Two Surgeries Down, One More Surprise Surgery Tomorrow
Dr. Foster extracts the last JP drain
Post-Op turns into a Pre-Op appointment
That's right, I found out today I get to go under the knife one more time and that time is tomorrow. A quick time, I hope. Well, I don't know how many knives will be involved, but I'm having a small surgery to fix my new belly button that seems to be growing deeper and deeper and is having some healing issues.
So back into the city we go tomorrow. They even bumped someone else to get me in as soon as possible. I'm not looking forward to another procedure, but if we take care of this sooner rather than later, I can heal, heal, heal and maybe even get in at least one camping trip this summer.
"You're the first person who has ever asked me not to give them a new belly button," said Plastic Surgeon Dr. Foster at my appointment today.
"Well, see? I told you it wasn't worth it." I figured. "Do I really need it for anything medically?"
"Well, no." He said.
Prior to the surgery, he had explained creating a new belly button was a matter of maintaining a normal appearance, bringing balance to my stomach. But who really cares if I have a belly button or not? With my waist-to-waist scar, it's not like I'm going to don a bikini any time soon.
Do you want nipples?
Then another "typical body appearance" question: "I can't remember. Do you want nipples? Because we could do that tomorrow at the same time," said the doctor.
"Nope." Why would I want permanently raised nipples. Too many women are self-conscious about raised nipples showing through a shirt, dress, bra. I suppose I'm no different. So, no, I don't want knobby nipples placed permanently raised on my new breasts.
"What about areola? You could have those tattooed on," he asked.
"Nah. What's the point?" I suppose these things -- belly button, nipples, areola -- are supposed to make me feel more normal, but very simply, my body is no longer normal. My body has been cut, sliced, sewn, stretched, scraped, poked and prodded. Enough is enough.
Aside from planning tomorrow's surgery, today was focussed on removing the numerous stitches on my breasts and removing the final of four Jackson Pratt drains. This last drain was attached to my abdomen on the right side and I was very happy to be rid of this thing hanging off my body.
First, Dr. Foster numbed the area (even though my skin is already pretty numb in my belly area) with some spray foam stuff. After that sat on the skin for a few moments and he clipped the stitching holding the tube to my abdomen, with gloved hands, he grabbed hold of the outer tubing and gently pulled out the surprisingly long (about a foot long, I guess) inner, more broad, white tubing that collected post-surgery fluids and carried it into the drains that I empty and measure the volume of bloody liquid two to three times each day.
Last week when he pulled out the other three drains (one on each breast and another attached to my left abdomen), it didn't really hurt or feel like much. This time, I physically felt more; I felt a little pain as the tubing exited my body. It was like my body had begun growing around the tube and was holding onto it more after three weeks of having it inside. You can watch the video of this process.
Am I hungry?
Tonight, as I prepare for another surgery tomorrow, I'm suddenly hungry at the thought that I can't eat or drink anything after midnight and my surgery isn't scheduled until tomorrow afternoon around 4 p.m. It's going to be like fasting for Yom Kippur and I'm generally not very successful at that. Luckily, I haven't been eating large meals lately.
More significantly, I can't take any pain medication after midnight tonight. Everything is going to really hurt by tomorrow afternoon and that's the frightening part. Wish me luck.
And again, my mom is kicking into action and staying at our house with the kids until we return from the hospital. Thanks, mom.
I must admit, I began the phone conversation with my mom this afternoon with a bad practical joke.
"Mom, I have to have another surgery tomorrow."
"We just left Dr. Foster and he said they have to take my stomach out of my tits and replace it with fat from my buttocks."
I'm such a bitch.
"What!" I love pulling my mom's leg, but this time I knew it would be too cruel to carry on. My mom is really easy in this respect, or maybe I'm a good actress.
"No, mom. Actually, he just wants to fix my belly button." She was relieved, but didn't like the idea of my being knocked out.
See you on the other side...again!
Mark's bad joke of the day..."Raising Cane"
No comments yet.
More by this Author
Mom acted like a total bitch on the fourth day in the hospital, eventually picking a fight, but perhaps it was partly because of her worrying about her own health.
A new friend, a breast cancer survivor, recently wrote to me and asked what advice I had to offer anyone preparing for a TRAM Flap surgery. I realized, I've been writing about my experience of having this barbaric...
It's been nearly 11 months since I had my prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and TRAM Flap reconstruction and I'm finally getting another update about my health and the effects of my surgery.