Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Reading

Sunday is date night in the castle.
For the past several months our location of choice is the local Barnes and Noble. 
Prince Charming and I grab some books off the shelves sip coffee in the Starbucks Cafe while perusing through the pages.
I inevitably wind up coming home with a book or two. I can't help it. I love books.
(Disclaimer: I love books but I am not an avid reader. Reading puts me to sleep. *yawn*)
This summer I am determined to read at least one of the books I have purchased. 
The last summer I tried this was in 2004. The year Oprah's Book Club tackled Anna Karenina. I made it halfway through before I lost momentum.
(This was the summer we moved into the castle and the book was packed away and I just forgot about it. But I am still proud that I was able to get through half of that book.)

The current choices on  my side table are:

The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom.
I Love You, Ronnie (The letters of Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan)
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

What's on your summer reading list?

Monday, June 23, 2008

The No-Hawk

Hansel wanted a mohawk for the summer.
Prince Charming and I decided to splurge and take him to one of those cutesy haircutting places for kids.
1 hour and 20 minutes later he has neither a mohawk or a fauxhawk.
I present you... the NO-hawk.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Recovery Log: Day 6 to Present


Second verse, same as the first!
I woke up wanting to tear my skin off.
Non of the meds were working. I was tired. Itchy. Miserable.
I had become one GIANT HIVE.
(With huge boobs but who noticed.)
We called the in-laws to watch the kids and headed to the ER.
It was 11am.
The same time I had arrived home from my surgery 5 days earlier.
The same time I first noticed the red patch on my belly.
The next five hours were filled with IVs, meds and monitoring.
I was pumped full of steroids, Benadryl and Pepcid. (It's not just for reflux anymore.)
At the third hour a nurse came in with a heart monitor.
We're going to give you a shot of epinephrine so your heart might race a bit.
I wish I could write something funny and clever about the epinephrine but I can't.
It's not funny. I hated it. The end.
I left the E.R. at 4pm with prescriptions for Allegra, Prednisone and Pepcid.
(And no definitive answer on what caused the allergic reaction.)
I was still itchy but the original points of eruption were beginning to fade so there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
By Tuesday the hives were gone. GONE!
By Thursday I was finished taking the medications and actually dared to apply some lotion to my poor skin that is currently being stretched beyond its limits.

Today. Saturday June 21st 2008.
It's now a week after my E.R. trip and I am still hive free.
I still experience some residual itching which I am hoping will go away.
(Someone please tell me it will go away!)
The rest of me is doing very nicely as well.
My incisions are beginning to itch, but in a good way.
They are healing and I can now laugh, sneeze and cough without fear of jettisoning these puppies out of my chest cavity and clear across the room. 
(Though we are still going to wait another week before seeing GET SMART because that kind of laughter would surely kill me.)
(I only got as far as BALLSACK! in the special AppleTV trailer.)
I am still sleeping on my back and somewhat upright because... well, I am a baby. If I move onto my side *they* will move too. I tried it on Thursday night. And it just felt too creepy for me to sleep through it.
Today I head out to pick up some temporary undergarments because I DON'T HAVE ANY BRAS THAT FIT ME.
Temporary, you see, because right now I am swollen to the point of looking like I've been plucked out of a classic 19th Century painting with my vulgar and romanticized curves. Curves which will in time soften and leave me feeling more *natural* but until then I need a little something to support and conceal.
So off I go to fumble through the racks of bras trying to find one that will fit my rack.
Here I am. 38 years old and feeling like I am going through puberty all over again and getting my first training bra. 
And what a training bra it will be!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Recovery Log: Days 4 & 5

Thursday & Friday

The rash... is HIVES!
(Though I won't officially hear that term until Day 6 after I spend 5 hours in the Emergency Room but you will have to wait for that post. Neener-neener. Sorry, canape!)
We DO know it's an allergic reaction to... something. 
And that's it's systemic. 
And migratory.
By Friday I have hives in places where hives should NEVER EVER!!! venture.
They have become bigger than my post-op swollen BOOBS at this point. Both literally and figuratively.
I wind up going to my dermatologist who believed it was something I came in CONTACT with, instead of something I ingested. But because I had been on a low does oral steroid it was difficult to say for sure as the steroid interferes with the normal eruption pattern.
Let's say that one again if only because it makes me sound all smarty medical like: NORMAL ERUPTION PATTERN.
To say my doc was intrigued by my rash would be an understatement.
He stared at me squinting through his professor-type glasses as he madly scribbled down notes as he spun me around to get a closer look AT THE FREAK.
Take this off! 
Lift this up!
Are you wearing underwear? 
OK, let's pull these down. What about your butt?
(What can I say. The nerdy-types love me.) 
He was baffled. So he gave me a prescription for a steroid cream. Sorta taking the let's-attack-it-from-both-sides-approach.
I want you to rub this all over the rash.
I have to admit that while he didn't mean to sound dirty, that's totally how I heard him. After 5 days with a mad itch that had me fantasizing over the things I would like to do with the BBQ wire brush ANYTHING that came with the promise of relief was sounding pretty sublime-borderline-ORGASMIC to me at that moment.
"Yeah, doc. That's what I'm gonna do. I'm going to rub this foam all over my creeping crud and I'm gonna rub it in real good too. Ooooh yeeeaaaahhhhhh."


So, where was I?
Foam. Rubbing. Itch-be-gone! YAY!
Prince Charming drops me off at home and RUNS LIKE THE WIND! back to the pharmacy with the prescription in hand.
He calls from the pharmacy to say that insurance won't cover the prescription because the doctor ordered a $300 bottle of this foam. 
What. The. FUCK?!
HOWEVER, they will cover a smaller bottle with refills.
And... of course our local pharmacy doesn't carry the smaller bottle so PC must drive 40 minutes to another town for it. He uses the time wisely to call our ASSHAT insurance company forcing them to approve refills for the smaller bottle.
Needless to say, as indicated by the above E.R. mention the foam didn't work and I was once again up in the middle of the night pacing and scratching and popping Benadryl if for no other reason than it would knock me unconscious.
I convinced Prince Charming to wait until morning before rushing in on his steed and rescuing me from my hive-y prison.

My boobs. Yeah, they were still healing very nicely.
My stomach muscles and the skin around the incisions are tight (from sleeping sitting upright), so standing upright is a challenge.
But... whatever.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Recovery Log: Day 3


I am beginning to look like a leper!
The rash on my belly has now crept it's way down to my groin and up my back. I woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat which sent me out of the bed and pacing the living room in a 1am scratchfest.
Now little raised bumps welts accompany the patchy redness. 
I can't stand to look at myself in the mirror and after breast augmentation surgery all you want to do is LOOK AT YOURSELF IN THE GODDAMN MIRROR!
I can't enjoy my new curves without them being overshadowed by the allergic FREAKSHOW  that's growing beneath.
I call my surgeon to give him a status update. 
He asks about the painkiller assuming that's still the culprit.
"Doc, I haven't needed the pain killer since 9am yesterday morning."
I love you.
"No, doc. *I* LOVE *you*!"
My mother chuckles over the love fest. So does my surgeon. I swear I could almost hear him blushing as I profess my affection.
Ok, back to business. 
Stop taking EVERYTHING!, he tells me.
I'm on my third day post-op and the antibiotics really aren't necessary.
You were given the most important doses in the OR. The rest is just prophylactic and here in the U.S. we tend to overuse antibiotics anyway. 
Same deal with the muscle relaxant. Not necessary anymore.
He doesn't ask me to come in, but does ask me to describe the rash, where it is and what it looks like.
It's migratory. It's on the move. Getting itchy in the new spots, not as itchy in the original areas.
And... most importantly... NOT on my breasts!
He instructs me to ONLY take the oral steroid. And Benadryl if I feel it's helping.
And again reminds me about the dermatologist.
We hang up only for him to call me back five minutes later.
He consulted with the anesthesiologist who suggests I try Claritin for the rash instead of Benadryl.
Prince Charming is not happy with him not wanting me to come in. I am thankful because the thought of sitting in the car for the 30 minute ride with an itchy back that I cannot reach is not my idea of fun.
I trudge along. And continue to wear the elastic pressure band as instructed even though it, too, is causing an ITCH.
I decide to forgo the Witch Hazel and Aveeno cream that we were using Monday and Tuesday. Better not to add ANYTHING to my skin that might irritate things.
And I beg Prince Charming not to comment or react to the rash as he helps me shower.
My body image is already skewed and I am trying not to freak out over what could *also* be the cause of the allergic reaction.
I spend that night scouring Google for "silicone implant allergy" and "breast implant rash."
Hoping that I find nothing.
Scratching all-the-while in between mouse clicks.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Recovery Log: Day 2


It's 9am. My surgeon calls to check up on me.
"Hi Doc, how are you?"
Well now... wait, I'm supposed to be asking YOU how YOU are!
"Ok, then I will shut up and let you do your job."
He chuckles.
(It's this kind of back and forth banter that makes me love him.)
My rash has spread a bit over night, expanding over more of my belly. Still a little itchy.
But otherwise I feel great. Slept well. No pain. I tell him, once again, that's he's a GENIUS.
He tells me to keep taking the oral steroids and to consider seeing a dermatologist if it doesn't get better in a day or two.
I take my last pain killer at 9:30am. After that I realize that my pain level is so minimal that Extra Strength Tylenol is all I need.
Throughout the day I take the antibiotic (Keflex) and muscle relaxer (Robaxin) as prescribed.
AND BENADRYL. Cuz now this damn rash is starting to get on my nerves.
My breasts are swollen. There is some minor bruising along the incision lines. Pectoral muscles still sore so there is no lifting of anything heavier than a remote control. Or a small mug of water.
I am very pleased with the surgery and recovery... despite the rash.
I should have knocked on wood.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Recovery Log: Day 1, Part II

I was sent home with three prescriptions: pain killer, antibiotic and a muscle relaxant.
There was some post-op debate as to which pain killer to prescribe me seeing as I am an idiot and can't remember the difference between Endocet and Darvocet but I know I am allergic to ONE of them.
(And by allergic, I mean TONGUE SWELLING allergic.)
We've prescribed you Tramadol for pain but give us a call if you develop any itching or a rash.

At some point later in the afternoon I took the prescribed pain killer.
And at some point afterwards I noticed another red patch on my belly.
Hmm. This must be the rash they were telling me to look for.
I called my surgeon's office. It was 7pm so his service patched me through to him and we decided to change my pain killer since that was the ONLY pill I had taken so far.
He called in the new prescription as well as an oral steroid pack to offset the allergic reaction and prevent the rash from turning into something worse.
(He also gave my his cell phone number. Just one of the many reasons I love him.)
The red patches were warm to the touch and itchy. Very itchy.
I had changed out of my clothes when I came home following the surgery, thinking it might have been from my laundry detergent.
(For the week prior to my surgery, I washed everything with Downy so as not to irritate my tender post-op boobies. I never use Downy.)
Still it was difficult to tell if it was the meds or the detergent.
No matter, the oral steroid would take care of it.
All-in-all I was feeling pretty good by the time I went to bed. My pectoral muscles were a little sore from the surgery. Getting Climbing into our pillow top King-size bed proved challenging (because I could not use my arms to support myself AT ALL), but thanks to my Mom and Prince Charming and a LOT of pillows I was able to get comfortable and a decent night's rest.
What I didn't know is that the rash... was spreading.

Recovery Log: Day 1, Part I

Monday:  The Day of Surgery

How do you feel?
When I opened my eyes I am alone. 
The person belonging to the voice is gone and I am alone in the recovery room with the curtain drawn.
I have no idea how long it had been since the voice asked the question. 
Could have been 1 minute could have been 30.
But now the veil of anesthesia has been lifted and I am awake.
WIDE awake.
My surgery is over.
No pain. No nausea. No grogginess.
My surgeon and anesthesiologist are GENIUSES!
(Not to mention ball-busters as evidenced by the banter that was exchanged during the hour I was being prep'd for surgery. I was never this much at-ease before either of my c-sections!)
Awake and alone. What to do?
A-la every breast augmentation episode of Dr. 90210, I peeked.
Then I peeked again.
And ... one more time just to be certain.
I was not bandaged. I only wore an elastic pressure band across the top of the breasts which is designed to keep the implants from riding up into my throat.
I have to say that I wasn't very impressed with what I saw.
No moment of OHMYGOD I'M HUGE!
All I saw was a little nip protruding beyond the elastic band and not much else.
But I knew enough to reserve judgement... for now.
(I know now it's because of the pressure bandage which skews the view from above, making you look smaller than you actually are. WAY. SMALLER. OMG I AM HUGE!!!!!)
Before I knew it my nurse poked her head in, sat me up and started me on the process of getting ready to leave.
One more dose of Toradol via IV to get me through the ride home.
My surgery began at 7:30am. I was home ... HOME!!!!... by 11am.
I forced myself to nap though I didn't need to. And I was up and able to greet Hansel when he came home from school like I had promised him the day before.
The rest of the day was spent back and forth between hanging in the living room and resting.
Then I noticed it.
A small red patch on my stomach right behind the waist band of my shorts.
Must be from my laundry detergent, I thought.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Birth Announcement!

The castle is proud to announce the birth of our new TWIN girls!
Born Monday, June 9th 2008 somewhere between 7:30 and 9am.
Weighing in at 350ccs each.

(This is as close as you are gonna get to actually seeing them, so ... DEAL!)
The delivery was painless. 
My surgeon & anesthesiologist are GENIUSES. 
I was home by 11am feeling great.
I have some mild swelling and bruising, but nothing like some of the freak shows I have seen on Dr. 90210. (Really, that Dr. Rey ain't all that.)
I must wear the above elastic pressure band until my post-op appt next Monday at which time I will receive another apparatus designed to keep the girls in place. Aside from that, the girls are out in the open and haven't seemed to mind the occasional peaks and pokes from curious onlookers (namely myself and Prince Charming).
My recovery has been remarkably easy, except for the hideous allergic rash to one of  my meds that has been creeping across my torso since Monday leaving me looking like a Leper.
I may have to call upon my dermatologist if this shit doesn't clear up by tomorrow.
Aside from that, I am taking it easy and enjoying the peace and quiet as Prince Charming takes care of the kids.
And scouring through the big girl bras in the latest Victoria's Secret catalog.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...

Who has the best Twitter friends of them all?

I do! That's who.
Just look at what "the twins" and I received in the mail recently...

I love it! It's perfectly HILARIOUS!
I plan to keep it on my bedside table next week.

T-minus 4 days and counting.
I'm a bit crazed to say the least.
So much to do. So little brain cells to do it with.