In the school of hard knock(er)s, my lessons seem to always come in the form of surprise pain. Surprise pain is like a sadistic ninja just waiting for me to relax and get a little too cocky with my positive self-talk and mind-over-matter strategies. Today’s surprise pain came when the nurse put the needle in the left port. I instantly got a shooting pain to my left arm down to my elbow. It was so surprising to me, that I immediately started crying. In all of this time, through all of the horrible fills, I’ve never cried in the doctor’s office. Today? Cried like a little girl. I couldn’t stop it and I felt like a goob. I felt bad for my nurse because I think my reaction to the pain startled her a little bit too. The pain basically felt like instant and excruciating tennis elbow (tendonitis). It subsided after a few minutes to more of a dull ache – which is MUCH more tolerable. The right side didn’t hurt like that at all. I would have never thought that my arms would react to expansion the way they have. Seems like so much of my pain is actually in my arms and not in my chest. That sneaky little ninja seems to know exactly where to throw me off course so that I have to face every aspect of this process physically, mentally and emotionally. Challenge accepted you little jerk.
These last two weeks have been really really good for me though. I had a break from expansion last week and got to feel more mobile and “normal” than ever. Seems like the “breaks” are getting better and better. Not only did I get to be part of a friend’s wedding and wear a dress that didn’t make me feel/look like a crazy lady with misshapen boobs…but I took a nap yesterday and laid on my right side! I know that sounds so silly, but I’ve been sleeping propped up and on my back since April 18th. I don’t think I can lay on my side very often, but it’s the little things that keep me going right now.
I still hate that I’m going every other week for fills now. I know that I obviously need to slow things down. (said in my whiniest voice) Extending the amount of time it will take to get me thru expansion is not the only issue that I’m a little pissy about. Two weeks in-between fills gives me time to get used to feeling good. For a few days I get to pretend like this isn’t really happening. Of course, I’m reminded when I move too much or I reach for something too quickly…or when I bump up against something or have to change to a different style of sports bra in order to wear a certain shirt…you get the picture. But during the 10 days leading up to the next fill, I don’t have pain. Because of this, I’m finding myself growing anxious the night before a fill. Each fill just seems to be such a surprise (good and bad), so I don’t really know what to expect until I get them. Sundays are now referred to as the night I have to “put on my big girl panties.”
Today’s fill brought me to 500cc. Only 4 more fills to go. I’m not real sure where another 200cc are going to go though. I just don’t know that I have the room, but he assures me that I will get there. I already feel huge. The fills are REALLY quick. So literally, I walk in, talk to the doc for about 3 min, and then I’m with the nurse for (maybe) 10 minutes. It’s nice that it doesn’t take up too much time…but I still feel like I live there. In fact, everyone commented on my new hair color as I walked in. Kinda funny when you spend so much time at your plastic surgeon’s office that the staff and nurses recognize that I’ve had 4 different hair cuts and colors since April. They weren’t lying when they told me that I’d be part of their family for a year. Getting to know the girls in the office does help me when I am faced with the ninja of surprise pain though. It helps to talk to them while I mentally kick the ninja’s ass so that I can be prepared to walk out and drive myself home. By the end of this I should be a master sniper of ninjas and have a PhD in mental pain management….street education is just as valuable as my formal education and I intend on graduating with honors for this round of degrees.