• Lift and Balance?

    Asked by MarcieB on Friday, November 6, 2020

    Lift and Balance?

    Today I will be having a Covid test to clear me for elective surgery this coming Monday. They call it a *Lift and Balance,* but it is basically a breast reduction so I will match my lumpectomy side. It will be done on my right breast and I wasn't the least concerned about it until I took on a project that requires a lot of fine detail painting. I am painting Christmas ornaments to raise money for a mission that feeds children in Central America. I have painted these ornaments for years and I primarily use my wrist (not my whole arm, like canvas painting), but I do brace my arm against my side - and I am right handed. Of course, the holidays are coming so there is limited time these ornaments will be in demand, I need to put out as many as I can and I am worried the recovery from this procedure could interfere with that? Has anyone out there had this done? I am just wondering what to expect. I will post a picture of some of my ornaments on the pinboard so you can see what I mean.

    17 Answers from the Community

    17 answers
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      I'm having a COVID test today today for my second cataract surgery next week. I do watercolors and have continued despite my diminished vision. Looking at your ornaments, I would think that you could "adjust" because we humans are more adaptive than we realize. The trick might be to place the ornament in egg carton so that it's secure and then you can place it on whatever height surface that you need. Best wishes with surgery on Monday.

      24 days ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      Wishing you the best of luck Marcie and Jane. You are both incredibly talented women. I have the greatest faith you can both adapt and overcome whatever is thrown your way.

      24 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Good luck to you both.

      24 days ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      Good luck, Marcie!!! I will be remembering you in my prayers.

      Your work is gorgeous!!!! And the cause behind it - wonderful!! I sure hope your surgery won't affect your art, especially those gorgeous ornaments!

      23 days ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      MarcieB, your ornaments are wonderful. Have you discussed this painting project with your surgeon or primary doctor to get their opinions on how this activity will effect your healing after the surgery? Their answer will give you a time frame to work with. Any amount of ornaments you donate will certainly provide a brighter Christmas for the purchasers and a welcome donation to the mission. Don’t hurry the time it takes you to recover, there is always next year. I will be thinking of you tomorrow . Sending oodles of support.

      22 days ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      Thank you Lynne, I did talk to my doctors about painting and they told me I could judge for myself if it was uncomfortable or not (like, I didn't know that?!) - they just kept re-stating that I cannot lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk with my right arm. Paintbrushes are not heavy...Lol! So, I am thinking I might be fine to resume later in the week. I have to admit I am now questioning my decision to have this done? Then I lift my tee and check out my chest in the mirror...and I feel like I am doing the right thing. I just want to get it over, I hate having a day begin without coffee!

      22 days ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      I've been thinking about you, MarcieB. Please let us know how you're doing when you feel up to it.

      JaneA, when is your surgery?

      21 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      MarcieB, so, are you lifted and balanced now? I hope you’re feeling well and that any pain is minimal or well-medicated.

      19 days ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      I am lifted and balanced...or I should be once all the swelling goes down! I have to tell you, it is a bit more painful than I anticipated. I don't want to sound like a baby, but the truth is - it hurts. And I am supposed to keep this compression bra on at least until I see the doctor for follow up next Tuesday. I just can't do it - the bottom elastic hits right where my incision is, which is basically the entire bottom of my breast (and we are not even going to talk about what is going on with my nipple - I look like the bride of Frankenstein). I honestly thought this would be a piece of cake compared to all the cancer stuff, but it turned out to be a bigger deal. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn't have decided to do it if I had known. I am grateful there is no infection and hoping things will get easier. I can physically paint my ornaments, I just don't want to! All I want to do is sit perfectly still...

      18 days ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      @Marcie. I am sorry to hear this has been so rough for you. I am sure I probably stating the obvious, but perhaps you could put some extra gauze or dressing across the incision to help prevent so much rubbing from the compression bra. My dr. wrapped me in a huge bandage. If you have an extra long, extra large bandage where you can mummy wrap yourself, perhaps that would work for you. I don't know if you mean you have an actual "bra" or you have a giant compression bandage. I used an abdominal pad and folded it over and put it at the bottom of my bandage/bra to reduce rubbing. Check that area on occasion to be sure you aren't getting any infection.
      Maybe even a small washcloth or a small sock could be put there to just add some padding.
      I am just suggesting things I did.

      Hugs to you. Hope you feel better soon.

      18 days ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      What luck that I checked here before going into the bathroom to wrestle with that bra! (yes, it is a very snug bra that closes in the front). Thank you for all the suggestions, Jen, I found some sterile gauze left over from my original surgery and it was just the right size. It DOES reduce the rubbing and I think the snug bra helps my breast from moving when I move (which, I think is the point!). I know this will pass, but every time I look at my nipple (you don't want to know), I wonder what I was thinking when I asked for this!

      18 days ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      I'm sorry this is difficult, MarcieB. I hope you are comfortable very soon and that you'll be happy with the results in the end.

      18 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      MarcieB, I’m sorry, too, that you’re in pain. And glad that legaljen1969’s info was so helpful. I hope that once everything heals, your nipple will look much better.

      18 days ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      Oh MarcieB, I am so glad legaljen1969 had suggestions to help!!! Makes me happy!! I hope the pain has subsided a bit after taking some different actions to prevent the rubbing.

      I am glad you can syill paint and pray you will feel better soon and can resume using that wonderful talent you have.

      18 days ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      I'm glad my suggestions helped. My surgeon and my home health nurses after the mastectomy made sure I had plenty of supplies. Yes, the point of your super snug bra is so your breast doesn't move when you do. Like I said, I was mummy wrapped with an ace bandage- the ultimate "wrap around bandeau top" or "tube bra." I had a few of them.

      Sorry about the nipple issue. I don't have any answers for that one my dear.

      I was constantly trying to reduce rubbing and discomfort near my incision site. After having a bad experience with cellulitis from a surgery years ago, I am quite meticulous about making sure any incision is clean and that nothing rubs against it or irritates it. I had regular surgical gauze, non-stick sterile bandages, large ones, smalls ones. All sorts. The last time I went for post-surgical check before I was cleared to go back to work, I had an ABD pad over the incision, tape about half away around my body to keep it in place, about 8 pieces of gauze toward the bottom of my mummy wrap. My surgeon cracked up. She said it was like one of those magician's hats where the scarves just keep coming out.

      If you need any more tips, let me know!!

      18 days ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar
      Teachertina

      This is exactly why I love this site! Helping each other through the hard times and giving extra support when it’s needed the most! Good luck MarcieB with your healing. I hope each day will be a little bit better than the day before. Be sure to post some of your new art too, when you can!

      11 days ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar
      Teachertina

      Jane, how are you doing now?

      11 days ago

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