The morphine drip finally got the pain under control and I was allowed to go home with lots of prescriptions for post-op pain and instructions for making sure I didn't get an infection.
By far, the worst part of the recovery was the incisions under my arms. Every time I moved my arms, they hurt. When I breathed they hurt. When I talked or laughed they hurt. You don't realize how often your underarms are stretched in every day life until you feel horrendous pain every time your stitches move.
To add insult to injury, my two female roommates thought that this was Hilarious. They likened me to a squirrel, or a T-Rex, because there was only one comfortable position for my arms.
|Most stubbiest arms ever; the T-rex arms can't even reach his face.|
|I know how you feel Mr. TRex. (Credit for comic goes to www.quantz.com)|
My roommates capitalized on my inability to get my hands higher than my chin and would hide my food on the top shelves in our kitchen and watch with glee while I tried to get at it until we all dissolved into giggles. I know this probably sounds cruel to those of you reading, but it helped me stay sane. They didn't baby me, pity me, or patronize me; they treated me like everything was normal. We always played jokes like this on each other, and major surgery was no excuse for not participating.
We also laughed (maybe a bit too loudly) at insensitive cancer jokes like:
Doctor: I've got your test results and some bad news. You have cancer and Alzheimer's.My mom stayed with us for a week. I couldn't wash my hair, or dress myself, so she was in heaven. She loves to cuddle and misses that I will no longer snuggle with her like when I was 5. But I didn't really have much of a choice being drugged and barely able to move. So she got to blow-dry my hair, brush it, dress me however she liked: it was basically like having a grown-up doll for a week.
Man: Boy, am I lucky! I was afraid I had cancer!
Eventually, my mom finally went home, and my roommates got their comeuppance. They had to clean the drain in my back. Mmm, nothing better than lymph, blood and bodily fluid. How's that for true friendship? I couldn't put on bras or shirts by myself. I flashed them so many times, I think they probably dream about me sometimes.
Soon after my mother left, I decided it was time to return to class. I was still in a lot of pain, and taking 2-3 Vicodin every 4-6 hours. I don't know what possessed me to go to my chip design class. To this day, I have no idea what was taught in that class. I vaguely remember sitting in the front row, lolling my head to the side and mindlessly staring at the PowerPoint slides until suddenly the room was empty. Where did everyone go? Maybe I should go home. Good plan, K8.
We didn't get the biopsy results for another couple of weeks...