If you wanna feel better about your family, just read about ours...

Starring: a dad, a mom, a son & daughter-in-law, a daughter & son-in-law, a teen, a tween, a grandson, a granddaughter, 3 dogs, 2 rabbits, 2 dwarf frogs, an unfortunate number of tadpoles, and a whole lot of love.




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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Half Staph- Part II

When I left off in Part I, by the end of October, the only visible evidence remaining from the Staph infection that had been coursing through the left side of my face was a scar above my left eye.

Fast forward to Saturday December 10th. My 45th birthday. We were on our way to Columbus for a getaway weekend, when I noticed my left eye was aching and I told Ron I hoped I wasn't getting pink eye. That night, it hurt to even have it open and I went to bed early.

Sunday evening when we arrived home, I needed to run back out to the van for something. So barefoot, I tried to jump between snow patches, not realizing the spaces between snow patches was sheets of ice, and I planted my ass straight down into the edge of our front porch.

By Monday morning, when I couldn't tolerate light, or reading, or watching the new episode of Sister Wives because everything was blurry, I entertained the thought of a brain tumor, my ever present silently lurking fear, because look at me. I can't see things and I fall down.

Later that night, through a conversation I had with an extended family member, I found out she has Type 2 Diabetes and was my age when she was diagnosed through routine blood work with no symptoms. Off to Google I went and woke Ron up at 2am.

"I have bad news. I have 3 out of 10 signs of Type 2 Diabetes."

He humored me and asked which ones.

I said, "I pee a lot, I'm hungry, and I have blurry vision."
He replied, "You drink gallons of coffee daily, you're always dieting, and it's 2am. My vision's blurry right now, too."
Me: "I also fell down."
Ron: "What's that have to do with diabetes?"
Me: "Nothing. That'd be the brain tumor."
Ron: "You don't have a brain tumor. Probably just a parasite."

New rules.
I'm no longer allowed to google things at 2am.
He's no longer allowed to comfort me.
Lines have been crossed.

That morning I called my family doctor to request blood work. The receptionist asked why.
Um, because there's like a 3 out of 10 google chance that I have Type 2 Diabetes. Why the interrogation? My blood work was scheduled for the following day.

Then I called an eye doctor, because if I can't watch Sister Wives anymore, what quality of life am I really facing here? They got me in that afternoon.

As I sat in the waiting room, the annoyingly repetitive song 'Hey Santa' cranked through the speakers, causing my eye to throb, and I started mentally making a list of everything I'd say to Carnie Wilson if I ever met her. Then a lady sat next to me and reeked of Pine, and she didn't silence her phone, so the 'blooop' of her texting sounds almost made me forget how pissed I was at Carnie Wilson. That's when it occurred to me. All my other senses are obviously overcompensating for my loss of sight. Oh, lawd, I'm like Mary Ingalls. And my mind flashed to clutching Ron in the middle of the night screaming, "HELP ME, PA, I CAN'T SEE!"

So. My irrational freak flag doesn't just fly at 2am. Noted.

They called me back before I could start groping stranger's faces and I was given an eye exam with the letter chart across the room. My right eye was still my normal 20/20. Then the doctor checked my left eye and all the letters suddenly morphed into Chinese symbols and she finally put us both out of our misery when I guessed the number 9 and General Tso.
Hey, be happy I'm not calling you Pa.

Then we put our faces against a machine, she looked in my eye and said, "Oh my gosh."
Dear doctor's everywhere. Never look at a patient and say, "Oh my gosh."

Then she called 2 other doctor's in and told them, "I've never seen anything this bad before."
Dear doctor's everywhere. Don't say that either.

As it turns out, the original Staph was never gone, and it spent 2 months growing into a 4mm ulcer that had worked it's way through 4 layers of my eyeball and was starting into my pupil. I was put on antibiotic/steroid drops every 2 hours and had to be seen every day to make sure it responded, before deciding whether or not to refer me to a corneal specialist to admit me into the hospital for iv antibiotics. By Saturday, I'd seen 7 doctors in that practice, all of which were excellent. Apparently, what I had was so rare and the risk of rupture so great, that they all took me under their wing to see me through, and I'm officially out of the danger zone and don't have to go back until January 2nd. I'll always have a scar on my eyeball and my vision will never return completely, but should only be noticeable when I drive at night, and it could've been so much worse, so there's that.

So, on a serious note, God was in this big time, I'm extremely thankful for His protection and that He paved the way and led me to the doctors I needed and in the perfect timing. See? Jesus loves hot messes, too.

As for my blood work, all my numbers are (in my doctor's words) "Off the chart perfect."
"You mean I don't have Type 2 Diabetes?"
With a look on his face I'm sure he reserves for all of his most special patients, he replied, "No you do not. So is there anything else I can do for you today?"

Well. Since you asked.
Talk to me about parasites.





Monday, December 26, 2016

Half Staph- Part I

Funny story for ya. And by 'funny' I mean random, gross, and disturbing, which is basically the same thing. I won't post pictures because I don't hate you.

During the 2nd week of our alone trip to Hilton Head in October, I developed a large bump on my forehead above my left eye. Just out of the blue, boom. Bump. And it hurt like a mother, but what are ya gonna do? So vacation went on as usual. The following day, it started oozing. (I told you this was gross, get that look off your face.) On Thursday, my left ear began to hurt, and on Friday, the left lymph node behind my ear was swollen, and my left gland was protruding out of the side of my neck. Ron suggested I go to the island urgent care, but I refused, because one, we were leaving that night, and two, nobody anywhere on that island ever moves at an 'urgent' pace. I knew I'd lose my last full day of vacation, and I'd be nice and pissed off for the long ride home. It could wait a day, because I obviously had an ear infection and I'm exceptionally good at diagnosing myself and others. It's like a gift, really.

So on our last day, I got a full body deep tissue massage, thus increasing my circulation, and in turn the rapidly spreading infection, as you do.

We arrived home the following morning and I was walking into our local urgent care that afternoon. The receptionist asked me why I needed seen, I told her I had an ear infection, she asked me what made me think that, and I explained because I know things. Please. My ear hurts and I'm not a moron.

An hour later, after a thorough exam and a confusing amount of time discussing the oozing bump on my head, both my ears got a clean bill of health, and I was diagnosed with a staph infection that started with the bump and had worked it's way down the left side of my face and was continuing on down my neck. Hey, I never claimed to be a doctor.

So I left with strong antibiotics, an ointment, and strict orders to stop wearing make-up on that side of my face for 10 days, and I'd be good as new. Except the next day I woke with my left eye swollen shut and an excruciating headache. Now, I'm no headache expert because I don't get them, but this was the kind where light hurt my eyes and the sounds of voices pierced my soul. Ron wanted to take me to the ER, but I wanted to wait it out. He reminded me that my mom almost died from a staph infection a long time ago, but I reminded him that hers was from a hip surgery, so it was a lot more serious than mine. He replied, "Whereas, yours is near your brain...I can see where that's better."

He can be a bit of a smartass.

At 9pm, I caved and let him take me to the ER, because he assured me that Sunday nights are their least busy time. That would be false. It was SO packed, in fact, that I had to share a room with a teenage boy who had a chronic cough and wheeze and who passed the time by watching loud YouTube videos with his dad on their iPhones until I thought my head would either explode or I'd end his cough and wheeze forever when I shoved my fist down his throat.

I'm not proud of who I become when I'm in pain.

Ron, hater of all confrontation, finally went to ask the nurse if I could have a room of my own. He returned and said the answer was no. Five minutes later, I stormed out of my room shared with Wheezy Dwarf and informed the nurses that I'd be in the waiting room when the doctor was ready to see me. Maybe it was my tone. Or the fact that I looked like somebody beat the shit out of me and I'd just referred to a teenage boy as Wheezy Dwarf. Doesn't matter. I got my own room.

Then I had to pee. I told Ron in no uncertain terms that if the doctor came in while I was next door in the bathroom, he was not to let her leave before I came back. My butt no sooner hit the toilet seat when I heard Ron laugh and tell the doctor I was in the bathroom. And then he let her leave as I sat peeing and yelling at them through the wall.

I ask so little of him.

An hour later I was home having learned nothing new. I still had a staph infection, the meds I was given were correct, Sunday evenings are the worst possible times to go the ER, I have a low tolerance for noise, and my husband doesn't listen when I talk.

For the next 2 weeks I did all my normal activities with my left eye bare of all make-up, my eyelid swollen and crusted, a Band-Aid on the bump, and my bangs hanging all casual across my left eye in a lame attempt to disguise the whole mess.

During those 2 weeks, in an unfortunate turn of events, I used a new body lotion the morning of a funeral. It wasn't until we were halfway to the graveside service on an unseasonably warm and sunny day that I realized I'd lathered my body from head to toe in a glitter based lotion and I was shimmering like a vampire off of Twilight...except of course I had one bare eye, a swollen crusty eyelid, and a super-sexy gash across my forehead. Sometimes it's a miracle when I just make it through the day without hurting myself.

Several days after finishing my antibiotic, all that remained of the bump on my head was a scar resembling bruised fruit, but my eyelid was still swollen. Back to urgent care I went, where I was informed that the Staph was gone, and what I was experiencing was residual damage that would eventually go away. And a few weeks later, my eyelid went back to normal and life carried on.

But if you think that's where the story ends and I lived healthily ever after, we haven't been friends long enough.

Tune in tomorrow when, the week before Christmas, things got weird. Like, diabetes, brain tumor, Sister Wives, weird...because Hypochondria should be multiplied, not divided.







Saturday, November 26, 2016

Football Games

Things I've learned about my husband:

1. Football is considered a life source and therefore he eats, breathes, and lives it. More specifically, football played by THE Ohio State Buckeyes. (Emphasis THE, pronounced thee, for some reason.)

2. Nothing elicits an eye roll from him faster than a tall-feather-hatted marching band UNLESS it's THE(E) Ohio State Band. aka; The Best Damn Band In The Land. (Not THEE best damn band. Just The. Keep it straight.) And you will stand on your feet for the damn band, or else.

Things he's learned about me:
1. I read books during football games.
Don't judge me. I cheered for football in high school, I force my daughters to pose for annual cheer uniform photos with me wearing mine...and sometimes theirs just to shake things up...and I still remember the routine, and have been known to perform it, when the Buckeyes score, because the OSU tune is the same as Shawnee's fight song. So, play the song and I will dance, but as for watching the game, no. But I'm still totally cool, just so we're clear.

2. If he doesn't roll his eyes when I pull out my book, I won't roll mine when the drum major high-kick-leads the tuba player to dot the "i" in script Ohio. I'm not saying they're not the best damn band, because they really are, but I don't get all teary-eyed.

With our agreements in place, we try to attend a couple games a year, because according to him, there's nothing like watching the game in "the shoe." See, it's called the shoe because the stadium is shaped like a horse shoe, not a tennis shoe, and that's a really dumb question to ask, so don't. Not that I did. Just, don't.

Last month, we attended a game with our son and daughter-in-law, and we decided to give tailgating a try, because we've never done that. So, Ron bought a tiny charcoal grill, we threw some meat in a cooler, and cornhole boards in the back of the van, because we're not gonna look like virgin tailgaters, peeps.

That is, until our flame kept going out, so we gathered dry pine needles to drop in there and then we'd douse the grill with lighter fluid, (between the hamburgers and hot dogs, we're not idiots), dodge the shooting flames, and try not to make a scene. Then we figured out that you should wait until your charcoals actually start burning before you put the meat on the grill, so we used sticks to lift the searing hot grate of meat off the grill and put it on the ground on a campaign sign we conveniently had in the back of the van, because you never know when you might need one. Remind me to throw a pair of pot holders in there, would ya?

The Ohio State Medical Center might wanna seriously reconsider their "Game Day Charity Parking" in their lot.

We choked down our smoke-flavored-chemical-seasoned meat off the ground and walked to the stadium like a boss. We're like tailgating pros now.

We found our seats and it occurred to me. I forgot a book. I was sitting in a shoe with no freaking book. And then it got worse. A loud obnoxious guy directly behind me began frequently standing up and yelling, "It's GAAAAAAAME DAYYYYY" in case the other 100,000 people there didn't know that, because he's helpful. So to escape the situation, I made trips to the bathroom with my daughter-in-law, but 2 out of 2 times, I got hit on, because I wore the only red thing I own, and apparently a tank top that says 'Take Me To The Weekend' makes for a perfect invitation for creepers to offer to take me. Ron scolded me for wearing it and stopped letting me go to the bathroom. I think that's called victim blaming.

So there I was, grounded to my seat, searching for something to busy myself. And that's when I saw him. The kid sitting next to Zac, and I knew he looked like somebody, I just couldn't put my finger on who the somebody was. All I knew was that the somebody was a cartoon kid. Not a cartoon cartoon. But like, a pixel cartoon. Zac agreed and thought maybe the Polar Express kid, so I googled him but that wasn't it. Then I did that thing where you stare at somebody and try imagining them in different scenes (insert loud intrusive "It's GAAAAAAME DAYYYY" from over my shoulder...SHUT UP!) and then I closed my eyes and began picturing him talking to Santa and....O.M.G!!! He's the Rise Of The Guardians kid!!!

And there it was. My mission was to get a picture of the real life pixel kid, who became my hero in the final battle scene of The Rise Of The Guardians, when he looked the boogie man in the face and said, "I do believe in you. I'm just not afraid of you." Because that's what I envision myself saying every time I square off with Satan.

Leave me alone, you wouldn't survive a day in my head. The voices alone would eat you alive.

Anywho, the real life pixel kid was not makin' a discreet photo op easy on me. Just look over here at my phone without realizing I'm taking your picture, dammit!!
"It's GAAAAAAAME DAYYYYYY"....SHUTTTT.UUUP!!!



 
By 4th quarter, I'd had enough. This was gonna happen one way or the other. I tried the one way. Time to try the other. The straight forward approach. By that point, some people in the seats in front of us had left, so Zac and Barbara moved down to make more room. That placed me directly beside pixel.

Be friendly, not creepy. The kid's like 15 and I'm wearing a shirt with the words "Take me" across my newly-implanted chest. Play it cool. Be Casual. This calls for discretion. Here goes...

"So. Has anyone ever told you that you look just like the pixel kid on The Rise Of The Guardians?"

Ok, so I suck at discretion.

He answered, "No, but that sounds like something my Grandma Judy would say."

Grandma Judy?! Your GRANDMA JUDY?!?
Why you little son of a ......

"It's GAAAAME DAYYYYY"....I'm going to hurt you in the parking lot.

So today Ron and Zac are in the shoe for the big Ohio State/Michigan Game. They didn't take me.
Mustn't embarrass ourselves.
Or something.
 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

50 Things I'd Rather Do Than Vote For Hillary

Despite my strong opinions, I typically avoid politics on my blog, simply because I’d rather not deal with the divisive backlash. You’ll never sway my personal convictions, I’m not arrogant enough to believe I’ll sway yours, and so if we don’t agree, that’s cool, and let’s still be friends.

That being said, my niece recently posted an article titled ‘100 Things I Would Rather Do Than Vote For Hillary.’ It was a cute read, I commented that I wish I’d thought of writing it, and she encouraged me to write my own.

First, this is dedicated to my niece, Abigail, who basically gave me permission to go to my dark place of distasteful things and have a little fun.
Second, let’s all note my different title, because plagiarism.
Third, I stand behind every single word of this, just so we’re clear.

So here are (just) 50 (of the endless) things I’d rather do than vote for Hillary:

Watch The Walking Dead beating scene
Sit beside a phlegmy cougher on a New York subway
Crank open my own vagina for my annual exam
Watch an NBC live televised musical
Lose every FitBit challenge forever
Answer the door for Jehovah’s Witnesses
Join my husband’s Clash Of Clans
Fill out duplicate forms for all 4 of my children at the Pediatrician’s office
Learn Common Core
Become a volunteer lice and nit remover
Find a stranger’s hair in every meal forever
Let a Kirby Vacuum salesman into my house
Walk into a South Carolina police station dressed as a clown
Put Ryan Lochte on the stand in my defense
Let my husband play with fireworks
Join a gluten-free support group
Lead a protest for Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo
Let people take bites of my food off of my fork
Be friends with Whoopie Goldberg
Boycott double cheeseburgers
Give up my scale
Star in an “I have genital herpes” commercial
Sit my butt all the way down on a Taco Bell toilet seat
Eat at Panera Bread
Be Kody Brown’s 5th sister wife
Seek marital counseling from Jim Bob Duggar
Home School Caillou
Choose the longest line with the friendliest cashier at Walmart
Open a text from Anthony Weiner
Lick the Chuckie Cheese play land tunnels
Be politically correct for a day
Copy and Paste Facebook privacy rights declarations
Eat a Michelle Obama’s healthy school lunch
Dry my jeans the day before Thanksgiving
Weigh myself fully clothed and shoe’d
Go shopping on Black Friday
Answer my cell phone
Watch Frozen
Eat in silence with only the sounds of someone chewing
Comment something nice under someone’s status who’s threatening to leave facebook
Ring a cowbell at a football game
Let the amusement park photographer “take a quick pic” as we walk through the gate
Give up tweezers for a week
Host a home sales party
Give a sales person the names and emails of my 5 closest friends
Eat the cake without the icing
Click a random email link to “claim a free gift card”
Use the bathroom at Target
Go an entire day without offending anyone
Vote for Trump. Obviously.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The End Of Our Rope

Hilton Head, South Carolina is kind of our place. We've been vacationing there for roughly 19 years, and 4 years ago, we finally took the plunge and invested in a few Time Shares, and we now go there twice a year. In May we go as an entire family for 1 week. And in September, Ron and I go alone for 2 weeks.

It's a relatively upscale island with a lot of focus on golf and tennis. Just so we're clear, we don't play golf or tennis and "upscale" is not a word that would accurately describe our family. (Or at least I hope not.) So inevitably, whenever we mention our trips to Hilton Head, the first question people ask is, "What do you guys do there?" The simple answer to that would be, nothing. We do nothing.

We lay on the beach. And then we lay by the pool. On our trips with the kids, we rent bikes and go on long rides in single file resembling the Von Trapp's in The Sound Of Music, except we're not wearing curtains...or singing. And when we're not laying by a body of water somewhere, or Von Trapping it along the bike paths, we can be found having our own kind of not upscale fun, like feeding cheeseballs to the turtles via water balloon launcher from our 4th story balcony, and there used to be times when Zac would dress up like a clown and juggle for the kids at the resort. But that was back before clowns became Satan. Now we live in a world where dressing up and running around like a clown willy nilly will get you shot.
And it should.

When Ron and I go alone, there's slightly less tom foolery. Slightly. Launching and shooting snacks from our balcony isn't nearly as fun without kids, and bike riding takes on more of a racing situation with 2 people side-by-side as opposed to 10 of us in a single file, and Ron and I racing on serene upscale bike trails beside serene upscale golf courses is ugly, golfers get pissssed, and people hate us everywhere. So we lay. On the beach and by the pool and occasionally I surprise him and pull out a tennis ball and we'll throw it back and forth to each other in the ocean until he nails me really hard with it and then I go back to my beach chair where I wanted to be in the first place, because fighting in Hilton Head is a no-no.
It's like our only rule.

I think you get the general idea. Besides my beach run and trip to the gym every morning, we're basically the island sloths.

But last September, 2015, something very exciting and out of the ordinary happened that changed our trip forever. We found a rope. We were taking a walk about a mile down the beach from our condo at low tide, I saw it floating, waded into the water, and grabbed it. Yeah, it was a pretty big deal.

The end of a rope, connected to something deep beneath the sand. So we pulled and we dug and we pulled with no success, so we did what any other normal person would've done in that situation. We used our phones to ping the location of the rope, returned the following day at low tide, and went to work with the only tool we had at our disposal...a tiny plastic purple beach shovel. And we pulled and we dug and we pulled with no success. Day after day, at low tide, every day of our stay. Nothing.

So, 7 months later, when we returned with our family, we tracked the low tide, followed the ping, and came armed with kids and tools. Power in numbers, yo. And we dug and we pulled and we dug and no luck. Nothin.

If you're wondering why we weren't willing to give up on this seemingly useless endeavor, maybe we shouldn't be friends. I mean, obviously, there's something on the other end of that rope. Ron's convinced it's a treasure chest from a pirate ship, but he also believes in Big Foot, so there's that. But I know what it is. It's an anchor. And anchors are my super cool thing right now, which makes that way better than a pretend treasure chest.

Soooo, we returned again last month to continue our quest. This time, there was talk of investing in a double gear cable puller called a Come-Along, or making sandbags and building a dam of sorts...at least until a lifeguard or someone from the "town council" stopped us. *eye roll*
They hate us there.

But when we followed our ping to where our rope should've been, we searched for over an hour with no luck. We looked for 3 days and finally concluded that someone obviously stole my freakin' anchor. (Ron: "Or treasure chest.") Stop it.

Having nothing to do now, we booked a shark fishing trip, where the captain asked us, "So, have they rejuvenated the beach where you stay yet?" Um, what'chya talkin' about, Captain Joe?
"Yeah, they're redoing all the beaches with fresh layers of sand."

Son of a ....

WELL. That explains a lot. Like, why my knees hurt when I run on the "fluffier than usual" sand. And why we can't see the tips of little rocks near our resort anymore. Or why we can't find our damn rope!

I told you town council hated us.

But we'll check again in May when we return, because on the bright side, Hurricane Matthew hit the island last week and might've washed away their stupid new layers of sand.

Okay, maybe we shouldn't call that "the bright side." But in my defense, they sabotaged my rope. So if ever there was a place for sarcasm, disapproval, sass, and side-eye, I'd say it's here.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Saving The Breast For Last- Part 8

Wednesday Aug 3rd - Thursday Aug 11th (Week 3 Recovery)

Guess who figured out a way for me to sit in the hot tub with him at night. On one of our grandson's tiny plastic stools. Not sure if this is exactly what he had in mind, but hey, I'm in the hot tub. How...romantic...


Okay, so I maybe understand now why the doctor mentioned not picking the glue off my incision. I've entered the my-boobs-itch-like-a-mother phase of recovery, and while I wouldn't necessarily label myself a scab picker, per say, the more the edges of the glue begin breaking loose, the more I need to remind myself that I wouldn't wanna have to label myself a scab picker.
I've got enough titles, thanks.

I decided last week that it wouldn't hurt to do some light pressure massages, and on Friday the 5th, I resumed seeing clients again. I was wrong. It hurt. Turns out that pushing on people uses your pec muscles. You might be as surprised as I was to find out some of the random activities that require pec muscles: sneezing, opening a bag of chips, unscrewing the lid on a jar of peanut butter, opening a pill bottle, cutting pretty much anything with a knife, pushing myself up out of the bathtub... So it's not uncommon for Caymen to ask, "Are your boobs ready for that?" anytime she sees me attempting something on my own.

Yeah, we don't hide anything from our kids and our daughters who still live at home have had a front row seat to these shenanigans from the beginning. Which reminds me, I should have a chat with Caymen before school starts, heaven forbid her teacher ask the class if anything exciting happened over the summer and I get a bunch of angry phone calls the first week of school.
Been there, done that, the year Kearstin was in Kindergarten, tried to sign me up for Career Day, and told her class that people come to our house and pay me to rub them.
Not everything needs to be shared with the class, kids.
(Said the mom who shares everything with the world.)

But back to the healing process. Everything about that has gone so smoothly. My swelling is down, they're looking and feeling more natural, and I'm thrilled to report that no nipples were harmed or lost in the making of this blog series.

I returned to the doctor yesterday where he asked me, for future patient reference, how long I took my prescription pain meds following the surgery. Um, that'd be 1 day. Then he clarified. "You mean you toughed out this recovery on ibuprofen?" I kept my answer a simple yes, thus avoiding the Mrs.Grass's can of soup worms. Then he looked at my incisions and while I waited for him to give me the all-clear, he asked the nurse to hand him a tool, and before I could ask a question, he yanked out an internal stitch that was protruding from under one of my breasts, used a long match-looking thingy to burn the hole closed, and slapped a band aide on me. Son of a mother, how 'bout some warning or something???
So that's what I get for lookin' like a pain-tolerant badass. Lesson learned.

So am I all clear now? No. It'll be 2 more weeks of no sports bras or upper body workouts, and thanks to that extra little yank 'n' burn procedure, it'll be 4 more days of no hot tub. BUT, and here's the awesome news, I've been cleared for all cardio, legs, and abs, so Zumba officially resumes next week! I'll be the instructor trying not to bounce out of a regular bra while dancing with my arms straight down by my sides. Just go with it.

I don't go back for another visit until October and he asked if I had any concerns until then. Again, I opted for simple and said no. I'll just continue standing a full arm lengths away from the grill and stove, because my 2am fears have now shifted to wondering if it's possible to melt my implants over an open flame. Best to play it safe, I say.

Thanks to all who have read this series and gone on this journey with me. Hopefully I found the balance between informative and humorous, without boring or offending anyone. I've received a lot of messages inquiring about price and I'll willingly share the breakdown of that with everyone who's seriously interested. I'm not posting that publicly, because it's not information that needs to be shared with everyone, and the prices for this procedure will vary greatly depending on a lot of variables. I will say that getting implants alone is significantly less expensive than getting a lift along with it. But no question is off limits, so please feel free to continue messaging me if you have any.

For anyone thinking they're too old to even consider such a procedure, I'll remind you that I have 2 grandchildren, one of which accompanied me to my boob doctor appointment yesterday and nobody stared, laughed, or pointed. At least to my face. This surgery has been nothing but a blessing and it was worth every bit of the craziness that preceded it. I'm not only thankful that I had the opportunity to have this done, but that God intervened along the way and steered me to the right doctor in the right timing.

As for the before and after pictures, posting boob pics is a tad more complicated than the tummy tuck was, because, ya know, they're boobs. But I also realize that to leave pictures out of this series would be to leave it incomplete. I'm hoping that I was able to strike a tasteful balance and at least give you a general idea. I do have a private collection of pictures that detail the actual incisions and week-by-week healing process that I'm more than happy to share with any women who are seriously contemplating this procedure.

As if you didn't scroll straight to the end without reading a word.
Bust-ed.
 




.
 
 




Monday, August 8, 2016

Breast Rest- Part 7


The pic represents what I felt like yesterday in church when, 6 days into my boob job series, the sermon was about things that are real vs. fake and made reference to McDonald's chicken nuggets not actually being chicken, but rather a processed something, formed to look like chicken.

And on that note, behold, week 2's recovery update starring me and my McJuggets...


Wednesday July 27th - Tuesday August 2nd (Week 2 Recovery)
My progress really took off this week. On Wednesday, I got the best night's sleep I'd had yet. Probably because I turned a corner in my healing process, or maybe because I broke down and took a leftover Vicodin of Ron's I found in the back of the medicine cabinet from 2010. (Oh, like you've never taken expired pain meds prescribed to somebody else...ok, yeah, don't do that.)

On the 28th I went to the doctor all by myself, feeling wonderful, wearing an actual bra, no chest vest, and minus the extra 7 lbs of puff. Normal is the name of the game today, folks. Normal.

The doctor walked into the room and very first thing said, "Still no hot tub."
It's okay, doc, he's not here.

While we're at it, still no baths, no sports bras, no golf, no stomach sleeping, no upper body anything, and still no picking up my 25 lb grandson, but am cleared to pick up my 13 lb granddaughter.
So now my heart is only half broken.

I could tell he's very satisfied with his work and happy with my recovery and I decided that he thinks I'm now his best un-medicated, un-vested, un-puffy, un-crazy, un-pain-in-his-ass, and most low-maintenance patient he's ever worked on, and I'm totally rockin' the normal vibe today...and then he said, "Now don't start picking the glue off your incisions, okay?"
Alright, so maybe not.

Then he upgraded me from 'do nothing' to permitting me to 'take walks'.
Take walks? Take walks?! I feel great, I'm starving, and I desperately need to run, dance, lift, plank, and squat 6 days a week so that I can eat enough junk 1 day a week to break even...and you tell me I'm allowed to take walks?!?

But then I decided that taking walks is awesome, because the look on his face indicated that my crazy might be showing.

Two days later, we went to Zoombezi Bay, the Columbus Zoo & Waterpark, with Ron's work. And, no, I did not ask the doctor if that was okay, because he'd already pegged me as a glue picking maniac, and the word waterpark sounds way worse than it actually was.

Unfortunately, due to the fact that all the stores have their back-to-school crap out, I wasn't able to find a new bathing suit top and my previous bikini top, that once housed my Saggy D's, was borderline unfit to manage the new Double D's. So avoiding eye contact, wearing a baggy tank top, hiding in our cabana draped with beach towels, and occasionally walking the lazy river while my 9 year old repeatedly asked, "How's the boobs holding up, mommy?" pretty much sums up my day at Boob-ezi-Bay...come on, it's like Jack Hanna handed me that one on a silver platter.

Unless something crazy(ier) happens, Friday should conclude my Tale Of 2 Titties, as I'll fill you in on Week 3 recovery and hold high hopes that the doctor will release me back to life as normal usual when he sees me this Thursday. I feel like he's as ready for that as I am.





Saturday, August 6, 2016

Booby Trapped- Part 6

Wednesday July 20th - Tuesday July 26th (Week 1 recovery)
Much to my pleasant surprise, this first week of recovery has been pretty low-key. I stopped taking the Percocet the day after my surgery, thanks to that soup video, and I switched over to plain old Ibuprofen. It's painful, but not unbearable. My throat is very sore from the breathing tube that ran down it during surgery, which thankfully, I remained blissfully unaware of until after the surgery. Notice the anesthesiologist didn't mention that was gonna happen in our little pre-op meet 'n' greet, probably because within 2 minutes of meeting me, he realized the less I know the better.

I'm continuing to wear my chest vest 24/7, per doctor's orders, and because it's become my new security blanket, and I may or may not have attachment disorders. Considering I lived in my 'tummy huggie' for almost a year after my tuck, my kids don't even question my Velcro apparel anymore.

Thursday the 21st was my first follow-up appointment with the doctor. My biggest concern that day was how puffy I was. Seriously, it felt and looked like I'd put on 10 lbs overnight, so of course I weighed myself to make sure I didn't, and discovered that I didn't. I'd gained 7, which you'd think would've made the downward spiral that followed at least 3 lbs less dramatic, but you'd be wrong. It was a full 10 lb plummet to an all out emotional brouhaha in the bathroom, where Ron attempted to comfort me by explaining that each boob probably weighs 3 1/2 pounds now so this is probably just my new weight, which might've sounded good in his head, but when said out loud, made things notably worse, and had me rethinking my stance against Percocet.

So I squeezed myself into my 'fat' shorts, pulled a big t-shirt over my chest vest, and waddled into the doctor's office, where he raved about how good I looked. Lies help no one, sir.

He looked me over, checked my incisions, and confirmed that everything looked exactly like it was supposed to at that stage of recovery. Then he asked me if I'd pooped yet. File that one under C for curve-ball. "Poop? Not ringin' a bell, but I was high for 2 days, so there's that."

He explained that while I was on the surgery table, he decided that the implants would look better behind my pec muscles, rather than in front of them, as originally planned. That's a big deal to me, because that's what I really wanted in the first place, but was told by my original doc that it was a more extensive and invasive procedure and that it was unnecessary. But in my mind, by putting them behind my pec muscles, I had an extra layer of body tissue trapping them in, thus preventing any unfortunate implant disasters during Zumba. I'm not saying it makes medical sense, I'm telling you how my mind works. Regardless, Dr. O'Neil did me yet another huge favor, by going above and beyond what he would've had to do, because he wanted to do his very best job for me. Again.
Have I mentioned how much I love this doctor? Well, it's worth repeating.

But that definitely explains the pain I was feeling in my chest muscles at night...not like a good kind of oh-I'm-so-sore-from-that-workout pain, but more like a son-of-a-b*tch-somebody-sliced-through-my-pecs-with-a-knife kind of pain. See, that's different.

I'm still under his orders not to do anything, which is fine by me, because I can't lift my arms above my head and whenever I go from lying down to sitting up, I feel the throbbing sensation of an engorged woman capable of breastfeeding a small country of starving infants. As for feeling like I have 2 construction cones protruding off the front of my chest, the doctor says those should relax...a little...over the next 3 months.

My goal now being that they're down to normal size by October, which should eliminate at least 3 of my husband's Halloween costume ideas he has in mind for me.

We came so close to leaving there without saying anything ridiculous. So. Close. But then the doctor shared some "good news." Thanks to not having any stitches or drainage tubes, he said I could shower whenever I want, which Ron took as a green light to ask if that means I'm now also allowed to get in the hot tub with him at night, because heaven forbid, we make it out of that appointment without sounding as creepy as humanly possible.
How bout'chya go ahead and tell him we've already had sex while you're at it?

Ron's "can I pretty please submerge her 48-hour boob incisions, held solely together by glue, into a 104 degree hot tub full of chlorine" question was met with a resounding "no" and then a "NOOO!" from the nice normal doctor who still thinks we're lunatics. Shocker.

In other news, I haven't experienced any bruising at all, by Saturday I was able to (sort of) sleep on my side rather than my back, and I took my last Ibuprofen on Sunday afternoon, because I'm not a fan of being dependent on medication, despite the excuse of having had surgery 5 days ago.

I go back to see the doctor July 28th, and I think he's going to be as pleased with my progress as I am, because all in all, this recovery has been uneventful for my standards....well, except for Thursday night when I started to have a full out panic attack whenever I thought of having foreign objects embedded in my chest and thoughts of rippin' your new implants out with your bare hands makes nothin' but sense, am I right?

But no need to tell the good doctor everything, because as much of a pain in his ass that we were before the surgery, I'm trying to make up for now.

We'll resume this series on Monday where you can learn what to expect during your 2nd week of recovery after your boob job...assuming your husband takes you to a waterpark 11 days after your boob job, of course.

Friday, August 5, 2016

It Was The Breast Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times- Part 5

Tuesday, July 19th, p.m.
I awoke in recovery a few hours later, and by "awoke" I mean I vaguely recall being force fed sips of apple juice and bites of cracker from an assorted variety piled on my tray, by a nurse wearing what looked like a paper boat on top of her head, and whose bedside manner kinda sucked.

And seriously, let's take a moment to discuss that pile of crackers. Did I keep changing my mind on which type of cracker I wanted? Did they think I was starving? Or was Ron possibly swiping crackers off my tray behind the nurse's back, so she kept giving me more...hmmm. Come on, lady, I couldn't look more dead there. Stop with the snacks.

As far as the surgery itself went, it took a total of 3 hours and he opted for the 400 cc implants as opposed to the 350's. (And Ron rejoiced.) It all went so smoothly, that I didn't require any stiches, but rather he glued my incisions closed, and the predicted drainage tubes were unnecessary, too.

There goes the 'Boob Tube' post title. *sigh* I'm as disappointed as you are.

After being released, the next thing I remember was sitting in our van by myself in the middle of a country road, while Ron stood outside the front of our van, staring at me through the windshield...while he peed...which I would've chalked up to an hallucination, except later, he told me that really happened.
"5 cups of coffee in 3 hours is gonna come out somewhere."
Dude. Just, maybe next time, feel free to not be facing me when it does, k?"

The rest of the evening is a complete blank for me, but my family has informed me that during that time, they dubbed me '10-second-Tom' because I asked the same questions over and over again, repeatedly told anyone within earshot that my legs were wobbly and I itched all over, burst into tears when I had to take an Ibuprofen, because it wasn't time for another Percocet, demanded the girls pull my hair into a messy bun, but cried because it would hurt my head to lay in bed with a messy bun, and from there, things escalated to a scene in the kitchen when Ron made me soup without following the directions, and I had an emotional breakdown that'll forever be known in our family's history as 'The Mrs. Grass's Soup Incident of 2016', which I wouldn't believe, but I've seen the 6 minute video Kearstin was kind enough to record for proof as it all played out. I'm not proud of what's on that video, but in my defense, he made the damn soup wrong, capiche?

I really need to start remembering to tell doctors that narcotics screw with me.

Follow-up care wise, I'm on 10 days of antibiotics, I'm wearing a Velcro support bra resembling a bullet-proof vest, and for the first 48 hours, Ron was required to unwrap me every 6 hours to look at my boobs...supposedly doctor's orders, although this seems rather fishy to me.

From what I could tell, everything looked good. I was still marked up with purple lines, and there's an incision running straight down the underside of each breast as well as around my newly formed and perfectly proportionate areolas that now face front instead of down. Well, hello ladies. Nice to see you again.

I'm holding out hope that my chest size right now is attributed to swelling and they'll go down significantly as the weeks progress. Ron's holding out hope that they won't. Apparently, he doesn't mind the whole, 2-large-construction-cones-protruding-from-the-front-of-my-chest look. Time will tell who gets their wish.

I was scheduled to see Dr. O'Neil 2 days later for my first follow-up visit, where I offered this deal up to my husband: "You don't tell him about my soup tantrum and I won't tell him I had to watch you pee in the middle of the road on our ride home."

That guy's gonna think we're normal by the end of this, so help me.

Tomorrow you can read how it went...and why that whole think we're normal thing hasn't happened quite yet.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Rack 'em Up- Part 4

Tuesday, July 19th, a.m.
For as much drama and hassle there was leading up to this surgery, I was actually thrilled when I found myself scrubbing my breasts for the required 2 minutes with the skin killer cleanser called Hibiclens, the night before surgery and the morning of, because boob germs ain't nothin' to mess around with.

Before I knew it, I was checking into the surgical center at 7am. As the nurse ran the obligatory pregnancy test and hooked me up for all the preliminary stats, she asked if I was nervous, and I answered honestly that yes, I was very nervous...the doctor might not show up, I'd seen pictures of boob jobs gone wrong, and a positive pregnancy test right now would be totally par for the course of how this process has gone thus far, and that'd kinda really suck. Then she looked down to see my blood pressure read 104/67 and said, "Good grief. I'd hate to see how low that is when you're not nervous."

See, I'm known more for causing high blood pressure, not so much having it.

The Anesthesiologist came in to talk to me. He explained that surgeries involving breasts increase the odds of post-surgical nausea. He asked if I had any concerns. Well, since you asked, I'm afraid of waking up in the middle of surgery, of everyone having to lift my dead weight to sit me up during surgery, and now you can add nausea after my surgery to my ever-growing list of fears.
Careful, my blood pressure may have just spiked to 105/68.
*deep breath*

He reassured me by explaining that my brain waves will be closely monitored, so they know exactly how much anesthesia I need to keep me safely under.

"So then you're telling me that I don't have to lie about being 10 lbs heavier than I really am to make sure you give me plenty?"

"Um...we'd rather you not do that."

Then he made me stand on a scale and gave me disappointed looks. Whatever.

As for the Weekend At Bernie's nightmare, turns out the table lifts me to an upright position, not the nurses. And they took several extra precautions against nausea including a pill before surgery and a patch behind my ear, both said to last up to 3 days, as well as anti-nausea meds in the anesthesia itself.

Well, then, I guess I no longer have any concerns.

Finally, the doctor came in, armed with a purple marker and began measuring and mapping me out, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase purple nurples. I'm past any embarrassment with this process by now. I just stood still and avoided eye contact with the doctor or my husband, but especially my husband, who tends to giggle like a 7th grade boy when it comes to anything awkward or boob related, heaven forbid he think to say the words purple or nurple. And quite frankly, I was just relieved that the doctor showed up, so he could draw on me all he wanted at that point.

Right on schedule, it was time for me to enter the operating room, but they didn't pump me full of happy juice before wheeling me away on a bed. I had to walk. Fully aware and un-medicated, I walked myself into the surgical room, had to tell the team of nurses and anesthesiologists my name and exactly what I was having done. Under immense nerves and pressure, I remembered the technical terms of 'bilateral breast augmentation' but couldn't for the life of me remember the word 'mastopexy' so I resorted to "and then he's gonna lift 'em up." Or you could just open my gown and follow the purple marker maps, just somebody please knock me out so I can stop making eye contact with people.

Then I climbed onto the table, was told they'd give me something to relax, I noted that I tasted something funny in my mouth, followed by someone saying, "Goodnight..."

If you think I'm a hot mess on a normal day, just wait till tomorrow when you see me on narcotics...




Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Breast Is Yet To Come- Part 3

Friday, July 15th:
We left off with this entire boob job hinging on one thing:  Will there be a difference in price for the implants the associate doctor plans to use vs. the implants my original doctor planned?

So I entered the appointment prepared for my rebuttal if they said there would be:
The new implants are smaller, therefore, the difference in price should be in my favor. And if you try to tell me it's some kind of service charge for having to order a whole new set of different implants, I'll simply drop that little bomb of info the office manager probably shouldn't have handed me 2 weeks ago:..."as it turns out, the wrong implants were ordered anyway, so see? Everything happens for a reason."
Please be careful. I remember everything.

Ron demanded he come with me to the appointment so he was under strict orders to remain silent. We were treading on unfamiliar territory. I'd been thrust into the role of Good Cop, he'd jumped ship into full-fledged Screw You Cop, and we were about to make our first personal appearance together. We were playing a dangerous game here.

I signed all the consent forms and then the doctor came in. I can't stress to you enough how amazing he is. He examined and measured me again and when I reminded him that my goal is not to have bigger boobs, he showed me on the chart how the implant sizes he'll use are perfectly proportionate to my body. Then he turned to bad cop sitting silently in the corner and assured him that they won't be small, by any means, either. (He reads my husband very well.) He took before pics from every angle and I didn't smile or say cheese, because to appear any crazier at this point, is to jeopardize the particularly delicate ecosystem of unfamiliar social behavior we'd been boxed into...aaaand, I was the only one allowed to talk, so it all hinged on me.

At the end of my appointment, I asked about a price difference of the implants and then prepared to plead my case, but was surprised when he said, "Oh there shouldn't be any difference at all." Then he confirmed my surgery date for the 19th.

That night, I tossed and turned, and started googling breast augmentation surgeries gone wrong, as you do. By 2:30am, I'd spiraled into a complete panic and convinced myself they'd be too big, I'd pop one, spring a leak, lose both my nipples and come out looking like an old porn star. Surely God didn't want this to happen, so he'd close the door on this entire debacle.

I waited all the following day for the phone call from the office manager explaining the "unavoidable difference in implant prices" probably totaling the amount of, oh, I don't know, $326.00?!?! (Hey, I'm a bit of a cynic these days.) But the call never came. It didn't come Wednesday or Thursday, either. Finally, on Friday, I called the office. So, is there a price difference in implants? Nope, none. Wait a minute...Dr. O'Neil doesn't have a pregnant daughter due any day, does he?!? Nope. She's only 3.  Are you telling me this surgery is actually going to happen? Yep.

So one way or another, for better or for worse, every hoop has been jumped through, and every door has remained open for me to have this surgery. I can't believe I have 3 entries in this series and not one incision has even been made. If you've hung in with me this far, you're a real trooper.

Tune in tomorrow, when I actually get to use the over-the-counter surgical soap that smells like turpentine and burns like hell.
Be excited.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Cry Booby- Part 2

Thursday, July 7th

So yeah. The day before my scheduled surgery on the 1st, the doc's daughter goes into labor. He hightails it outta town. Boob job, cancelled. Along with a month's worth of massage clients, a month's worth of Zumba classes, all planned around my husband's week off to care for me post-op...poof. Gone.

Sorry 'bout your luck. Nothin' we can do.
Well, except MAYBE when discussing the date of my surgery, you actually TELLING me this might be a potential conflict, because I assure you, I would've said, "Oh, hell no" and chosen a date in June, since I was, you know, altering my entire life around this for months. But, hey, whatever. So, I did what any woman in my position would've done. I burst into tears.

Here's something you need to know and you'll understand why later. I don't cry. My default emotions are pissed and rage. Ron's is happy humor. So when I skip past pissed and rage and I'm crying, my husband bolts past happy humor and snaps into pissed and rage. We're a super fun combo of spontaneous emotional combustion.

The next several hours were spent with me on the phone. First, with the office manager to find out when my doctor could reschedule my surgery. August 30th?! (Piss and rage.) Her attempt at talking me down was to share with me that "as it turns out, the wrong implants came in anyway, so see? Everything happens for a reason." (Piss and rage x 10.) So I called a new surgeon's office and scheduled a consult for July 12th. Then went back to the office manager of my original doctor to request a full refund, where she encouraged me to try the associate doctor in their practice, Dr. O'Neil, and then raved about how excellent he is. So I called Ron at work, who suggested I go ahead and see the associate doctor since everything with them was already paid in full and it'd be less hassle than starting over with a different office. So back on the phone with the office manager to make an appointment with Dr. O'Neil on Tuesday July 5th, and then back on with the new office to cancel the appointment I'd just made with them on the 12th.

Follow all that? Basically, it was 3 hours of emotional flailing, while exposing my manic to strangers, via telephone. A good time was had by all.

Whether or not I got a boob job boiled down to 3 factors.
1. Will I feel comfortable with and trust the associate doctor?
2. Will everything be considered already paid in full? Every.Thing.
3. Will he be able to get me in for the surgery within the next 2 weeks, which still allows for enough healing time before my full load of Zumba classes resume from Summer break on August 22nd?

So on July 5th, we headed to my appointment to get those questions answered.
1. First up, the doctor. I LOVED HIM. His thoroughness and attention to detail were unbelievable. He did a full examination and took measurements. See, those seem like important steps. He also asked thought provoking questions, such as, "Are you happy with your areolas?" Um, I've never really thought about it, truth be told, probably because they've been facing the ground the past 10 years or so. Outta sight, outta mind, you might say. His game plan was different than my original doctor's and I felt a whole lot better about it. An anchor cut around my areola and below my nipple with no mention of losing said nipple(s), and according to my desired outcome and his measurements, 500 cc's would be too big of an implant for my frame, so the size range he'd choose from would be 350-400 cc's.
(So, ladies, if you see a plastic surgeon for a boob job, and he's not all over you with a marker and measuring device, find a different doctor. Seriously. This is not something that should be eye-balled.)
2. As for the money aspect, he explained that his charges would coincide.
3. Scheduling wise, they'd have to check and get back to me.

Okay, 2 outta 3, but if they couldn't get me in before July 22nd, that would close the door for me. Regardless, I left there knowing that for whatever reason, I was NOT meant to have that boob job by my original doctor on July 1st, and I had to leave open the possibility that God didn't want me to have this boob job at all.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe a boob job isn't something that God cares about one way or another, because, come on, He's got bigger things on His plate. (Ew, that sounded bad.) But I'd much rather assume He cares about every single thing, right down to my cosmetic surgeries, and hear Him tell me it didn't matter to Him one way or another some day, than to trust myself to pick and choose the areas of my life where He does or doesn't want me to seek His will. Make sense?

So the next day when the office manager called, I was expecting to find out a date for surgery. And I did. Tuesday July 19th. Perfect. THEN she informed me of the "unavoidable extra costs" that totaled $326.00. And I burst into tears.

Let's review. That's 2 times in a matter of 5 days that this 1 woman made me cry.
Enter Ron, whose eyes had already shifted and he'd snapped into 'bad cop' before he even dialed her number. She had no idea what was coming. I can't tell you exactly what was said, but there was a lot of scary yelling that escalated to a "SCREW YOU!" when he thought she'd hung up on him, except she hadn't. Awkward.

She replied with, "The doctor will call your wife later. Not YOU."
Sorry, lady, but he's what you get if you make me cry. Try pissing me off next time, you'll love him.

I didn't really expect a phone call from the doctor, but rather a restraining order for my husband, and on top of that, I'd now been screwed into a corner and forced to play 'good cop.'
Dammit, man, I suck at good cop.

And to be honest, the idea of pleading my case to the nice doctor scared the crap out of me. But as promised, later that night, he called and left a message and gave me his personal cell number to return his call. (Risky on his part.) Unfortunately, we were in a movie at the time and it was after 10pm when we got out, so I sent a super polite text explaining my not wanting to disturb him at that late hour and told him he could return my call at his earliest convenience.
See? Me's nice. Me's considerate. Me's worth writing off $326.00 for...

Allow me to take a bit of a detour here. I had a huge revelation that night and shared it with Ron. When it's a matter of defending him or any of our kids, I'm all in. Don't start none, won't be none, and by the time I'm done, you'll wish to hell you hadn't started none. But when it comes to defending myself, I go almost paralyzed with intimidation, because who am I to ask anyone for anything, because I don't deserve anything, because I'm kind of a hot mess, therefore, unworthy of defense. (The things Satan likes to whisper in my ear, even as in this case, I've done absolutely nothing wrong.) So Ron said just what I needed to hear: "Then don't defend you. Defend me. I've been wronged here, too. I want those boobs as badly as you do."

There it is.

So that morning, I waited for the phone to ring and I prepared myself to defend Ron while I listened to a sermon about the importance of memorizing, believing, and obeying scripture. Then I popped over to my YouVersion Bible app and was immediately led to this: "For God's spirit doesn't make us timid, but rather gives us power, love, and self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7. (Typed that from memory, fyi. Boom.)

I'm sure you're right if you're rolling your eyes that God had no intention of that verse ever becoming a pep talk for me under these circumstances. But it did. And then the phone rang.

Granted, I almost hyperventilated in the first 60 seconds of explaining to him all of the ways this procedure has already cost us. But once I calmed down and overcame the urge to pass out in a pile of my own vomit, we had a very productive conversation that boiled down to this conclusion:  This situation wasn't his fault and he shouldn't have to pay anything from his own pocket. BUT, same goes for us. I wasn't asking him to front the financial burden of this circumstance outside of his control. BUT, I wasn't willing to ask my husband to, either.

Then he offered to talk with the other doctor and the office manager. (Oh lawd..., not her...)

There are no guarantees and I'm not expecting any. I left it with thanking him for taking this next step on my behalf, and informing him that I had a pre-op appointment established for Monday July 11th and surgery penciled in for the 19th, so simply to let me know soon so that those could be cancelled and avoid wasting any more of his time if this didn't work out.
See? Me's grateful. Me's respectful. Me's needs new boobs...

Friday, July 8th
The doctor's office called. They're covering the $326.00.
BUT, if there's any added expense for the different implants the doctor is ordering, that'll be on us.

So this was still not set in stone...or silicone, as the case may be. I had an appointment to see the doctor on Monday July 11th to discuss implants.

To be continued. Again.



Monday, August 1, 2016

A Tale Of 2 Titties- Part I

If you know me at all, you knew this was coming. If you know me even a little, you're not surprised.

But I'm getting a Bilateral Breast Augmentation and Mastopexy w/ Silicone Implant Placement. (aka; a boob job.) Actually, by the time you read this, I will have already gotten my surgery and am possibly wavering between succumbing to a medicated stupor and staying alert enough to fight off my husband from being overly involved in the post-op care, stemming from curiosity and excitement, laced with his natural need to torment the hell out of me.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Wednesday, June 29th
Many of you followed my Mother Tucker series, documenting my tummy tuck recovery process back in 2013. So I was surprised when I began questioning whether or not to document this one. I mean, boobs are kinda more personal, and let's be honest, this filler-picker-upper procedure opens myself up to the potential for a whole lot more gossipy judgment than the tuck did, therefore, I feel the need to explain this one a little more.

Let me start by clarifying a few things. I'm not having a mid-life crisis. (For once.) I'm not struggling with my identity. (For once.) I'm not living in denial of my age and stage in life. (For once.) And I'm sure as hell not interested in getting bigger boobs. (The one point Ron and I strongly disagree on.)

So why am I getting it done? I'm tired of taking off my Victoria Secret push-up bra and hearing the smack of 2 half empty water balloons bounce off my tummy, not to mention what they look like pointing straight down to the floor or swinging wildly about of their own volition. I'd prefer doing Zumba wearing one sports bra, rather than three. I want the option to wear strapless dresses. And for those who suspect this has anything to do with feeling good when I'm naked in front of my husband...you're damn right it does.

It's not that I don't appreciate the ones God gave me, but my children broke them and my husband and I would like them fixed now. End of story.

As to why I finally decided to blog it, I can't not blog it. It goes completely against my nature to hide, especially out of fear of judgment or gossip, and just like the tummy tuck, there are women out there who want this done, or had it done, and keep it a secret, because of that very judgment. So, here I am, ladies. If you're curious about the process, if you fear what the recovery might entail, have questions, or had it done and would like a support system...here I am. Ask me anything. We can be breast friends.

And yes, prepare yourself now for the countless variations of the words breast and boobs in the days to come. You're welcome.

Up to this point, the process has entailed several pre-surgical consultations. I chose the same doctor who did my tummy tuck, because I trust him. Ron demanded to come with me to my first appointment, because he was convinced that we'd get to look at a catalogue and "choose the new nipples." That marks the first and final time he was permitted to attend any appointments with me and/or say words out loud to the doctor, before my surgery. He spent the remainder weeks googling and sending me pictures that I was instructed to show to the doctor, which of course I refused.

Not that I exactly appeared normal to the doctor all the time, either. As a joke with Ron that first visit, I put my little paper vest on with the opening in the back instead of the front, but the doctor surprised me by coming in the room and as I tried to casually switch it around, it loudly ripped and I stood with half a vest on each arm with my boobs fully exposed. The first words out of the doctor's mouth were to his nurse when he told her, "She's struggling." Okay, struggling is dramatic, but I could maybe use a new vest.

We learned that there are 4 levels of sag, depending on severity. Guess who's a whopping 4. I never do anything halfway. And just an FYI, smiling and saying 'cheese' wasn't necessary when they were taking the before picture for my chart. I might have a few idiotic tendencies.

(((Things are about to get slightly personal and possibly even more uncomfortable, with frequent mention of nipple. Feel free to skip the next 3 paragraphs or don't complain that I didn't warn you.)))

The doctor and I had in depth discussions on my desired outcome. If I just wanted bigger boobs, he could throw some giant implants in to fill up the skin I've got and call it a day. NO. So, I'm going to require implants and a lift. If I wanted a nice average C cup, that of which I haven't seen since 7th grade, it'd require more skin removal, thus increasing the odds of losing my nipple(s). Seriously. Lost nipples. Um, NOOOO. So he predicts I'll remain somewhere in the D cup range when it's all said and done. In the surgery room, he'll have a variety of silicone implants to choose from, ranging in size from 450cc's to 520cc's, and there's a 'magic number' he'll know once he gets me on the table.

I've explained to him my intentions: I want breasts that are back up where they started, pointing in the right direction, and proportionate to my body size. No bigger than when I'm wearing my VS push-up bra, but also no smaller, because I have a husband that'll be sitting in the waiting room, whose already threatened to roll me back into surgery himself if they're reduced by any level. We're easy like that.

There are risks. Despite his best efforts, I could literally lose a nipple, and have been instructed to call the doctor immediately if we see any signs of trouble during the first few days of recovery. I could also lose sensation in one or both nipples, similar to how I still can't feel my belly button 3 years later. I'll have incisions on the outside of each breast as well as one resembling an anchor that will run below my nipples and along the underside. Scarring can be a concern and there's no guarantees how well those will heal.

I've now decided there's a fine line between full disclosure and dissuasion. Yikes.

Of course, I have other fears. He explained that during the surgery, they'll be sitting me upright to make sure everything is in the right place, so now I can't stop thinking about scenes from Weekend At Bernie's and wondering exactly how many people it will take to prop me up, heaven forbid a stray implant flop out onto the floor. On top of that, last week, Ron woke up in the middle of his colonoscopy, which means that now I'm pretty sure I'm gonna wake up naked on the surgery table to everyone cursing the strain of lifting my dead weight into an upright position. While these concerns sound ridiculous in the light of day, they seem totally legit at 2am. Every night.

As for recovery, I'll be down and out of everything for at least a week while I have stitches and drainage tubes and I'm forbidden to lift anything or do any form of exercise for 4 weeks. That's all I know as of today, which is 2 days before my surgery scheduled for Friday July 1st.

But from this point on, I'll be blind blogging. I have no idea what to expect or what, if anything, I'll have to report on a week to week basis. My best case scenario, is that it'll be the most boring series in the history of blogging, because the surgery and recovery will go soooo smoothly.

If you decide to tune in for this, your best case scenario will be that I experience some of the freak show crap that happened after my tummy tuck, and you'll be highly entertained at my expense for a few weeks. Our history proves, the odds are ever in your favor.

Thursday June 30th
They just called and cancelled my surgery. My doctor's out-of-state daughter went into labor.

Plot twist. Well, that didn't take long, now did it?

To be continued...
Tune in tomorrow for Part 2.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Special Guys, Slip 'n' Slides, and Cluster Flies...That's What Father's Days Are Made Of.

Father's Day weekend. Three exciting days of plans and, of course, the unplanned.

Friday's plan: Golfing.
Possible Sasquatch sighting at local golf course.
What we didn't plan, was Ron spending a lot of time searching for his balls in the surrounding cornfields, us shooting a whopping 54 on 9 measly holes, tying with our son and daughter-in-law, and the 4 of us sneaking back around to break the tie on what we deemed the "hardest hole"...the one where geese were sitting all over the green. Like, real geese. This ain't putt putt, people. We got beat by 1 stroke. That certainly wasn't in the plan.

Saturday's plan: A trip to the 2nd annual Slide The City.
What we didn't plan, was for everything involved with that to go smoothly. Seriously, for an event that draws thousands of people wearing bathing suits and slip 'n' sliding down the street in a sketchy part of Cincinnati, on the heels of a national zoo scandal no less, one might expect that our family would have been involved in...something... But, nothin. Unless you count our 19 month old grandson, Ace, throwing a full bottle of Soy Sauce at the family sitting in the booth behind us at Texas Roadhouse afterward. It's all fun and games till a condiment lands in a stranger's purse. Everybody calm down. It's not like a gorilla died or anything.

Sunday's plan: Go with Ace to see his first movie, Finding Dory.
What we didn't plan, was for him to sit like a champ in his little booster seat, quietly eating his Cheetos and sipping from his 'gulp gulp' while mesmerized by the previews. Then the movie started. And then it became a blur of dolphin-like screams, trips to the hallway, and at one point escalated to a full 32 ounce cup of Coke crashing all over the floor of the isle.
The future plan: Stick to drive-in's.

We didn't plan to eat at Long John Silvers afterward, either, but at least the irony was lost on Caymen, who would've been devastated had she heard Ron order the 10-Piece-Dory pack.

But the most unplanned part of the weekend...I'm talking, completely out of the blue, no way we could've predicted such a thing...was the outbreak of flies. Giant, black, slow-moving flies. I woke up Friday morning to find  the walls and ceiling of my massage room covered with them. I texted Ron who asked if there was also an evil voice telling me to get out of the house. Okay, first of all, that's not helpful. Secondly, somebody's seen Amityville Horror too many times. So I grabbed the hose attachment on my vacuum and sucked them up.

We came home from golfing Friday night to the walls and ceiling of my massage room covered in flies. Again. Vacuum to the rescue. Again.

Saturday morning. Walls, ceiling, massage room, flies, vacuum, profanity...you get the idea.

Saturday night. Outbreak #4. Sweet mother of NOOOOO.
So I lay awake in bed all night researching flies on Google, as you do.

Sunday morning, Ron said, "Maybe there's something dead in our walls attracting them."
Dude, you're referring to Blow Flies. These are obviously Cluster Flies. Psh. Amateur.

Monday morning, I called my super-good friends at Orkin. They're coming tomorrow. If that doesn't work, I'll find an Exorcist.

Hey, in our family, you've gotta plan for everything.









Thursday, May 12, 2016

FitBit(ch)

There are 2 types of people in this world. Those who are mentally stable enough for Fitbit ownership, and those who are not.
Guess which category I fall into.

To be honest, I thought a Fibit was a bracelet old people wore to encourage them to walk around. And before you tell me I'm a grandmother of 2, let me first tell you to shut your pie hole.

Anyhoo, I was surprised when my super cool grown kids began wearing them, and then Zac showed me all of it's features. Being the person I am, who daily monitors my weight on a scale that ridicules me by blinking red or green, I became convinced that I now also needed to track my calories eaten, calories allotted, resting bpm, sleep patterns, exact number of steps I take each day, as well as the breakdown of miles I've walked, and floors I've climbed, all of which is rewarded with invisible badges and a slightly startling vibration that for someone who's been electrocuted as many times as I have, sends a brief panic through my soul every time I reach my goal.

I might be a bit of an extreme personality.
I know. I'm as surprised as you are.

Needless to say, Ron and I became proud Fitbit owners, which some would argue only feeds my obsessive tendencies, but I would argue that it wouldn't effect anyone, so mind yo business...until the night I received a Fitbit notification that Zac challenged me in a Workweek Hustle. What.Is.Thissss?

Well, I'll tell you what that was. A gauntlet thrown. It was the 2016 adult version of Red Rover and I'd just been called over. The unleashing of a very dark competitive side and with it came phrases like, 'Bring it' and 'Goin down'.

And so it began.
The repetitive laps around our dining room table to Pitbull songs. The constant strolling of the grandchildren up and down the driveway. The blisters. The shin splints. The tan line dilemma. The thought that I might have to quit writing. The realization that my tombstone could say, 'Death by Fitbit.' Kearstin's broken toe against the coffee table when she tried to keep up with me. The finding of my husband locked in our bedroom taking secret steps. The jogging in place while we fight over keeping secrets. The marriage changing moment when we both realized that sex counts steps...for the person on top. Lying in bed at 11:30 checking everyone's step counts. Jumping up for final laps before the clock strikes midnight. Fitbit egging it all on with rude taunts that someone just 'blew by me' or that someone else was 'breathing down my neck.'

All of which can lead to sitting on the toilet the next morning and receiving the notification that someone snagged first because they waited until after midnight to sync their damn fitbit.

Noooooooooooo!!!!

Basically, I've been forced to take 100,000 steps for every 5 days.

So it should really come as no surprise when I, the person who'd rather take a fork to the eye than go to the doctor, woke my husband and asked him to take me to the emergency room, and then actually used the word debilitating when the doctor asked me to describe the pain in my lower back.
But hey, I beat the person who'd arrived in the speeding ambulance to the front desk, so boom.

Diagnosis:
Kidney stone, no.
Gallbladder, no.
Pulled muscle and thoracic strain...ding ding ding, we have a winner.

Treatment plan:
Compression, heat, Motrin, muscle relaxers...and lots and lots of walking.

Okay, I added that last part. I'm sure the doctor just forgot to say that.