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Post Surgery – 3 Weeks.

Hi Friends and Family!

***If you don’t read this whole post, PLEASE scroll down and read the part in bold at the end. I truly hope that my candid-ness has been helpful, but I think (maybe – goodness I surely hope- just those who do not personally know me) there has been some misconceptions about how I feel about prescription pain medicine that I need to clear up. 

I am happy to say that I have MADE IT 3 weeks! Whew! It has been a tough, painful and mostly boring 3 weeks, BUT it has also been 3 weeks full of feeling loved by so many of you, grateful for the meals, sweet gifts and serving our family in so many ways, moments of fun and getting out and about (usually followed by more pain because I pushed it) and praising God for His ultimate goodness with good news and great reminders of His faithfulness.

With that being said, I am starting week 4 with REST – going back to the boring of sitting on my couch or on the bed and doing a whole lot of nothing… except – blogging, doing this bible study (SO GOOD!!), listening to my favorite Spotify playlist (this one!), reading magazines and watching Friends for the first time. Yes, you heard that right… I am 31 years old and I have NEVER watched one episode of Friends. I’m on episode 11 – yes I’ve only gotten through 11- 20 minute episodes in 3 weeks – I don’t watch much TV to begin with – but I have thoroughly enjoyed it so far! The hairstyles and fashion crack me up since Season 1 was 22 years ago, so that makes it even more fun to watch! One other thing that I thought I would be doing a ton of these past few weeks is reading, I typically read ALOT, but for whatever reason I haven’t done much of that other than the good ole Bible. At least I’m still reading that one! 😉 We’re hopefully headed to the beach for Memorial Day as long as I’m doing better and I’ll surely catch up on my reading while we’re there.

Update on a few things…this may be a bit boring, but I want to be able to remember this and encourage others in the future who may have to have this same surgery.

*Toddler-life – its fun, but so hard! I can’t push a stroller or pick him up and its hard. I often have to isolate myself because he just doesn’t understand that Mommy can’t pick him up or that he can “play” with Mommy. Play translates in being rough. It has gotten better though. He (most of the time) understands that mommy has boo-boos and can sometimes be careful. We do enjoy snuggles watching paw patrol and playing outside while I sit an watch – he always wants an audience. 🙂 Picking up and playing will hopefully resume in about 2-3 weeks!!

*Surgery progress – I have tissue expanders in and will start getting them filled next week and continue a couple of more times in the coming weeks. I will have another surgery to remove expanders and put in implants around August sometime.

*Vegan diet… see my last post (the 1st of many to come!) – its going well. A lot of sweet friends have agreed to make me dinner for the past 3 weeks and make it vegan. Every single dish has been absolutely DELICIOUS!! I can’t wait to write more vegan posts. I have gotten two new cookbooks from friends… cooking, when I can lift my arms again, is going to be so much fun!

*Pain – FINALLY being managed!! I really thought I would never get to this point because of how much pain I have been in the past few weeks, but we’re making progress! I have went from taking 2 pain meds every 4 hours around the clock and a muscle relaxer every 8 hours to taking 1 pain med every 4-6 hours with a muscle relaxer as needed to NOW taking a pain med (or sometimes just half!) every 6-8 hours, muscle relaxer as needed, and Motrin in between the pain med. GOAL – get down to only having to take Motrin and muscle relaxer as needed (muscle relaxer is not a narcotic – so better to take these than pain med if I can handle it) and then just Motrin and then nothing at all!! Woohoo!! Last night Steven forgot to set his alarm to wake me up for medicine and I woke up at 6am freaking out and afraid I would be in a lot of pain, but I wasn’t! I was in pain, but it wasn’t bad and I went almost 8 hours with nothing. That is HUGE!! It gave me the confidence I needed to continue reducing the amounts of medicine I’m taking.

*Anxiety – doing much better! I have had a few “bluesy” feeling days this past week where I’ve been super anxious and just sad. I keep having to remember that THIS IS NORMAL after a surgery like this. I went from going 90+ miles an hour everyday with a packed schedule full of toddler things, work, tennis, bible studies, exercise, cooking, being a wife and mom and 100 million other things to doing absolutely nothing. 0 mph. Who wouldn’t feel like they were going CRAZY sitting here all day. Not to mention feeling completely helpless when your husband or friend or random stranger (yep I’ve had to ask a random stranger in the bathroom to unbutton my romper once, open the bathroom door, push the soap dispenser, to name a few)… the helpless feeling has been so hard to be completely honest. I know others can and want to help, but there’s something about not being able to do it yourself that is maddening. Especially my hair… which I have figured out how to curl it without lifting my elbow from my hip – PRAISE HANDS!! Thank goodness for long hair and my hair stylist who is absolutely precious and has re-learned how to use velcro rollers and made my day washing and drying it a few times!! Anyway, back to anxiety. It’s better, but there’s a Xanax there if needed and I have no shame if I need it. Will I need to use it forever? Nope. I don’t even have any refills on it, BUT its there when things get too tough – and I’d like to say I’m pretty darn tough so that takes a lot for me to get to that position. BUT even if I wasn’t as tough as I think I am 😉 thats OK too!

Ok, so here’s where I will very bluntly talk about pain meds… read this if you don’t read anything else on this blog ever again. 

Pain meds… I don’t know if I have talked about it too much or too candidly or what, but I received an email asking to promote a website with drug rehab resources on my blog today. YALL. This is not ok. This is not what I am promoting (taking and using prescription medicine) AT ALL. I am going to have to go back and re-read/edit/do something to make sure that no-one else gets this misconception about me because this is not me at all. I wish I knew each of you out there in the cyberspace blog world and could sit down personally and get to know each other, but the reality is I can’t, so I need to make this statement known very, very clearly. Prescription pain medicine or just prescription medicine in general of any type is dangerous, especially when there is absence of physical pain, but even then you have to be careful. It kills and it damages others who you love. In the past couple of years, I have seen prescription pain meds be abused and end 2 marriages. TWO – and that’s just with people I know in my tiny world of life. I am truly sorry if I have written some blog posts that seem to promote the usage of prescription pain medicine, this isn’t and was never my intent to do so. Personally, I am using medicine temporarily to help alleviate pain from major surgery and they have served that purpose and none other than that for me. Please, if you need help, talk to a trusted friend or family member OR google drug rehab and I guarantee you more than enough resources will show up and be very ready and willing to help you, free of charge! It’s just not worth it to take pain medicine when it is unwarranted and hurt your life and those who are close to you. 

Whew! Y’all, sorry that got a little heavy but now I am freaking out thinking my influence from this blog is promoting something that I whole-heartedly do not believe. I am so sorry if I have led you to believe this. Thankfully, many people have given me some great pain and anxiety alternatives that I will post about soon. I much prefer a natural, healthier alternative in any circumstance. (I know that those of you who know me personally already know this!) Other than relieving the pain, being on pain meds SUCK. Don’t even bother googling the side effects, I’ll just tell you that its not fun and not worth it if you don’t need it, hence why I am trying to get off them not continue taking them. Sheesh! Did you know that in order to get a prescription it has to be handwritten for every refill. What does that mean to me? Well, it means my husband finding time to drive about 2 hours round trip (thank you Atlanta traffic!) to get said prescription. If I didn’t need it, we surely wouldn’t be making that trip! Until today, I have been so annoyed by this federal regulation of having a paper prescription, but now I am so thankful! It has been the biggest inconvenience for us, but now I have been exposed to the bigger picture outside of my little naive world and can see the seriousness. I’m sorry for this long rant and seemingly trying to help you understand how I really feel rather than what I may have miscommunicated, but I felt it necessary. Apparently my little blog about cancer has reached a little further than I intended, which I am very thankful but I will be very intentional for how I communicate tricky issues like this one in the future. 

Last thing I want to say about this… my stance on medicine. My family and I aren’t really “medicine takers.” We take medicine on an as needed basis for everything. I believe that FOOD is the absolute BEST way to manage any health problem, but that doesn’t mean that medicine at times is not necessary. What you do for your family and what I do for mine is what we have decided is BEST and that is great! I feel that the Lord gave doctors the knowledge to create medicine and when used in its right way will help- when its necessary. I love a good natural remedy or something that will help that doesn’t require modern medicine, but at the end of the day whatever you are doing is your decision and what I do is mine. You won’t ever see me question, challenge, or look down on you for your health decisions and if someone has before, gosh I am so sorry! Social media has made us all have too many opinions and feel the need to let everyone know that our opinion is the best one. What a nightmare. You do you, friends! Enjoy every minute of it too! However, if there are changes that you want or need to make, I’ll be your biggest cheerleader! I don’t do everything right (or what I think is “right”) and I’ll be the first to admit it. We are all in this together and I’ll be here cheering you on! Making it through the day alive is my biggest goal everyday – if you have or have had a toddler, I think you’ll agree. 😉

much, much love to all of you!! and a little grace for me. sheesh. this was an unexpectedly hard post!

Carly

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