brca bullshit

Three Week “Boobie”versary

After my last post, I couldn’t bear to post any more. I will probably go back and retro-actively post from my notes about each day, but for now, I have ONE more day until I go back to work.

Backstory –I had several setbacks:

1) I had my right drain pulled on 4/10/12 and the drain pull was painless and quick. Then, however, the nerve pain began. The first night climbing the stairs I had a searing pain (like a fiery knife) in my back just to the left of my right shoulder blade. My mother gave me a vicodin and a valium and put me in bed, and eventually the pain subsided. This happened again the following day, in the exact same spot. My chest spasms continued (and do to this day – but are usually managed by gritting my teeth or digging my nails in my palm…and occasionally 5mg of valium).

2) On 4/13/12, I went back and had my left drain pulled. Again, no pain, just discomfort, and he acknowledged the implant asymmetry and said that we could not discuss a “revision surgery” for at least 3 months – but, he answered none of my questions about the invasive nature of the procedure, healing time or scarring. I then asked for more pain meds and explained about the searing pain in my back in addition to the continual muscle spasms in my chest and was dismissed. He actually asked me if I was seeing a psychiatrist. Through my gritted teeth and tears of pain I accepted the papers he handed me recommending “pain management specialists” and a referral to see a physical therapist …. but I felt like time was going backwards. I honestly was feeling WORSE physically than I had when I came home from the hospital. What was worse was it was close to 4pm when I was able to call the “pain management specialists” and couldn’t get an appointment. I spent the weekend in bed out of fear of having a spasm and not having medicine to deal with it.

3) On Saturday, I was in horrible pain, and took it out on my boyfriend. I was awful. Then, later I had another back spasm in the parking lot of Harris Teeter and J almost had to carry me inside once we got home. He helped me to bed, gave me my very last vicodin and a valium and laid with me until the spasm subsided. It prevented us from watching any of the three RedBox DVDs we rented and wasted most of the evening with me a whimpering mess. Very pathetic … but somehow, he still made me french toast in the morning. Such a good, good man.

4) On Monday, I called my PCP (whom I affectionately call the “pill pusher” because he offers a lot of pharmaceutical options every time I see him). I got an appointment immediately, he wrote both prescriptions without hesitation, then recommended both a “pain management specialist” and a physical therapist. He was both kind and understanding, palpated (gently) my back and chest, and said it was entirely possible that the drain was placed too close to a nerve cluster and that it will be agitated when I do certain motions. He was very kind, and reassuring, and made me realize how cold and uncaring my PS had been with me. Thank goodness for him and his kindness.

Today, though, I woke up early, took J to the metro so he could go to work, came back, took a nap, watching the landing of the Discovery on TV, and then went to the bakery to reassure them I wasn’t dead (since I’d been sending the men in my life to retrieve delicious gluten-free baked goods for the previous 4 days). Then I came home and cleaned and wrote thank-you notes and I’m pretty sure I was more productive today than I have been for the last 4 days combined. One more day until I have to return to work, and I’m starting to get anxious….

4 thoughts on “Three Week “Boobie”versary

  1. Good grief! What an ordeal. So many of us have dealt with numerous complications, myself included. I am very fortunate in that my PS is absolutely wonderful. He has the biggest heart & is such a gifted surgeon. He truly cares about his patients & he was my rock throughout my 3 year BRCA journey/ordeal. I hope things improve for you soon & that your return to work goes well.

  2. I didn’t realize until today that you were keeping a blog! You’re my own personal hero and I’m glad you’re sharing a no-holds-barred honest account of this whole process. Oodles of love being sent your way.

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