Sleeping in my own bed was bliss! My pillows were indeed a fantastic substitute for a remote-controlled bed. I had the best sleep. Still had to stick to sleeping on the right side of my head as where the wires were connected on the left was still too painful but it was amazing nonetheless.

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I felt wiped out once home & though the temptation was to get back to normality Immediately, I was just too tired. I slept in a good few times as I had no nurses checking me out doing my observations, although I’m not complaining about this. I’m happy they looked after me but it was great not being disturbed. Also no lights on at 6am big bonus! That said, my daughter (Megan) was picked up every morning for school & I have to say I started feeling lonely & a little down after a couple of days having nobody there. I had to look after myself straight away, well only till mid afternoon when I was picked up by my step dad & taken to my mum’s. My mum would go straight from work to pick Megan up then make us all tea back at her house! She’d then take us back home after tea. I felt bad for them running around after me & working full-time. This was the routine for a week & a half getting me over the worst! Thanks Mum & Keith 😜👍🏻

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Thursday 9th Feb: I could wash my hair again with the surgical stuff, This hair saga was really starting to get me down. The knots were not going anywhere so I tried conditioning just the knots to see if that would work. I still wasn’t supposed to use normal stuff but wasn’t putting it on my scalp. It didn’t work & I tried for about 4 hours throughout the day but got myself stressed out & emotional. My head was hurting with all the tugging, even though I was trying to prevent any. On this day I’d decided to stay in & wait for Megan  to come home from school & save my stepdad a trip. My mum would then come & pick us both up to go for tea. By the time Megan walked in from school I’d had enough. She came upstairs & tried to help me with my hair but I burst into tears. I said I would just have to cut the two parts out. She convinced me to call the hairdressers & bless her, comforted me. I called a local hairdressers & arranged to go over. My Mum took me for them to assess the situation. She said it was too soon to try & get them out as my head was sore, so to leave it till I could wash my hair properly & that hopefully I would be able to avoid cutting them out. It would take a good couple of hours at least! I took the advice & just had to wait till my stitches came out & I could wash it properly & try again.

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I went through the process of working with my new body & trying to accept the changes & weird feelings while healing at the same time. Always remaining positive but deep down scared at how I was going to look once everything was settled. I had to get used to remembering to ‘charge myself’ every night & charge the charger as I have a rechargeable battery fitted. The other kind was even bigger than this one so my surgeon applied for funding to get me the smaller one with me being smaller than average. I’m so grateful it was approved!

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This is how I charge the battery. Through a flat pad type thing attached to a device that connects to my internal battery! Crazy!

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By Saturday 11th Feb, I was really fed up. The anaesthetic can make you emotional & I was definitely feeling low. I had no motivation & still really tired which I was told would be the case for a while. It was getting me down not leaving the house though, other than to my mum’s. I asked my mum if we could go out for a couple of hours somewhere so she came to pick me up. It was the last day to wash my hair in the shitty stuff & I was once again defeated by it. My mum came for me while I was still fighting with the mess & trying to get it to look ok for being out in public! She insisted we cut little bits free to make it more comfortable & hang better as it was looped up & pulling. It looked ridiculous! Much to my better judgement I let her. It helped a little but it upset me seeing it all there on the side. Both Megan & my Mum assured me you wouldn’t be able to tell but more than a few strands is too much in my book. I’m very precious about my hair to say the least!

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Before being butchered against my will 😜
‘It’s only this much’ WHAAAT??? 😱😭
After… And breathe! Ok, it did look & feel better. No way was I having the other side done though! I hid this one over the top for the photo

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We went for lunch & a wander in a couple of shops. We were out for four hours in total. It was great to be out but my old baggy too big jeans I’d decided to wear were a bit of an ambitious choice & were  hurting my stomach so I had to walk around with the zip open. I was exhausted by the end of it but happy I’d been out.

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Sunday 12th Feb: I saw family today so that was lovely & my cousin decided to come & stay over instead of coming the day after. I was so happy it was school holidays for a week from the Monday,  just what I needed with the way I was feeling & meant my cousin could stay as our daughters get on great and so do we. It was great. We had wine, treats, a great night relaxing & girl talk! It made me feel normal again for the first time in what felt like a while. We had a good Monday too ending in a nice carvery out before they had to leave. 👍🏻 Thank you Tricia, Freje, & Albie 😘

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My stitches were to be removed tonight at 7pm, so my dad was coming to take me to the appointment. I got a call shortly before I was due to be there. I was told the nurse would have gone by the time I got there! This is who needed to remove them. It was a health care assistant who called me & she wasn’t sure she could do it as it wasn’t a ‘common thing’ So  we ended up going there for nothing as she took one look & said they weren’t the usual stitches & it wasn’t straight forward. There were 5 different sites to remove from. So a wasted trip. Had to go back the next day.

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Tuesday 14th Feb: I pointed out all the areas to the nurse & she set to work. I was sure she was missing some in my head so I asked twice & pointed to where I was sure there was more but I was told they were all out. But… if I did feel or see anything blue to just go back!!! Well an hour later, my friend Jen who took me there had a look for me & sure enough she’d left some in the exact spot I pointed out to her & Jen. Jen found them straight away! About an hour later we were  back & Jen pointed out where they were. She looked & was surprised she had missed a whole row of them! After taking them out she asked Jen if she wanted to check to see if they were all out. We just looked at each other & smirked in disbelief! We walked out holding in bewildered laughs! ‘Do you want to just check’ omg, she’s a teaching assistant, not a nurse… again, I don’t like to sound like I’m complaining it was just one of those moments where you think hmm! Lovely lady though 😊

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The wounds were covered & left so it would be another 24 hours before removing them, being able to clean them, have a good look at my battery & main scar & most importantly wash my hair properly!

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Today was also Valentine’s Day. Long distance relationships aren’t the best! Megan had a lovely romantic day planned with her boyfriend so I played gooseberry; third wheeling it’s called today, I need to get down with the kids! Bless them! At least I was included, not that they had a choice 😜

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The reveal… 13 days post op! My head was remarkable. To say I thought I was going to have two largish bald patches I was so happy my scars were concealed very well. It took two days of washing my hair gently as it was still sore so couldn’t give it the good scrub it needed. Unfortunately, although I left the last knot to give it some TLC, after about 4 hours in total of washing, combing in the shower gently then having to get out & sit to continue. It all just started falling out just as I was making good progress! I was upset but just had to get over it. It felt great to eventually have my hair back to almost normality. A few tiny scabs remaining in the root meant more loss over the next few washes but then it was eventually back to normal. Still tender but improving each time. My chest scar was tiny and my tummy was worse than I could have imagined to look at but amazingly healed. The battery looked huge & I was unsure but determined to stay positive. I WILL get my stomach back, I will just have an extra unique feature!! 😊

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A perfect scar. Healing perfection I’d say. All my healthy eating helps to heal & here’s the proof 😜👌🏻
Tiny scar here where they have connected the upper wires to make them long enough to reach from my brain to my stomach!
I can’t believe how neat this is. So much so you can’t see the scars on the picture. There was a lot of scabs… gross I know 😬😳
Hmmm… so here it is everyone. Meet my new addition ‘little alien’. I will learn to love it! ❤👽🤖

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The rest of the week I was pretty much up & down emotionally. The wounds & healing process physically was just perfect! Pain & swelling was improving each day, I’d stopped taking regular paracetamol, it was mostly in the morning & night now. Emotionally however, I was still very much up & down. Even though I wasn’t alone as much with Megan being on half term, she had plans with her friends which is great, I wouldn’t expect her to stay in with me all the time. When she wasn’t at home, I honestly couldn’t be bothered to leave my bedroom! This is so not me so I started feeling angry with myself for being so pathetic! This made me feel worse. I continued to feel like this on & off for a while but was determined to try & look after myself still, by eating healthily & taking my fruit, veg and berry capsules the whole time, flooding my body with antioxidents and healing power! I was and still am determined to get my stomach back looking good! Being so inactive made me feel rubbish but knowing I was eating right mostly & looking after my body from the inside was the best & least thing I could do! I didn’t feel confident to go out alone for a walk, and the weather was awful! On the plus side. The day I could wear a towel on my head after my shower felt amazing & was a turning point. It really is the little things! 😊

Feeling great! #thelittlethings

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Fast forward to Friday 3rd march-my first proper time out. London!!! I was going to see Adam for the weekend & had a lift with his family so no stress. I was so excited to be getting out & about. I had a great weekend. Being back in life felt amazing. Just what I needed.

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A couple of glasses of wine out and I feel human again 💃🏼🍷👌🏻

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This brings me up to date… eventually! From here I intend to keep you up to date with progress. I go back to have my battery turned up every so often. As mentioned previously, this can take up to a year as it has to be done very slowly to avoid side effects. It’s an exciting but scary process but I’m remaining hopeful & positive for my 100% success story. I intend to work my stomach to look as good as it did before by continuing with my healthy diet, my capsules & adding in exercise as soon as I can to continue to be the best I can be!

Till next time, keep healthy!

Rachel x

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