  1. jess you are the bravest girl you have been through so much and you still have a big smile on your face keep smileing girl we (your family are all so proud of you )

  2. Your positivity amazes me. Good luck to you and your gorgeous family!

  3. I'm so happy that your reconstruction went well! It's nice to get some "normalcy" back! I hope there is something they can give you for the arthritis, that must be horrible. Its not something I'm famaliar with, so I can't give any suggestions, but I'm hoping there is something they can do to eliminate the pain. The tattoo part is mostly painless though, another good thing about not having feeling there anymore :-)

  4. I'm glad that the reconstruction was successful, and fair play to them for taking care of the scar too. I hope you get something that works for your arthritis, you are an amazing lady to continually cope with whatever life throws at you. I hope you both had a lovely time at the wedding x