Well, the whistling wound isn’t quite gone, but reasonably managed. Apparently there’s a hole between a couple of the staples that are still up under my right arm, which was also what was interfering with the drain suction on that side. So we have a new way of bandaging it that’s supposed to create a better seal, which I can easily check on since if the drain stays compressed and suctioning, then air isn’t getting in through the hole and it’s draining the way it should be. I also can’t move that arm up high at all or it’ll break the bandage seal, which on the bright side keeps me from doing too much, which is always a problem for me — I try to push myself to the limits of what I can do and sometimes go past those limits. I still find this phenomenon particularly gross, especially when the seal loosens a bit and I can hear the whistling. In addition to falling into the category of Sounds Your Body Shouldn’t Make (Involuntarily), air has dirt and germs in it and I don’t want that suctioned through my body. The surgeon doesn’t seem worried though, and the at-home nurses and everyone else who looks at it says that it looks fine with no signs of infection. So I suppose I shouldn’t be as bothered by it as I am, but it makes me want to tear up when I think about it. I think I’m just so tired of dealing with all the hassle and daily dressing and bandange changing and slow healing and there’s no break from any of that. Funny that I can take softball-sized tumors in stride and the equivalent of a teen boy’s amusing body-noise pastime can send me into freaked-out tears. Cancer is weird.
On the other (left) side, everything is healing up nicely, all the staples are out, and there’s only one spot that still seems to be weeping fluid under the arm. I have one drain left on each side as I’m still producing too much fluid to have them taken out (as I remember from last year, they prefer you to be draining 30cc or less per day and I’m doing about twice that per day on each side at the moment). Sometimes the drain sites hurt worse than the wounds themselves, which are a mixture of hurting and numb, mostly numb. Again if last year is any indication, I’ll get some sensation randomly back, and some parts will stay numb. We aren’t wrapping my arms as frequently as we should, which I need to start doing especially while I still have the drains in to get rid of as much of the fluid build-up as possible.
Swelling all over is very slowly decreasing, though my body shape isn’t anywhere close to what I remember being comfortable wearing. That will change as we finish weaning me off the steroids (anti-inflammatory purposes, mostly) and I’m able to take up PT again (once the drains are out), though I am trying to remember to do at least the PT exercises I’m able to do while in bed. People are commenting about my hair starting to grow back in, and I don’t know what I plan to do about that. I feel like I may wear the scarves for a while even when I’m able to grow hair; it’s already shaved, which I’d never wanted, but since it’s what I have, it seems like I might explore the options there before rushing right into growing it out again. Anyone want to come over some evening and henna my head in cool tribal-esque designs? Any other ideas people have and want to share for cool things to do with baldness?
Wrapping this up on a different note entirely, most of you by now have heard of the divine wrath against Texas for even considering Rick Perry for Prez; I’m of course speaking of the Bastrop fires, which have devastated hundreds of homes. As far as I know only one friend of mine was directly affected by losing the vast majority of his stuff in the fires (if other friends have been similarly affected please drop me a line and I’ll do the same announcing for you here that I am for him). Probably the best way to help him out is to contact (EDIT: his coordinator) at (ihave8en at g m a i l dot c o m) if you have any of these things on the list. This guy is the one person I know who has had as hard of a time/life as our family has had these past few years. He’s a widower with two toddler boys, been laid off several times, and has had to move more times than I have fingers on a hand in just a couple years’ time, not to mention assorted other problems. So if you’re in a place to help him out with any of these things or even stuff like gas money to get himself to and from work and school, send him a note directly.
Kid Bunk beds or toddler beds
King mattress pad
Large (49″ or 60″) Mamasan
Floor lamp/ hanging lamp
Bookcases (Don’t need as many now, but still need some)
Tubs, trunks, footlockers (we’re like a gypsy caravan right now, and I like organization)
Suits or just suit jackets
“I really need hardcases for my motorcycle which were in the storage shed. I need to start riding my bike to school for gas savings but can’t take anything with me (like books, computer etc.) without the hardcases. I know it’s pretty random, but on the off chance. Also assorted computer accessories; external harddrive, headphone with mike boom etc.”
Remember to send him a note directly if you can help with any of these things or anything else that you have that might be useful to someone who has lost most of their possessions in these fires.