An explanation...

Why Foob? I had a double mastectomy, and at the time, the plastic surgeon put "expanders" under the muscles in my chest. Every 2-3 weeks, they were filled with more saline, in preparation for my reconstructive surgery. They were very full and hard. Uncomfortable. One time, one of my sons gave me a hug and then said "Your foobs are hard!" Hee, hee, hee! My kids have this endearing habit of combining words. So, "Foobs" are fake boobs. Which I will still have, even after the reconstruction.

Foob Babe - that would be me!
"The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next." ~Mignon McLaughlin


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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Not What I Expected

It's been awhile since I updated this blog. As you all know, I had the reconstruction surgery last Friday. I've been in too much pain since then to even think about this blog. Here's what happened...

When I got to the hospital, everyone seemed to be so happy for me. This is a "happy surgery" apparently. To be honest, I was pretty excited. The nurse was an older lady who was very nice, but had helmet hair - meaning, her hair looked like a huge helmet on her head (remember Dark Helmet on Space Balls? Yeah.) When she left the room for a minute, I said to Rick, "She's mocking me with that hair!" Hee, hee. I told her that I couldn't have blood pressure taken or any IVs on my left arm (because of lymph node removal) and I thought she'd get some kind of color-coded bracelet for me to wear (that's what the other two hospitals did - silly me for thinking that!). Nope. She found a surgery pen on the table and said, "Let's just make sure everyone knows that", and then wrote it in BIG letters on my left arm. I still can't get it off! My left arm says... "NO IV's B/P this arm". Whatever. Then we proceeded to wait. For about two hours. Apparently, they scheduled me wrong. Finally, Dr. came in and drew lines all over my chest - "this is what I'll be doing, etc. etc.). He waved goodbye and I went into the holding area. The nurses and anesthesiologist were joking around and then I don't really remember much after that. They obviously gave me weird meds, because everything is blurring from that point on (it's better that way).

When I woke up in my room I was on morphine and other good stuff. Rick stayed for quite awhile, but then went home and I slept. I, of course, had one of those stupid compression bras on and it was pretty uncomfortable. But, I will admit... it was such a relief to have those expanders out. I looked down at my now-sized-large-C chest and didn't see much of anything. Panic. Wait a minute, did they forget to put the implants in?! What the heck?! Now, before my surgery, I realize that maybe I had unrealistic expectations about what my new boobs would look like. That said, I'll continue...

Everything was pretty painful, but probably not as bad as the last surgery (mastectomies). Although, when you are 'in the moment', you can't really remember how bad anything else felt. I had a pain pump in, too. For some reason, it started hurting quite a lot under my breasts - kind of around my rib cage. I stayed the night (pretty miserable - you know how crappy it is in the hospital) and by morning time the pain was worse. Why was I even in pain, when I was on morphine and percocet at the same time?! The nurse called the doctor and he said that didn't sound right - he told her to open up the bra and see what was going on. She did and there was immediate relief. But, you could see by the imprint of the bra in my skin, that they had put a way too small bra on me. Ouch! Ok, so at this point, the bandages were still on, so I couldn't really get a good look, but I wasn't seeing any C sized anything! We got a bigger bra, and then I felt well enough to go home that day.

I left in the afternoon and when I got home things were fine. I stayed on the medicine, but the pain started again. I kind of pulled the bra away from my chest and look down and saw that the pain pump had started to leak blood - lots of it - under the tape - underneath my breast area. Ok, this story is getting too long and detailed. Suffice it to say, I made it to the post-op visit on Monday in tons of pain and not too freakin' happy.

Here's where the title of this post comes in. Flashback: a couple of months ago, the doctor wanted to know how big to make the breasts. I said "Oh, maybe a big C, small D". I had found a picture of the boobs I wanted, so I gave him the picture. He said, and I quote, "You can't have these boobs". Why not?! "Well, this woman has breast tissue with implants underneath. You have no breast tissue. Your boobs won't look like this." I should have taken the hint and figured it out for myself. But, I guess I was just in denial. I'd been waiting so long to be reconstructed, I just didn't want to think about the outcome. Back to the present: So, when the doctor took the bandages off, well, it just wasn't what I expected. It took lots of self-control (not something I have much of lately) to not just burst out sobbing. First of all, before I make any kind of judgment, I'm supposed to wait two months so the implants can "settle". Right now everything it still swollen from the surgery. Nothing looks good. I said, "Oh, I thought I'd be bigger". Doctor said: "I told your husband that's the first thing that would come out of your mouth when the bandages came off." And this is how he explained it (which, if I would have thought about it before, would have made perfect sense and would have changed my expectations)... Breasts are kind of cone-shaped. The implants are round and flat. If you have no breast tissue, then you won't have breasts that are normal shaped. So, in the last few days, I thought about this, and I can see that it makes perfect sense. But, I swear, those photos of reconstruction that I saw beforehand in his office looked fine. I don't know. I am really happy with the sculpting he did underneath my arms and I'm almost sure it will start to look better soon.

Um, I guess all I can say right now is... nothing is as good as you expect it to be: Disneyland (hot, long lines), swimming (water-logged, chlorine), job (long hours, problem clients), an acre of land (too much grass to mow, expensive to landscape), graduation (have to grow up, get a job), new car (high insurance, that first scratch), new boobs after mastectomy (I guess I'm just happy that something is there).

1 comment:

  1. I cried with you as I read this. I'm so sorry it didn't turn out the way you expected, on top of everything else. "Sorry" is the dumbest, stupidest thing I can possibly say, but ... I still am.