Roughly eight months ago, I had never seen the backside of the door that leads you into the bullpen. “The bullpen” being my affectionate name for the area where you’re corralled before going into the operating room. It’s not for the faint of heart back there: pregnancy tests, getting the good drugs, being stuck with needles (more than once if they don’t do it right the first time), and being drawn on like a canvas with a purple Sharpie. Yep, this is the side we’re operating on. Yep, let me draw a big arrow to make sure no one forgets. Aaaaand I’m just going to initial this for good measure. By the time they’re done, Picasso would be proud so you have to laugh about it. I makes the whole experience that much easier.
Roughly eight months ago, I experienced this for the first time.
Next week, I’ll have the pleasure (?) of going through it for a fourth time.
Eight months ago I never thought I’d have any more than two surgeries. I never thought that I’d get knocked out of my shoes by complications. I never thought I would experience a limbo quite like this one, but best laid plans and all.
Almost six months ago, in January, I was heartbroken and definitely the most blue that I’ve felt about this entire experience. In the hospital, when I was alone, I couldn’t stop sobbing. At home and at work, I’d start crying anytime anyone asked about how everything was going. I could only say that I was “okay” when people asked, but most days I didn’t feel okay. Most days I didn’t want to feel anything at all and the idea of living with a crater where a breast had once been was almost intolerable.
I don’t feel that way now, but it definitely took some time to let the emotional and physical wounds heal. Now, with almost six months behind me, I think I could happily go on with my life being completely flat, and I now know that it won’t be the end of my world.
Which is partially why I don’t need to get my hopes up for this next surgery. I can be okay, I will be okay whether or not this works out, whether or not another infection of doom crops up, whether or not I end up with boobs or not. I hope, anyway. I imagine dealing with something more permanent than 6 months will be harder to digest, but I can get there, I know that now. But I also am now all too aware of the crushing blow of disappointment and desperation when things don’t go the way you want them to.
It will be what it will be, I firmly believe that.
I have my pre-op tomorrow: quick physical, sign the consent form (yeah, yeah, new expander let’s move on), scoot to anesthesia to sign their consent to get my throat measured and hear their spiel about no piercings and no nail polish. I’m not dreading it, but it’s a hitch in my get-along for sure. An inconvenience, but maybe a worthwhile one.