Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Talk about being stressed out!!

I have been working on a couple of posts that are on what I consider to be higher topics, and I wanted to write and rewrite to make them really good. They are still around, and I will publish them - probably. But this real life and almost real time experience is just too good (not really the best word for it) not to share right now.

Yesterday I called the plastic surgeon to see if I really am scheduled for reconstruction. The scheduler said yes my surgery would be on May 14 beginning at 9:30 am, and the only place I could have it was XYZ Center.

I had heard of XYZ Center, but I wasn't sure of where it was or exactly what it was. I begin really feeling great animosity toward G since he didn't want me to go to Outlands Hospital, even though it was the surgeon's choice, because it was so far away. He wouldn't be able to visit me long there because Simone needs care. I told him I know for a fact it will be there for 15 minutes - at the most, and then have to go. I have had 4 previous hospitalizations, and his track record stands for itself!

So I got the 30 pound volume 1 of our yellow pages. XYZ Center wasn't listed there. So I went to the 20 pound North Swampland phone book to look. Not there!! I was really mad at G. Great. I have a surgery date, but where.

So I got my insurance benefits book. It lists the approved sites for all things medical. I got the entire name for the place. It is XYZ Surgery Speciality Hospital.

I went to the web site. Under the heading "day of surgery" it said that I might still be groggy when I was released that afternoon so I needed someone to get post surgical care and drive me home.

Now Dr Plastic Surgeon had already told me I was in for a 3-4 day stay, and I was ready for that. When I had the mastectomy, I wanted it to be out patient. I wanted to go home that same day. I groused all evening, and the next morning I told the nurse I wanted to go home. Dr Regular Surgeon said I could go, but I did have another day I could stay. Nope, I wanna go home. Consequently, I think that was the reason I developed an infection.

So I was ready for the stay this time. Then to read I would be dumped out the day of what will end up being a more major surgery nearly sent me over the edge! G came home and, fighting back tears because I was so mad and scared, I gave him the news. I told him HE should call the doctor's office,

He is a procrastinator. Big time. So as he was sitting in his chair reading a book, the phone rang. It was the doctor's insurance person. I asked her if I would be thrown out the same day. She began to wonder also. As it turns out, I am approved for one day, after which my condition will be assessed. Then more days will be approved as needed.

The rest of the afternoon, I felt as limp as a dish rag. That tension really took its toll on me. But as dear William (Shakesphere that is) said "alls well that ends well," and so it is.

Back to work on the someday posts. Have a good day y'all.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Ch-ch-ch Changes

Big changes taking place here in Swampland suburb. I have decided on a plastic surgeon, and have a tentative surgery date scheduled. I am just waiting for the decision from the insurance company. I really have mixed feelings right now. I am anticipating the good feeling of "being whole" once again and ot having to strap on that hundred pound prosthesis!

On the other hand, the aspect of having the muscle from my shoulder back being brought around to my chest region and the associated fat placed on top does give me pause. I really am worried about recovery. My last session with drain tubes didn't go well, and this time I will have one (I think) in the front for a week and three in the back for unknown time.

I am really worried about my healing - not just for normal reasons - because four weeks after the surgery we have already committed to going to the National Historic Railroad Convention in Cow Town. I've got to be healed enough.

It is no secret that I could not have the transflap or DIEP. A little too much adipose tissue there which may not close properly. I wish those 60 pounds had not found me again during my treatments. But when I think of having stomach muscle shifted up to the chest - well that really doesn't appeal to me. I saw what the scar looks like. I never wanted a tummy tuck anyway because of that transverse cut across the tummy!

Well, all this talk about surgery means that Doodle Bug needs to find another care taker. K thought she had a neighbor who would do it. That fell through. Everything with the exception of the day care fell through. So DB starts day care on the 6th (I think). I will keep her one more week - due to a misunderstanding where K thought I wanted to keep her longer. But that's fine. I will miss her. She is getting to be so cute now.

That first week, I will be helping to transition her. I'm not sure how that is going to work or be of help, but it sounds good. I just hope the workers fall instantly in love with her. I'm really afraid they will find her to be a spoiled brat - which I have contributed to. I know she will cry most of the time at first. We are really working on more independent play around here. I'm just afraid it is a little too little, a little too late.

So that's my life now. Have a great weekend. And as one of our flaky news personalities used to say (before he died): "Good golf, good tennis or whatever you like to do!"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I simply cannot believe how long it has been since I was here. I just seem to be moving in slow motion. My question is who put the world in fast forward in this span of time?

We took a trip to the SSB a couple of weeks ago. It was off our usual schedule because it was, of all things in the German-American culture, a family reunion. This one is always special to me because one of the distant cousins in into genealogy. We usually compare notes. So that makes it a little more exciting.

I made my appointments with two plastic surgeons. The first one was in the Medical Center. He is associated with one of the medical schools. The area is bad enough to get to since it is about 40 miles away, but the time was 8:30 am. With Swampland's traffic, that morphed itself into an hour and a half drive with heavy traffic all the way. He had a heavy accent, and according to my daughter, a lousy bedside manner.

Three days later I was scheduled with another surgeon. He had been with the clinic at the same med school, but had gone into private practice. He has an office in my neck of the woods, but he never comes here. We went to Master Planned Community of the North.

He was good. He was very personable. He explained everything - a lot. He wanted to be sure I understood everything. I told K that was to stop lawsuits. But he's the one I am going with. Now I
just have to schedule the time and place.

Doodle Bug's days with me are now numbered. I wanted to keep her until she was at least a year, but she is going to have to be with someone else. K looked into the day care that Monkey Boy attends. His fee is $175/week. Hers will be $250/week. No wonder people are looking at one of the parents staying home with the children. But I also know you really do get what you pay for. If the staff is paid a reasonable wage so the day care can get the best - it's going to cost.

Doodle Bug is napping, but I don't know for how much longer. I better get to other things I need to do. It may really be time for her to go anyway, you know? Plus I may lose my wifi hookup with my neighbor's internet soon.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

They remind me of used car salesmen

For a year I have been tossing the idea of reconstruction surgery about. Right after the mastectomy, I was ready. Just do it - now, please. Since my surgeon was not a plastic surgeon as well, he couldn't do it.

As chemo went on, I was thinking I wasn't sure that I wanted another (probably more) surgery. I would just stay the way I am. During radiation, I was glad there wasn't more tissue there, and at that conclusion, the doctor said I should wait a year anyway.

At that time, that was fine. I was still vacillating. Where I am right now is a totally different place. I find myself mourning my lost breast. I feel as though I have been mutilated. My body image, while never being good, is really in the trash can right now.

In February, I asked my oncologist for some names of plastic surgeons. I had already done some research so I had one in mind. He gave me three names. One, who was also recommended by my surgeon, is not in my PCP book, so he is out.

I went to the websites for these remaining three doctors. I was so upset by them I sat and cried as I read through their sites. I can't explain, but I felt so cheap. I felt these men were so sleezy that I could have been going to the used car salesman who would sell a heap of bolts to some poor person who would have to pay by the day because they were so poor.

Rationally, it makes sense that these men are PLASTIC surgeons, and as that, they are going to do cosmetic surgery as well. They will offer botox and all those kinds of things, but I just felt cheapened by the website.

I called for appointments with two of the three. The third really disgusted me the most, and if he were to suggest the "flap" it would be the old method. I don't want muscle removed. I have enough abdominal fat to fill the nation's women who need reconstruction! The people who manned the phones were just so . .perky. That didn't help my feeling - at all.

I am trying to get my mind straight. I need to accept what they do - other than reconstruction. I guess I was looking for someone who was a little more low key than these sites appear to be. Those appointments begin on the 15th. I'll let you know.