Thursday, June 20, 2013


We had a major problem this morning.  I didn't say anything to my parents or kids because when it's bad stuff, I like to share it with them in past tense.  Later, I'll post a link to an image, but PLEASE be warned:  It's graphic.  Very graphic.

I slept in the recliner as instructed, to avoid problems.  I woke up early this morning and realized that my shirt was damp on my left side.  "Wow, I must have sweated a LOT."  Half asleep, I reached my hand under my shirt and realized it was thick and sticky.  Realization set in when I looked at my hand and saw blood.

I calmly walked into the bathroom and raised up my shirt.  What I saw sent me into full on panic mode.  My entire incision had opened up (about five inches across) and my implant was lying there, exposed.  I walked into the bedroom to try to figure out what to do.

I woke Kevin by saying, "Umm, my incision opened up."  He said "OK" and started trying to wake up.  He sounded pretty nonchalant, so I must not have sounded as scared as I was.  I was bandaging over it with a gauze pad and he offered to wrap me in an ace.  When he came over, I asked him to take a picture with my phone first.  He stepped around me, got one glimpse, and said, "Holy SHIT!"  Umm,  yeah.  That's what I was thinking.

He called the on-call doctor and she instructed him to leave me wrapped as he had done it, and come in as planned.  We were both so scared that we left early.  The staff at Shawnee Mission Surgery Center are amazing, and when Kevin told me what had happened, they took me back and got me changed and into a bed, all as I alternated between crying and shaking.

After the Wonderful Dr. Dillow came to see me, they gave me some medicine to relax me and some pain medication.  That seemed to help.  Around 1:00, they finally wheeled me back to the operating room and knocked me out.  I was out in an hour and Kevin was with me 45 minutes later.  Now I'm home.

He put in a new implant, since that one had been exposed.  According to him, I have about a 40% chance of this being a failure.  If it opens again, tomorrow or nine months from now, he cannot put another one in.  At that point, we give up on the implant and explore other reconstruction options.  All of the others are pretty major and involve a long recovery, so we're really hoping against that.

I'm trying not to be depressed.  It hasn't failed.  The problem is that my brain thought I had an 18% chance of failure, and I now know it's 40%.  That is a scary figure.  I'm just going to concentrate on the fact that I have a 60% chance of this working just fine.  I'm back in the sling.  Dr Wonderful said that it had NOTHING to do with anything I did.  He said that radiation beat my tissue down more than most people.  Dang.

Now, if you have a strong stomach and want to see what I saw in the mirror, click here.  You've been warned.


Donna said...

Wow. I get Cliff back on track (I hope) and now you are having problems. I am so sorry.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I'm coming over to your blog via your mom's this morning and just wanted to say you are in my thoughts and prayers. May the dear Lord bless you with healing. Keep the faith, all will be well.

nerves05 said...

Oh Rachael.. You poor thing. I bet that did freak you out..
In the picture it looks like a eye..
I always keep you in my thoughts and prayers..
I'll be glad when this is over for you...

Lois said...

I just checked out the photo. It looks like a really creepy eyeball. . . yikes. Thinking positive with you.

Tammy Johnson said...

Love you Rachel. Get well wishes and prayers. God please heal my precious friend.


Sorry to hear this. But hoping this current fix works. You are in my prayers.

Anita said...

Yep, that was a little creepy, but more interesting to see than not. I'm sorry, sorry, sorry about the setbacks you're having. However, please stay positive. You have so much life ahead of you and this will all, eventually, be a short episode in your life. Continued prayers for you.

ps. My 3rd C-section incision opened up. Just a half inch or so, and about 2 inches long. I was told that scar tissue was making it difficult to stick. They showed my how to scab into it with a Q-tip and that was it. I felt so proud to be able to stand it; it was actually easy.

Hoping that your skin and tissues will "stick" this time around!