Friday, March 28, 2014

Two Years And Counting

Today is my second anniversary. Not my wedding anniversary. Not my blogaversary (which was earlier this month, now that I think about it). I guess you could say it's my boobaversary. Because two years ago today, I had mine removed and replaced, thanks to a jellybean-sized tumor.

Here's where things stand, two years later.

The new boobs (are they still new? Let's see, the original ones were 51, although they didn't actually make much of an appearance until I was about 13, so by my calculations, even as sketchy as my math skills are, I'd say two years are still new) are still beautiful. Perky. Firm.

The tummy tuck, a by-product of my tram flap reconstruction, is still tucked.

The incision that goes from the back of one hip bone to the other, across my tummy, and which measures about 26 inches, is faded but still tender. Like when I sneeze. Or cough. Or try to sit straight up (which I can't do, but I still TRY sometimes). Or turn over in bed. The really fun one is trying to wallow out of the bathtub from my reclining position against my cushy bath pillow. No description could do it justice like a video would. And no, I am NOT going to video it.

I'm still numb from about an inch above my new bellybutton to four inches below it, and about 8 inches across.

And the boobies? Completely numb. Pretty, but numb.

Here's just a little part of the story from two years ago:

Day 2: It Only Hurts When I Move
originally published April 10, 2012

pain meds... yesss.....
Being hospitalized wouldn't be so bad, if it weren't for the surgery part. Friends come to see you. You get flowers and presents. Push a button, and a nurse comes to see you. With a wave of your finger from your hospital bed throne, someone will adjust the covers, the thermostat, bring you fresh ice water.  And if I laid reallllly still, I could even forget that I had had surgery....

Thanks to the narcotics, even though I couldn't focus my eyes, I had a great day with Kristin. We took lots of pictures, and she approved all of my facebook posts. It's nice having a nurse be your babysitter. Every time I bent my left elbow, I set off an alarm for squishing my IV, and she was able to push the reset button and make it stop. A valuable skill, because I did it often. 

I got a breakfast tray that morning. Chicken broth, coffee (me, really?), grape juice, red jello, and this little cup of frozen, pink Italian dessert. I ate a few bites of jello and tried the Italian dessert. It was a non-descript pink flavor. Very sweet. Very mediocre. I passed. Lunch was the same thing, only they shook it up with beef broth and orange jello and yellow Italian dessert. I sipped a little broth, but it was so salty that I felt like I'd been brined. A bite or two of jello. I had high hopes for the Italian dessert this time, because I thought it would taste like the frozen lemonade you can get at amusement parks. Instead, it tasted like frozen Formula 409. I was sorry I had dissed the pink Italian dessert that morning. Dinner was the exact same thing. Bleh. Fortunately, I wasn't hungry. And THAT's a good thing, because Kristin decided to forego hospital food for dinner and ordered a Domino's pizza and ate it in front of me. VERY fortunate that I wasn't hungry. I will admit that it smelled divine.

My in-laws brought the kids to see me that evening. My son sat in the corner and chewed on his fingers the entire time. My daughter sat on my bed and talked the entire time. They are such polar opposites.  There was a sweet tea fiasco that I won't go into, because it makes me look shallow and unappreciative, and we can't have THAT. 

Kristin seemed to take to sleeping in the recliner rather well. I hadn't taken to sleeping on my back in a hospital bed, so I was awake. A lot. At one point, while watching helicopters go over, I realized that if I needed the nurse, I was screwed, because Kristin fell asleep with the tv remote, which meant she also had the call button. I scrutinized my tray table, trying to decide what I would throw at her if I needed to get her attention.

Both of my doctors are early risers and freakishly cheerful in the mornings. Dr. Bumberry came in first, mostly just patted my leg and asked if I were doing okay. He had a cute little Mizzou scrub hat on that, sadly, covered the lovely red hair. When he left, Kristin looked at me and said, "Is he, like, 26?" Doogie. Doogie Bumberry. Personally, I think he has a painting of himself in his attic that ages for him.

As gently as Dr. Bumberry came in that morning, Dr. Geter was just the opposite. He threw on the overhead light, and with a big smile, began pulling the bandages off of me. He assured me I had been shaved before the surgery, but I hadn't been skinned, so the tape removal hurt like a sonofabitch. I looked down when he was done. I had a happy face-shaped incision that began around my side at one hipbone and ended at the other, falling a little over an inch below my belly button. Well, not MY belly button but A belly button. Mine had looked nothing like the one I now had. I don't know whether or not that's an improvement, but I do know that Dr. Geter was very proud of the way it turned out. He pulled off the bandages on my chest next, and lo and behold, there were BOOBIES there. There was an incision across the equator of each one that ended where a nipple would be. The nipple area was inset with a piece of skin from somewhere. My stomach? Gave me a peculiar patchwork look. Dr. Geter was proud of these as well. He said, "They're the same size as the old ones. Actually, they're a little bigger. There was more to work with than I thought." WHAT? I thought I was pretty distinct when I said I wanted them to look small and perky like Jennifer Aniston's. Kristin later told me she saw my face fall when he said they were bigger than expected. 

No backsies....