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Postop Day 5, Breast Redux

Fixing my boobs seems to have broken my brain. When will I feel and look good, again? 2030? I'm an impatient patient.

(Photo by Laker from Pexels) **Not my actual breasts.


I was a Physician Assistant in surgery for thirteen years. I've assisted in thousands of cases- primarily pelvic surgeries- hysterectomies, cesarean sections, cystectomies, myomectomies, prostatectomies- but also in myriad colorectal (colectomies), general surgery (herniorrhaphies, cholecystectomies, mastectomies), vascular and orthopedic surgeries, and and plastic surgeries (abdominoplasties, mastopexies, and reduction mammaplasties). I always worked in the hospital, so I would see patients before surgery, during surgery, and if they were recovering in-patient, for the immediate days following surgery. I never followed them home or to rehab, I never saw them in follow-up in the clinics. I only ever saw the same patient twice if they came back with a complication or for additional surgery down the road. When I worked privately, I often called patients a few days postop to check in and answer questions, and to try to circumvent problems, but I never truly had a sense of how people felt/looked in the weeks after surgery. So now that I'm a patient, I have to tell you, I've never fully appreciated how much surgery takes out of a person. And mine was minor- like, really, really minor- they didn't go into my abdomen, my heart or brain, through any muscle, into any joints. My plastic surgeon and his team of strangers kept it light and tight, cutting through skin and fat, removing swaths of fat, and rearranging it, injecting a fat-liquifying serum and sucking it up through a tiny vacuum. I can cognize all of that, and still, I'm five days out and all I want to do is sleep and complain. I've been spoiled beyond all reason- my mum, The Amazing Brenda, flew across the country to pet my head and feed me toast, and reassure me that my Frankenstein's monster titties aren't too horrifying. She's also doing all this cleaning and caring for my children and we're having these great conversations and seeing some nearby sites, and having her here just generally making things grand and easy on me. My dad will be really surprised when I tell him that I'm keeping her. Sorry/not sorry. My husband has been divine and the kids have been gentle (and in school during the days- blessed be). So I've just been able to lie around and watch reruns of "Monk" and wrap my chest in complicated bras and ice packs.

I'm off of all narcotics, I'm full of sleep, and yet my brain can only concentrate on something for a few minutes. I have amazing people currently out in their corners of the world reading and editing my manuscriipt, and I want to take this opportunity of lying around to be working on their suggestions, but I just cannot brain right now. It won't let me. I can play Two Dots on my phone and watch for places I've been in San Francisco in "Monk," but otherwise, I'm just a lump of healing tissue, propped up on the couch with nipples reaching toward the heavens.


The body healing from trauma diverts all its energies to the injury. It's harkening me back to the days immediately post vaginally delivering my children into the world- I assumed I was spacey and exhausted because I had non-sleeping newborns, but it was probably also the shock to the system that all that pain and injury to my nethers caused--- that's exacerbated, of course, if major surgery- a c-section- is required. It's a miracle women can recover from that while caring for the neediest of needlings...and be expected to, like, talk, and walk and whatnot.


Eventually, if/when I go back to working in surgery, I will have even more compassion for my patients as they recover. Now I know that each of them will need their own couches and Brenda's and sheet cakes.


I'll post more soon, and pics!! Stay tuned.



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