I was hooked up to a portable V.A.C. machine (http://www.kci1.com/35.asp), from December 7th 2007 until January 24th 2008 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Except for the few hours every three days that my husband spent pulling the specialized foam from the open wounds in my chest, cutting new pieces and putting the plastic and suction tubes back on, I carried this thing around with me as it slowly healed my chest.
It uses low level vacuum pressure to close the wounds and pull out dead tissue and fluids. In all honesty I think it saved my life. Up until the point that the surgeon’s nurse suggested it, I had been packing the open wounds with saline-soaked gauze three times a day. Even though i was grateful for the machine, it still made a soft clattering sound that was a constant reminder that I had made this choice and it was my fault that this was happening to, not only myself, but my husband and my sons.
During those months, I became even more depressed than I previously was. I think that I’m still suffering from what is called “situational depression”. I don’t like going to bed because during the day and evening there are so many distractions. When I go to bed, though, the distractions are gone and I’m left alone with my thoughts. Sometimes I can’t fall asleep until 3 am. Then I sleep until 11 and the cycle perpetuates itself.
I recognize depression in myself because there was a time when I loved cruising eBay. Now, I have little to no interest. I mean, I *could* look, but what’s the point? I’m not totally depressed. I still love my work and I’m excited about BoobCast. It just seems like some of the flavor has been taken out of the world.
I’m not the type to pin happiness on a situation. Such as, I don’t say things like “I’ll be happy when I get ________________”. I think I’m making an exception though. I’ll be happier when I don’t look at my chest in the mirror and feel mangled.
In the mean time…I’m batshit crazy.