4:47am - Going to get sliced and diced today. I’ll be sure to bitch about it later.
Can I just tell you how much I hate being up for the day while my google fox is still asleep?
Er, gore warning.
Update: So it wasn’t as bad as I expected. The part that I was most worried about was that they were going to stick this metal wire into me, while under compression, that would go all the way into the area that was being removed — so that the surgeon would have a guide, and could work without an xray.
They gave me a local for the freaking IV placement, for pete’s sake — but the metal, stabby, smushing, very-sensitive-area part? Lidocaine wasn’t on the menu for that. They told me repeatedly during both visits that they try to stay away from the “areolar complex” because it’s so much more painful. But that’s where the lump was, so they couldn’t avoid it. During the biopsy, even with the local, I had my fingernails dug into my shoulder the whole time. And now they wanted to do this shit commando? I talked them into a shot, once they looked at the old xrays and saw where it was — and I’m so glad I pushed, because when they wheeled me away from the compressor, there was a huge pool of blood on the platform, and my gown looked like I’d been in a slasher movie. So I’m guessing it didn’t go smoothly. I didn’t watch.
I asked the radiologist how they were going to work the wire, since I had 1-1/2 hours of sitting around, between that and the surgery. How was I not going to pull it out, accidentally? And she said it had a fishhook end, so it couldn’t come out. At the time, I was relieved, because I really didn’t want to redo that experience — but it occurred to me later that it’d have to be removed eventually. So when I saw the surgeon, I asked how they were going to get it out, since the fishhook wasn’t just going to let go, and he said they were going to cut it off. I thought he meant that they were just going to leave it in there, and maybe it would dissolve (like so many medical supplies do, now) but he clarified that they were cutting out that whole area. Fishhook and all. Gave me a ballpark estimate with his hand that makes me think there really will be a noticeable difference — but whatever, that’s what plastic surgeons are for, if it’s too bad.
Everyone was super nice and friendly, from the nurses to the surgeon and the anesthesiologists — which I’ve often heard about that hospital. I don’t remember the surgery. It wasn’t general anesthesia, and I couldn’t get a really straight answer from anyone about if I’d be asleep or just relaxed. I had heard the word “cauterize” several times during my previous visits, and wasn’t interested in experiencing that, funnily.
I mentioned that to the anesthesiologist, and I don’t know if they have some leeway in how deeply they can knock you out, but I remember the mask, and trying to say “Oh, that smell tastes nasty” a few times but not quite getting the words out, and then I woke up in recovery.
One weird thing, several nurses in the past two months have looked at my age and asked me, “this was your baseline mammogram?” with various inflection. At first I was responding with my standard “I’ve always been an overachiever” reply, but it eventually made me start feeling sort of pitiful. Some of them were obviously just going “aw, that sucks.” But a few yesterday genuinely looked like “good luck making it to forty, tootsie.” Not in a freakishly bad bedside manner kind of way, but just plain old worry. That’s the first time I’ve really gotten, like, I’m really going to have breast cancer within the next few years if I don’t keep repeating this surgery. Which, I mean, I can do that. It’s just unsettling.
I got home around 1pm and vegged around. You aren’t allowed to drive for 24 hours, although I was perfectly clear-headed and I think I would’ve been ok to drive if I’d needed anything — but I’d picked up groceries the night before. Took a couple ibuprofin around 3pm, but wasn’t in much pain. And wide awake. Twittered a little. Dialed in to work to see if a production change I made on Thursday worked. I broke down and took a vicodin at 9pm, even though it didn’t hurt yet, because I was still not getting sleepy at all, and this stupid support bra kills my back.
I’d never taken a vicodin before, and I’m really susceptible to stimulants and depressants, so I expected to either keel right over, or start giggling like a maniac. I mean, one benedryl knocks me completely flat in ten minutes, and the one time I took a painkiller at home — when I had an excruciatingly painful e.coli infection in my kidneys — I was up and literally rollerblading in the living room twenty minutes later, with my poor long-suffering boyfriend alternately trying to get me to go back to bed, and following me on his bike. But this just knocked out the back pain and I was still up til midnight or so, trying to finish slogging through annoying, depressing King Lear. Then I woke up at 3am. Going OW OW OW OW OW OW.
Now it hurts. And it’s really swollen and jacked up. Not sure whether ice will help at this point or not. I’ll take the bandages off around noon and see if it’s as mangled, contorted, and bruised as last time.
On the other hand, I’ve got to seriously look into this whole spray-on tan thing. The parts of me that are still covered in betadyne (the recovery nurse said they just dump the bottle on you) look hot. I mean, it’s orangish, to be sure, but I look good with a tan, y’all. Who knew?