Preventive Mastectomy: Exchange Surgery Week Three

Posted September 2, 2016 by Prairie Wife - 2 comments

We all know life is a journey, and that the road is often full of pot holes, twists, turns and bumps.

This week I hit a pot hole in my preventive mastectomy journey.

So far my preventive mastectomy journey has been textbook perfect. Even with wonky expanders I haven’t had any complications…until this week.

The Cowboy and I headed down to Denver last week Wednesday and Thursday  (4.5-hour drive one way) for doctors’ appointments. While it was a packed two days, we took time to enjoy a nice meal together and stopped halfway home to have dinner with CowGranny and her friend. The Cowkids were happy to see us when we returned and, as you may have read last Friday, everything was just fine and I was simply counting down the days until I can get back to “work”.

woman not asleepI was a bit sore on my left side Friday and simply thought it was from being up and about so much, opening doors, and the long car rides. I rested in bed and took as many deep breaths as possible to help stretch out my chest muscles. When I woke up from my afternoon nap (ahh the luxurious life of an invalid), I noticed that the pain was radiating from my ribs down into my kidney and that taking a deep breath resulted in stabbing fire-like pain. I got up and walked around, rubbed my extremely stiff neck the best I could, and after a bit of complaining, went back to my cave, aka bedroom. As the afternoon and evening wore on, I found it harder and harder to get comfortable and ignore the pain, and breathing any kind of deep breaths became impossible. I headed to bed and hoped things would be better in the morning.

At 2:30 am, after a few fitful hours of off and on sleep I woke up from a doze and tried to sit up.

I about peed myself it hurt so bad…and as you all know, I’m no sissy…

It took all of my natural birth training and breathing skills to get myself up and out of bed. I couldn’t breathe anything but the most shallow of breaths and each time I moved there was a fire-like pain that went from my ribs into my kidneys and back up to my neck.

I woke up The Cowboy (that man can sleep through anything), and after taking one look at me, he got me some pain meds and helped me lay back down. The pain meds knocked me out, and I was woken up by The Cowboy and my plastic surgeon on the phone a few hours later.

We were all concerned it was a blood clot. It’s a common complication from surgery, especially with prolonged sitting. At home, I am up and down often, but with all the travel and doctor’s appointments, I had been sitting more than usual.

Thankfully Ma, Pa and Mary Poppins were here to hold down the fort as The Cowboy rushed me to the closest ER.

woman in hospitalAfter talking to the nurse and ER doctor, explaining over and over YES I had a mastectomy, NO I didn’t have Cancer, and getting a CT scan, we found out that I DID NOT have a blood clot…good news…such good news.

I DO, on the other hand, have pneumonia and a pleural effusion which was resulting in pain and trouble breathing.

They gave me a shot of pain meds and some antibiotics and sent me home with instructions to rest. If the pain wasn’t improved by Monday, I would need to see my regular doctor and possibly have the pleural effusion drained (with a really big needle).

I came home feeling relieved that it wasn’t all in my head, exhausted, and disappointed.

It was Ma and Pa’s last day, and I had planned to be up and about enjoying time with them.

It was back-to-school night, and there was a huge carnival.

I was finally going to be able to attend mass for the first time in weeks.

Instead, I slept, and slept, ate a bit, and slept.

For two days straight, I slept.

When I woke up Monday, I took a deep breath…and smiled.

While it still twinged a bit, it was SO much better. I didn’t need any pain meds at all, and by Tuesday, I felt 100% better.

Cowgirl G and Cowboy W started school on Wednesday and Cowboy J began football practice this week. The Cowboy hit the road for three days, and it’s been Mary Poppins and I holding down the fort…but mostly Mary Poppins.

As far as potholes go, I’ll take this one…but I’m hoping it’s the only one…

Exchange Surgery: Weeks 4-6

Copyright: bialasiewicz / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: coffmancmu / 123RF Stock Photo

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2 thoughts on "Preventive Mastectomy: Exchange Surgery Week Three"

  1. Bennie says:

    Oh sweetie, I’m so sorry you caught pneumonia but I’m glad it was diagnosed and by now hopefully you are on the mend. One of my close friends had pneumonia a few years ago which scared me. I hope you are feeling better, take care and rest up.

    I hope the kids had a good first week back at school (and you and Mary Poppins too).

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      I’m doing great (other than the fact that a stomach bug caught up with me this weekend) now, thank goodness for modern meds. 🙂

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