Colder than a …

I may have been a bit premature in declaring a warm-up yesterday. I think I got frostbite on the walk from the car to the house. The scary part is that I park in a garage under the house.

Now, that is cold!

To celebrate the utter coldness (because I’m attempting to focus on the happy parts of life), here is a really nifty snowflake link with cool photos of snowflakes and everything you ever wanted to know about snowflake history. (Thanks, Amanda!)

In health news, my port site is healing, but has me a bit worried. It really hurts. I wish for it to stop. Now.

Didn’t work. Dang. I never get a million dollars when I blow out my birthday candles either.

The whole port situation was nutty. I was awake for the surgery. If you have never had the experience of surgery under a local, let me tell you, it is disgusting. You can feel pushing and pulling. Nothing hurts, but if you are me, your imagination runs wild. Some women can feel pushing and pulling when they have c-sections. That thought makes me want to faint. There is something about KNOWING your body has been cut open, but just lying there letting them poke around in you that is totally freaky to me.

I had been under general anesthesia often enough by the time I got to my mastectomy, I was perfectly at ease with it. As I reached the room, I was getting nervous. Fortunately, everything happens really fast at that point and within 2-3 minutes, the anesthesiologist said, “I’m going to put you to sleep now.” To which I replied, “good!” Being asleep is a lot easier than having a panic attack.

So, at the port removal surgery, I reached the table, my blood pressure was rising … but then there was no “sleep” to relieve me! By the time they hooked up my heart monitor, they knew I wasn’t doing so great. The nurses then did a full-on “let’s distract her” conversation. They tried asking me if I had seen any movies recently. I knew I had, but I couldn’t remember anything about it. I could only remember I had seen it with my friends Elaine and Christine, but that didn’t help the nurses at all. Finally, I remembered it had something to do with a book. After a guessing game, they finally figured out it was Stranger Than Fiction, which, by the way, is an excellent movie.

Even though those nurses thought they were so smart in distracting me, I knew the surgeon was cutting on me the whole time. I am not three years old!

But the surgery went very well, was over quickly and I was back on the road home before I knew it. I probably could have even driven myself home, but I let my mom drive instead.

Then, the real fun began. The surgery area was covered with this plastic film that looks like Saran Wrap, but is stuck to you with the clinging power of Super Glue. I’ve had this for a couple other procedures and it’s a nightmare to get off.

By Tuesday evening, the Saran Wrap area was really bugging me. I thought maybe the itching was coming from the fact that the wrap pulls your skin so tightly it causes wrinkles – imagine the itchy feeling you get when elastic is tight against your skin. So, I decided it was time to come off. After a hot shower, baby oil (to dissolve the glue) and much tugging and screaming, it came off.

The entire area was flaming red.

Huh.

Whaddya know?

I decided this must be from all the tugging and went to bed in a state of denial.

The next morning, the area was patchy red. The incision, which was still covered with a type of steri-strip, felt like it needed more padding between me and my clothes. So, I put a sterile pad on it and taped it down. And hour later, in an insane itching fit, I ripped it off.

And what did I see? Red blotches the shape of the surgical tape I had just peeled off.

This morning, the steri-strips were itching as well. I yanked those off.

Methinks I have developed a latex allergy.

I have heard that people develop allergies as adults because of exposure to an element. I don’t know if this is true. I probably read it in Reader’s Digest, so don’t quote me. But the explanation was something like this: the more times you are exposed to an allergen, the more your potential for becoming allergic to it.

I see some holes in that explanation, but let’s pretend for the moment that it’s true.

This year I have been exposed to … 4,563 rubber gloves; 3,452 pieces of surgical tape; 2,398 Band-aids; 62 steri-strips; and four of those Saran Wrap jobs*.

Can’t imagine why I developed a latex allergy.

*More or less. Counts may not be accurate.

Author: rosie

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks a lot. Now I itch. (Behold! The power of suggestion!)

    Hope you get the itchies under control! Sounds awful.

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  2. It’s cold here, too… one of those “temperature is 26 degrees but it feels like 4″ kind of days. (Here = Pittsburgh, PA.). The scary thing is that we actually had 60-70 degree weather within the last couple of weeks. From t-shirts to thermal underwear in just 10 days. :)

    Thanks for posting on my blog.. and reminding me that I should post more often. :) I haven’t made it through all the Rome pictures yet, but I’m working on it. I’m so glad you got to go!

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  3. Hi Rosie,

    Glad your spirit is up. I can totally relate to the being awake thing.

    I had to be awake for my brain surgery and guess what they used to put the head gear on??? A standard power drill – can you believe it – it looked like it came from Sears? At least they could have disguised the thing a little – I am thinking.

    That was the longest few minutes of my life!

    Gotta go – Elaine is bring Joe’s pizza.

    Take care.

    Liz Yaw

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