Don’t Take Shaving Your Own Damn Legs For Granted

Ok, first I will reward you by telling you that I shaved my own got damn legs for the first time since surgery. That’s 20 days. Couldn’t actually do it while in the shower and had Cassidy on stand-by in case I needed help. But I didn’t need help. My swollen sausage legs are smooth. And then I got my good compression socks on all by myself for the first time, too.

I may have forgotten to mention that first I got out of bed around 9am and moved out the the leather chair/ottoman (still in my PJs) with my airline pillow around my neck and after drinking my pineapple juice I “took a nap” until 2pm. Oops. Drained.

Yesterday, I got to visit my 92 year old Grandma Annie and tell her I love her and I am thankful for her and that I hope these days go easy on her. I wore an N95 with a procedure mask over it to protect her and to protect me. I’m hoping that’s enough cuz there was no way I wasn’t going to see her and tell her those things at least one more time. Hold her hand for long enough to remember the feel of her hand in mine, even now. She has beautiful hands. Like my mother. It was a short visit, for many reasons, but it was time I will hold dear for the rest of my life and I am thankful that my Aunt let me know we are getting close. Hospice came to see her today. Things will move quickly from here. You might hear more from me on this, cuz it’s deep. When my Papa Ding died, I was honored to be with him at the end. I wish I could nurse my grandmother the same way I nursed him at the end of his life. It was what I hope was a gift to him to know I was there and keeping him as comfortable as I could through the night and when that last moment of life left his body, I was there and he was surrounded in love. The love of those that were present and those that were loving him from wherever they were. He was a lucky man. And I received one of the greatest gifts of my life by helping him pass comfortably, and sharing that time with my Aunt Luanne. I am ever grateful for that.

So I am very sad that because of my own surgical recovery and the risk of covid for her and for me, I cannot be there with her as she moves through this one last hard thing. My Aunt Lori will be with her, as she has been with her for it all. My aunt is a social worker in a hospital and has been instrumental in the comfortable passing of many patients. She won’t be afraid to give the medicine. She will surround her in love as she lets go of her life. Of all the complicated parts. The difficult parts. And even the beautiful parts. I hope she takes those with her. The beautiful parts. The pink tulips and the witches brew and Folgers coffee cans with holes in the lids for the “butterflies” to breathe and the money for the ice cream man and haagelslag sandwiches and walking me to kindergarten, and teaching me to be a card shark, bowler, and Parcheesi Champion. Oh and don’t even try me on Breakout or Kaboom. And every little thing she did to ever make my life good and easy when sometimes it wasn’t that at all.

Sometimes all it took was a chocolate sandwich, cut in fours. If you are at least half Dutch, you will understand the chocolate sandwiches.

Who isn’t happy after haagelslag?

Ok, sorry, that was a lot. I didn’t mean to do that but it’s kinda where I am. All over the place. Sorry, there might be more. I don’t feel done.

Here’s to a peaceful night to all, for every night this week and next and comfort through the days and nights for anyone that needs/wants that. Go easy on us. Man, that is such a good song. I hope it’s on my gma’s playlist. 🖤

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Mons

Have you ever thought very much about your mons? I mean, besides grooming, of course. Do you even know what a mons is? I suggest you google it before you read on.

I’m willing to bet 50% of people don’t even know what a mons is.

Well, I have become acutely aware of my mons these last 18 days. This may be TMI for you, so stop reading. Might be too late. I may have already defined just how WT I am and how I will never be invited to any White House.

But, since I am the fun friend, I will go on.

You see, on 1/4/22 one of the things they did was place FOUR surgical drains all stitched to and coming out of the top of my mons. (A mons that used to be covered by skin and fat that didn’t belong there.) Four of them, side by side, all probably like 4 inches all up in there that you couldn’t see. They are called Jackson-Pratt Drains or JP drains for short. No big deal, in the scheme of all that was done. But by the time you are home and realize you have four of these things to manage everywhere you go and anytime one of them is accidentally pulled or malpositioned, or just in the wrong place IT’S PULLING ON YOUR MONS. And that does not feel good. You are acutely aware of your mons more than you ever want to be.

So now I’m down to one drain. With each drain removal (and no they don’t give you local anesthetic, they just clip the sutures and yank that 4 inches of whatever tube is in your body right on out take a deep breath ok it’s out are you ok?) you are relieved. One less point of mons torture.

One more. Hopefully by Monday or Tuesday. Then guess what?

I will just have a regular mons. One that is still healing but that same kind all you regular basic bitches have. In the right place. 🖤

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Post-Op Day 6

Cuz inquiring minds want to know, and typing it out once here is easier than 20 texts to those that love me…

PO6 has been a great day. Robbie, who fortunately works from home, needed to try and work a full day today. So I started my day trying to be a little more independent. Still need help getting out of bed, but once I am up I can get in and out of the chair in the living room on my own (medicated of course!). I was able to stand in the kitchen (it’s not really standing, it’s hunching over which sucks for very long and you gotta take breaks) and I made my own oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast. And caramel macchiato courtesy of Kristi’s special delivery. It took me like 10 trips back and forth from the bedroom to the living room and the kitchen to get the pillows situated in the chair like Robbie did it for me, but I did it all by myself and I got my walking in. Woo hoo! Drank my emergen-c, ate my oatmeal, and took my meds…and took a drug induced nap, lol.

The biggest accomplishment of the day was my first shower since the morning of surgery! 6 funky days! Omg, I have been so itchy, my skin is flaking off, and desperately needed it. Baby wipes can only do so much. My surgeon was like well, I would prefer you wait until your drains are out, but if you can’t wait…sorry, dude, I can’t wait. I’m a nurse. I can do this. With Schmoopy’s help during one of his work breaks, I not only got to take my binder off and check myself out in the mirror, but I got that hot water and antibacterial soap from the gods and feel like a whole new person! If you know, you know!

Got my new, clean binder on, clean compression socks, brushed rats nest hair, and all the parts washed. Now I’m ready for some tomato soup for the soul and a grilled cheese, and Percocet and Valium, and about 20 minutes of a movie before I fall asleep with my airline pillow.

I go to the doc again tomorrow and am hoping to get at least some of these drains out.

Today was a good day.

And if you think for one second that I didn’t cry when I looked in that mirror and saw my bruised and swollen body, just as it is today, you would be crazy. You cannot imagine the depth of what this all feels like. I cannot begin to express it. Not yet anyway. Years of suppressed hatred for yourself is unexplainable to those that will never get it. If you get it, I love you just as you are. I hope you find a way to freedom and I hope my path gets me there.

I get by with a little help from my friends. 🖤

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Worst Night of My Life

Last night was arguably the worst night of my life. I now know what 10/10 pain is, so don’t try and tell your nurse 10/10 if you are able to be on your smartphone or watch TV, or do anything other than keep still, close you eyes, breathe through it, or moan. That’s 10/10.

I passed out twice when trying to get up to pee. Like literally out for 15 seconds per Robbie. The first time, he was unable to catch me and I fell back onto the bed, stretched out in a way I’m not supposed to. Crazy eyes rolled all around. He thought I might be having a seizure…but I just passed out. The second time was a few hours later, but he caught me that time. Low urine output. Likely dangerously low BP. I got all tingly just prior to blacking out. Prob should have stayed overnight in the hospital. Prob could have used a bolus. That being said, I probably got more one on one TLC from my Schmoopy than even the best of nurses. He drives me insane in the day to day stuff. But when I really need him, he is amazing and patient and loving and I’m gonna cry I love him so much. Get you a man that sets his alarm every two hours just to check on you.

This morning has been better. It still fickkng hurts when I move, but maybe just 8-9/10. I’m taking all the meds. My kidneys are working better, too. I can keep my eyes are open. I’m tolerating fluids, yogurt, applesauce, saltine crackers. I even just had some chicken noodle soup. Over all, that is much better compared to last night.

I’m not ready to share the pics on social media, as they are very graphic. But my surgeon just called to check in on me and he told me he took 17 lbs of skin and subcutaneous fat/tissue and 2200 mLs of fat via liposuction. Way more than the average. I am extra, you know.

I will have lots of swelling for quite sometime, so the results will not be immediately evident. But, I can already see the changes. I have a lap. Haven’t seen the tops of my thighs when sitting in years and years.

I have 4 JP drains. Robbie empties those for me, too. He has to lift me to get up and slowly lower me to get down. Gentle and patient. He keeps saying “you did this for me when I had my heart surgery.” But that’s not true. He didn’t come home until PO 10. Big difference.

Remember all those inspirational quotes I posted for him during his recovery?

Now it’s my turn.

🖤
This is me after Robbie got me safely back to bed after I passed out. So pale!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Go Easy On Me

10 days.

I have gone back and forth whether I would share this on social media or not. But as you all know, I am an over-sharer that has found great support in my online community. So go easy on me.

In 10 days I am doing something big. This something is only for me. Selfish. Expensive. Life changing.

It’s something I have wanted to do for at least 10 years. It took this long for plastic surgeons to judge a candidate by more than just their BMI. It took Tik Tok to show me it was time.

I have struggled with my weight for most of my life. The scale has gone up and down by as much as 70 lbs since 1999. I had a doctor tell me I had PCOS back in 2010, but that’s not a black and white diagnosis, it’s symptom based. I didn’t have any trouble getting pregnant when I finally decided to, and that’s one of the most common symptoms, so it made me doubt the dx. I do have a lot of the other symptoms…so that’s one possibility of why it’s been so hard for me to ever maintain a significant weight loss. And two c-sections. That and my emotional baggage and survival skills. Some call it poor coping mechanisms. But here I am, surviving.

I don’t know who benefits from hating their body. To stop looking in the plate glass windows as they walk by and to try to hide with every clothing purchase.

To build walls so high very few can scale them.

To be judged by others before you even open your mouth to speak.

To be called a “fat cunt” by a stranger because you didn’t see him on the road and almost caused an accident. My bad.

To have your children’s peers say to them, “you know your mom is fat, right?” Yes, you horrible child with a wonderful mother, we know. Don’t worry, I won’t tell your mom. I will just carry it with me forever.

I have tried nearly every organized diet or weight loss program there is. Some over and over again. I have taken Dexatrim, Chitosan, countless “fat burners” and protein shakes, Fen-Phen, Phentermine, Xenical, Contrave, and Qsymia. I take adderall for my adult-onset (or at least that was when it was diagnosed) ADHD. None of those will fix a brain with childhood trauma so deep that years of talk therapy can’t fix it. My story is my story, I can close the book and put it on a shelf but I can’t rewrite it. The best advice I ever received was to just keep fucking going. So I do that.

I won’t ever starve myself again. It always comes right back within 6 months. And eating a cheeseburger is way better than using meth, as far as life skills go. So are tattoos, but that’s a different post.

For years I have thought about weight loss surgery. Perhaps a Gastric Bypass or Sleeve. But those don’t fix that brain vs cheeseburger problem and I also like to drink sometimes. Not often, but when I do, I like to do it right. You are not supposed to drink ETOH after those surgeries. I don’t want to live with only 3 bites of a cheeseburger and one glass of wine. These surgeries are not for me.

So after finding plus-sized Tik Tok (or it finding me more like) and seeing that more and more plastic surgeons are doing safe surgeries on women with high BMIs, I started doing some serious research.

I found a reputable and experienced surgeon that looked at me as a whole person and not just a calculation.

And so, I am cleared for surgery. Perhaps cleared for take-off.

In 10 days I will go through Phase 1 of my Mommy Makeover. I will have an Extended Abdominoplasty with Muscle Repair and some Liposuction. I will get a fake belly button, just for funsies.

Phase 2 comes 10 weeks after that, with a Breast Reduction. I’m not even going to get much into that part right now…you try living with these breasts your whole life and see how it feels, inside and out. From cat calls AKA sexual harassment to no eye contact and back, neck, and shoulder pain. From cute clothes that never fit right to zippers that won’t close and buttons that pop. To hiding. Always hiding. Since puberty.

So that’s two surgeries, instead of three. Cuz if I did the Gastric Bypass, I would still need a tummy tuck and breast reduction. And I can still eat a cheeseburger and drink a bottle of wine (or two) once in awhile.

And I will have the freedom of movement I haven’t had since I can’t remember when. I will be able to breathe easy for the first time in my adulthood. It’s not easy moving this body around, folks. You probably knew that without me saying it, cuz you can see it.

So for those of you that worked really hard and kept the weight off, I commend you. I know how hard it is. I respect your tenacity and healthfulness. I have repeatedly tried to make those same lifestyle changes without permanent success. I’m a bit broken, you see. I am so flawed.

But I am tired of beating myself up over it and I am tired of hating my body.

So you can judge me all you want, but just keep that shit to yourself.

I’m doing this for me, not you.

The recovery is long and intimidating. I will be out of commission for 6-8 weeks they say, then the breast reduction restarts that clock. I will have surgical drains and pain and Frankenstein incisions.

But got damn, by June I’m going to wear that damn bikini and feel good in it for the first time in my life! I’m going to move my body in ways that have been forgotten. I am going to breathe easy.

So go easy on me. 🖤

This was taken as I was walking into the surgery center, the morning of my first surgery, an Extended Tummy Tuck with Liposuction to the flanks and muscle repair of my diastasis recti. 01/04/2022

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Stolen

Some of my happiest days have been spent with a carload of kids, going from one activity to the next. When they were small, it was Fairy Tale Town and the Zoo, the train museum and the fishy store. It was hopping from park to park and car singing and going “the secret way.” Only a select few know my secret way, so if you are one of them, I hope you consider yourself lucky.

When they were school age, it was often LdV field trips and play dates. Then ski trips and Ashland, swim meets and water parks. Countless days with my kids and their friends, making memories. Creating their happy childhood.

Working NOCS and my sweet RN schedule allowed me to do all those things, when a lot of other parents had to work. I am so very thankful for that.

Those mom days are so rare, now. Like really rare. They want to get away from me, more often than not. I don’t blame them, lol. I know where I was at their ages. They want to be independent and with their friends. They almost always don’t want us parents around. They need to practice being “adults” and act like they are grown. I get it.

But let me tell you this. Today was beautiful. I had a car full of some of my favorite kids that not only tolerated me, but showed me love and allowed me in. We took off this morning at 0700 and drove to Cal Poly. 4.5 hours. Singing the whole way, taking turns choosing music. Then we walked around campus for hours, at a beautiful school close to the ocean. If I were to do it over again, I think I would have chosen Cal Poly. For so many reasons…

Then we got something to eat and went on a hunt for Pirates Cove, a beach suggested by our tour guide. We hiked and climbed and got there. It was gorgeous and special. And yes, clothing is optional at that beach. Ours stayed on. Then we got back on the road and drove 4.5 hours back home and sang the whole way. I admit it was mostly me and Dylan doing the singing, but still.

Today was stolen. It was stolen from Coach Steve and polo practice. It was stolen from cute boys and “vibing.” It was stolen from summer reading that is only 25% done with a week and a half left to get it done. It was stolen from waiting tables at Shari’s and from Robbie. And it was stolen from covid.

The days are long, but the years are short. I hope they know what these days mean to me.

I hope that someday they feel as privileged to be mine as I am to be theirs.

🖤

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.