Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Day of Surgery

This gets graphic. You've been warned.

So I went into surgery knowing pretty much exactly what would happen. And that I'd be awake for it. But knowledge is different from experience.

First, the surgeon marked on my chest and told me that he'd be leaving some or most of the remaining breast/fatty tissue intact and just try to contour it so it helps smooth out my pectus excavatum. This worried me, as that's the reason I still had the tissue in the first place and it wasn't in the right area to do as he said it should. But of course I let him do as he thought best.

He numbed me up with lidocaine and got right to it. A couple of times I let him know that I felt a pinch and he'd pull out the syringe again. Mostly I just felt pressure though. It was the absolutely strangest thing ever. Not unlike the dentist in that you don't feel pain, only some pressure. But different in that I could tell he was cutting off soft tissue. And I could feel the stitches pulling tight.

The surgeon started on my right side, trimming the excess skin away. Then he "purse stitched" the remaining nipple area to the other area and drew the edges together. Again, strangest feeling ever. He then realized that my pectus would not allow his grand plan to work and decided he'd have to go back in to remove most of the remaining tissue. Then the gathering process all over again. *shudder*

The left side was much smoother, as he knew what he needed to do, and there was no back-tracking. Again there were a couple of occasions where I could feel a pinch of pain, but generally, just the pressure of cutting and sewing.

During the whole process- which took close two hours- the surgeon, his nurse and I talked about a number of things. We discussed politics predominantly. He talked about how he went to caucus last night and how inefficient the process seemed. I told him that I chickened out when I saw the crowds. We discussed how appalling and unbelievable the whole idea of Trump is. He made and interesting point about how perhaps this country/ the republican party needs to hit rock bottom (i.e. Trump) in order to rebuild into something more manageable. An interesting point, but I'd rather not get there.

We also discussed trail running, as my surgeon is super fit, and apparently runs Mount Sanitas on his lunch breaks. It's only about 3 miles, but it's steep and rated as strenuous. He also has a tendency to do Iron Man races. So yeah. We discussed how I'd like to do some official trail races and I know someone who is running the Leadville 100. He said something to the effect that 100 miles is just too long. I asked him if he'd done any ultramarathons and the answer was yes, a few 50 milers. So apparently, he has a limit. Cool.

We also briefly discussed his cat problem. He had two cats for a few years that were litter mates and recently one of them disappeared (likely eaten by a wild animal), so he got a kitten under the assumption that the older cat needed company. Apparently the older cat is quite unhappy about the new addition and seeks out ways to attack her. My doctor says the kitten sleeps on the bed with him and his wife and if they don't close the door, the other cat will sneak in and pounce on the kitten, waking everyone up with sudden yowls. An amusing image to be sure, but certainly a real problem too. I mentioned that I know female cats to be pretty territorial, but I don't know many tricks to make them play nice. The wife has already decided to call an animal behaviorist. Hopefully that helps.

So now I'm back home, wrapped up in an ace bandage, waiting for the lidocaine to wear off fully. I have a prescription for norco if needed, but I think I'll be okay with ibuprofen. I will probably have some swelling and bruising, hence the compression wrap. I am allowed to shower after 24 hours, and I have to keep wrapped until I can go in to see him in two weeks. I cannot wait to take the bandages off tomorrow to see how it looks.

All will be well and I'm excited to be near the end.

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