Little Victories

I awoke this morning all cotton mouthed and stank breath. Nasty right? Nope. I mean, yes it was. But it meant that I could taste again! Maybe not the first taste I longed for but it was a FLAVOR!

Excitement started brew along side my coffee. And sure enough, I tasted that too! I was like whaaaaaaa?!

To backup a little, I hadn’t tasted or smelled a single thing since surgery over a week ago. It was a bummer (aside from missing out on those poopy diapers). Food didn’t bring enjoyment, no smells could trigger my appetite. I was even forgetting to eat until I felt like I was about to pass out.

Yesterday, for example, I got queasy leaving the house for Har’s T-Ball game so I grabbed an apple on the way out the door. Apparently I was so fucking famished that I ripped into that sucker so hard, I LITERALLY punched myself in the nose. I thought I broke it. No lies, I thought I completely ruined all surgery fixins. John and the kids were startled, to say the least, after hearing me shout a couple of choice curse words and my obsessive staring into the mirror searching for blood before I could tell them what happened.

Last night, still thinking I set myself back from the self inflicted face punch, I was surprised to be able to taste a tiiiiiny hint of my glass of red wine. A small victory, right!?

So when we went out to eat breakfast this morning and I could smell the fresh tortillas- holy hell- I knew this was going to be a good day. I tasted each individual flavor of my meal and wore a smile the entire time. I’d forgotten how exciting food could be. And when I got home and jumped in the shower (because a shower after breakfast out is the sign of a goooood Sunday) I could even smell my body wash!

To me these are all signs that I am improving. But they are also just little things and in the scheme of life, I’m sure they seem pretty silly to celebrate. But if we skip the little stuff, we find our selves only waiting for the big things. And how boring is that? These little ‘things’ add up to be the big and beautiful ‘things’ so why not enjoy them?

Obviously, not everything counts as a victory-big or small. And not everything is enjoyable. But every experience helps to mold us as a person. And I personally feel that if we can appreciate them all- or perhaps just find even the slightest silver linings- maybe we can all live a little more joyfully.

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Sinus Surgery, Septoplasty, Turbinectomy, Oh My

To be totally honest, I underestimated this sinus surgery and recovery. I thought that if I could handle a double mastectomy and total hysterectomy, then this would be a piece of cake. And while this surgery was not as intense, it was still fucking surgery- full of anesthesia, anxiety, meds, blood, flashbacks…

I have very little pain, more just feeling uncomfortable and I’ll take it. Doc’s notes said there was ‘tenacious mucus’, so I anticipated there’d be much more pain and swelling.

Pre & Post-Surgery Selfies

There’s barely any swelling on the outside of my face and the blood has finally slowed. I actually ended up in the ER Friday night (same day as surgery) because the bleeding would JUST. NOT. STOP. I was changing my soaked gauze mustache every 15-30 minutes.

Thankfully in the ER, the doc was able to inject some gel foam in each nostril to help stop the bleeding. These injections allowed me to sleep without fear of flowing through my pad. Yes. PAD. I know, I also thought I was done with pads since having my lady bits removed over a year ago. But nope, I was able to send John out to the CVS for one (hopefully) last feminine hygiene hurrah.

Things have improved so much that I don’t have to wear my mustache all day anymore- just after doing the nasal wash because that shit likes to drip. And like I said, the pain is minimal – unless I stab myself with my glass straw directly into my nose. 🤦🏻‍♀️

Not surprisingly, I can’t smell or taste a thing right now. Which, so far, I have found only two benefits:

1) I don’t notice how awful my mouth-breathing morning breath tastes or smells.

2) I can’t smell poop diapers- and in our house- whoever smells it first, gets to change it. 😜

I have already noticed that the sinus pressure in my teeth is gone- which is super exciting. And I am coughing up way less crap. Except for the extra special bloody chunk here and there.

And if you were wondering which Britney song played as I entered the operating room… it was “3”…. When I asked my surgeon if he’d be playing music in there, he said it’s usually reggae. Which, cool, if that’s what helps him perform his best work- DO IT. But I made it clear that in order for me to be the best patient, I needed some Britney. The anesthesiologist got to me before the surgeon did so I was already loopy when it came time for my request, I just remember asking for anything Britney. At least one song and once I was asleep, they could listen to whatever they wanted. I’d allow it.

They rolled me in and it was like mo’fo’ Britney concert! They asked why Britney and I think I said ‘why not Britney?’ Or maybe that’s what I said in my head. I don’t know- anesthesiologists are magic.

I woke up crying but not sure why. I wasn’t in pain or sad. Maybe my cold heart had a chance to thaw with my super special Kaiser heating blanket 😜

The tears have passed, most of the pain is gone, and if I could just remember to eat- I think my nausea would subside. Things are looking good.

I want to express my gratitude for all of the kind messages and check-ins. And of course, for John, my kids, and in-laws for taking care of me even with all the nastiness oozing out of my face. That’s real love. 😉

My smile doesn’t work yet. Is this what Botox is like?
John mocking my lack of smiling ability

Surgery Pals

High-Three

Pete Dog has recovered extremely well from his recent surgery. Feisty as shit, like nothing ever happened.

He went in a few weeks ago for a tumor removal on his front left paw. And thankfully the biopsy came back non-C. 🙌🏻 We anticipated him to have one toe removed but they ended up taking two, in order to be sure they had clear margins. Once his hair grows back, I doubt anyone will even be able to tell.

And because we like to sync up our hospital visits… Me- 1st pregnancy, Pete- 1st knee replacement. Me- 2nd pregnancy, Pete- Nearly losing an eyeball (I shit you not, I was constantly on the look out so that Harlon wouldn’t pick it up and eat it). Me- C diagnosis in pregnancy, Pete- 2nd knee replacement… It’s kinda our thing…. So, to keep up the tradition, this Friday I am going in for my sinus surgery and septum straightening.

Like I have said in the past, I’ve tried everything I can to help me (short of ass-kale) – but{t} 😂 no luck. Things have slightly improved, though not 100%. Yesterday morning, for example, I felt ok for the first couple hours of the day and even thought I might possibly be able to postpone surgery. Only to get to work, hacking up a lung and blowing my morning halfway through a tissue box.

I’m excited to be able to breathe again. And to be able to tie my shoe without the pressure being so bad that I feel like my eyeballs might pull ‘a Petey’. It’s the little things, you know?

According to my surgeon, recovery should be pretty easy- no swelling or bruising. And as of right now, I’m only taking Monday off from my office job and from teaching yoga. But will play it by ear.

But here’s the important question- WHAT song should I request to be playing as I go in for surgery? I mean, obviously I stick with Britney- she was with me for the past surgeries.

All suggestions will be considered and are appreciated 😉