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  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    This year I’m
    doing something
    different than my
    usual tradition of
    pithy punch list of
    lessons learned to
    wrap this series of
    entries up.
    I’m writing
    this last entry
    exactly two weeks
    after we got home
    from the burn, b ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Monday morning I
    woke up early and
    decided that I
    wanted to do one
    more personal ritual
    before we had to
    break down and pack
    up our yurt and load
    the truck and leave.
    So I took my handpan
    and one of our
    little chairs and
    walked ou ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Sunday is always a
    tough day at the
    burn because we have
    to strike
    camp—it’s
    tough physically of
    course but
    it’s also
    tough emotionally
    because it feels
    like the setting and
    the vibe we worked
    so hard to put toge ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Saturday was my only
    day with nothing
    pre-planned and
    nothing I had
    committed to do. The
    burn was almost over
    and I was starting
    to feel nibbles of
    FOMO (Fear Of
    Missing Out) so I
    was determined to go
    see some more art
    (especially ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Because I had
    actually gotten
    enough sleep, I woke
    up reasonably early
    on Friday morning.
    Josh was still
    asleep, but I wanted
    to take advantage of
    the relative
    coolness of the
    morning and go do
    something. So I
    decided to take my h ...
    Readmore...

Parentheticals

A blog in which Our Heroine records, reflects and wrestles with meaning. With lots of asides.

Patient Patient Update, 19 Days Later

Posted by: julia

Tagged in: record , life , cancer

Patient patient update time again. I went back to UCSF today to see the plastic surgeon for a follow up. I finally got the last three drains out, which is a HUGE relief. The doc seemed very happy with how things turned out overall, and said that I should let things settle for another month and come back and see him again. He wasn't worried about any of the swelling or bruising or bumps and lumps and reassured me that everything looked great and we'd fix any and all issues with one last follow-up surgery in the fall sometime (which will not require any drains or even an overnight stay in the hospital). He also cleared me for lifting a little more, gentle stretching and raising my arms above my head (as long as it doesn't hurt me to do it), and said I could drive whenever it felt comfortable to twist and turn. I even specifically asked about handpan playing (which caused him to look up what a handpan was on his phone, and he seemed impressed) and he said it would be fine. The only thing he specifically told me to avoid for at least another month is "lifting heavy things", which in this case I think means anything heavier than a handpan. ;)

I think the key is to ease back in to things slowly and pay attention to how my body feels as I do things. If it hurts, don't do it. For example, I still can't quite stand up straight, but I can try to do so more actively now without fear of tearing or damaging anything internal as long as I stop when it gets too uncomfortable. I'm really hoping that by some time next week I'll be able to walk for some decent distance without my back muscles killing me from supporting my hunched over posture. And maybe even be able to sleep on just a couple pillows instead of the big foam wedge I've been using. That would be awesome.

So okay, a bunch more patience and one more time under the knife and hopefully this reconstructive journey will be both finished and satisfactory. Slow and steady wins the race.


Patient Patient Update, 12 Days Post-surgery

Posted by: julia

Tagged in: record , life , cancer

Time for a patient patient update. I’ve been laying low since getting home last week, and trying really hard to not. Do. Anything. (Besides sleep, eat, read, talk, look at Facebook, watch videos and lay about.) It’s harder than it sounds (hence the need for patience). I am trying to keep a good attitude about it and I have declared this the month of “Julax”, in which Julia relaxes throughout July. At least I have plenty of good books to catch up on and lots of lovely friends and family who come over to keep me entertained (which definitely helps the days go by). And every day I feel a little better and can do a little more. Slow and steady. Slow and steady.

In general, recovery is going as well as it can go. The first week was pretty rough and I was pretty weak and uncomfortable, but it’s slowly getting better. This was definitely the hardest surgery so far and it will be at least another week or two yet until I can stand up straight (I have been walking around hunched over like a little old lady because my stomach is so taut) or reach over my head or pick up anything over 5 pounds or drive. The good news is that I’m off the narcotic pain meds and able to manage my pain just by taking Tylenol, and that when I went in for my post-op visit today (first time I left the house since returning from the hospital) the nurse said that everything was looking good. The bad news is that even after today’s visit I still have 3 out of the 6 post-surgical drains in (I was so hoping to get them all removed today but it looks like I will have to wait another week, argh). But overall I am progressing satisfactorily, if slowly. So yay for that.


Being A Patient Patient

Posted by: julia

Tagged in: solipsistic , record , life , cancer

[This was posted to Facebook while I was awaiting my official release after four days being in the hospital after my DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery. I'm posting it here too for posterity.]

I am being a very patient patient but I am so so ready to go home. Hopefully that will happen later today once the docs do their rounds. (Yay Independence Day!) I've done a lot of resting and healing in the hospital, and every day is better than the one before. I won't lie, it's been boring as heck but at least it hasn't been too painful (yay pain meds). There certainly is a ways to go before I can even stand up straight or move around without shuffling, but the trajectory is heading in the right direction, and I'm very happy about that. I know I'm in for a good solid month of Julaxin' and truly keeping it slow and steady...and you all can feel free to keep reminding me of that!


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