Sunday, December 30, 2012

Healing Scars: 6 Weeks Post Reversal Surgery

Mommy & Elise December 2012-
 Six weeks post surgery and feeling great!
So happy and grateful! 
2012, you've been a crappy year (pun Intended) but, I've learned some wonderful things from you....I've learned a lot about patience, emotional pain is a lot harder than physical pain, but they both get better with time. I've learned hard times will pass and they make you much stronger. I am more empathetic and I value the precious little moments even more. I've learned to slow down. I don't have to be perfect. I've learned to appreciate the small things and not to take anything for granted. Even though this year has thrown us some challenges, there is so much to be grateful for. I have a second chance at life, renewed health, I've fallen in love over and over again with my amazing husband, felt so much love from my family and friends, and most of all- I've had the privilege of being a mommy to an incredible little girl. I've experienced love so amazing that I didn't even know it existed. What joy Elise has brought into our lives this year. 2012, I am happy to move on, but it's a little bittersweet. Even though you've been filled with harder moments that I would have liked to endured, you've also strangely been the best year of my life so far....

It's been 6 weeks since I had my reversal surgery. It's been interesting and quite a challenge learning the new me. Physically and emotionally. I am healing physically every day. I am a little stronger each morning, I have more energy and I am not in as much pain anymore. I am learning how to use my jpouch and I am actually really happy with it. It's not as bad as I feared. I will admit a few curse words have been shouted from the bathroom occasionally from the pain, those bad days are fewer and farther between now. I am also seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist. I've been diagnosed with PTSD from all the procedures I've had done and being awake for a lot of them has traumatized me a bit. I am happy to say since I've been going to counseling I have not had a panic attack since I've been home! How wonderful is that! :) I'm starting to feel more like myself again and I will be returning to work on January 7th! I am so excited about that. I am also getting back into taking pictures. It feels good to be getting my energy back.

I am going to post some pics of my scars on my stomach from the ostomy reversal because I've had lots of people asking me to see it wanting to know what it looks like. LOL! Some of the pics are really gross, but I have been healing really well and don't have to wear a bandage anymore. I am officially allowed to pick up stuff over a gallon this week! Yay! So that means my new year's present will be picking up Elise again :)

Here comes the yucky pictures......The first picture is on my 5th day in the hospital right before we were released to go home. There is a pinrose drain in my wound. It freaked me out when I saw it the first time. I was so drugged up on morphine and when they took off my bandages the first time I though, "OMG, is that BAKED ZITI???" No, it couldn't be, wait did they accidentally drop a glove in me?" It's so funny what thoughts race through your mind when you're on a morphine cloud. They had to keep the wound open because it is considered a "dirty wound" since stool once came out of the hole. If they completely sewed me up I would have been at a risk for infection. I was lucky and did not have a lot of extra tissue, so I did not have to pack my opening. I just had to change my bandages twice a day.It was a bit painful having a hole that has been open for a year put back together. My stomach muscles hurt pretty bad. Abdominal surgery is no joke :( I have realize that just about every movement we make somehow involves our core muscles. OUCH!!!! Oh, and I have also learned that pale white skin doesn't scar as bad. I am WHITE! But this was actually a good thing for me because my scars from the last surgery are barely visible now. Yay for pasty pale skin!! :)

one week post reversal with a swollen belly,
pinrose drain and staples. Gross and painful.

lots of hair loss from chemo, but my hair is growing back in
I have lots of baby hair in the thin spots so hopefully it
will be back to normal soon! I put volumizing mousse in
it and curl it to keep it looking fuller. Most people would
never know unless they knew how much hair I had before. 
Also, lots of people have asked why I didn't lose my hair during chemo. Truth is I actually did lose about 1/2 of it. I had very thick curly hair before chemo and now it is super thin. I was lucky in the fact that I did not lose it in chunks, it was just steadily shedding. I would wash my hair and get fistfulls of it. It was pretty irritating and upsetting, but luckily I still had enough to keep it long and not cut it all off.
3 weeks post surgery, drain out, still have staples. You can see
my C section like scar from the first surgery. It healed well!
I have lots of other small scars from the the scopes and other
drains they put in for the last surgery. 7 scars total.
This is where it got gross- I had my staples removed and they
used silver nitrate to remove any scabbed skin. It left me with a
painful open hole in my stomach. Surprisingly, it healed
very quickly after this. Still putting bandages on it twice a day.

All bandaged up, but excited to no longer have an ostomy bag!

5 weeks - big improvement! Swelling is going down and it
is starting to close up!
6 weeks and my stomach is starting to look more normal.
The swelling has gone down more and I don't
needing bandages anymore! It is completely closed
and I never had any infection. It is still very tender and sensitive
to hot and cold, but for the most part, it is looking good!
I am enjoying wearing clothes that fit closer to my stomach now! :)