Yesterday was a kind of a breakthrough day. Without going into *all* of the details, suffice it to say that the ‘pre-op’ meeting I had scheduled with my plastic surgeon wasn’t what I thought it would be, and I still had to go to the hospital for my bloodwork. Moreover, even though I had a 2pm appt., we didn’t get brought back until 2:45, and then we waited for another 15+ minutes — in an EXAM room. One chair, a padded table, and a sink in a cabinet. J. was forced to lean up against a wall.
I was irritated. It’s the first time I felt like a 2nd class citizen, like my wallet meant more to me than my self. I was surrounded by wealth earned from (basically) elective surgery — the diamonds on the scheduling lady were worth more than my home. No one was courteous enough to say anything about Dr. B running late, or even to apologize for wasting my time. In getting irritated, I realized that I was also afraid. The fear was feeding the irritation, and what I really wanted to do was throw a massive hissy fit, get all emotional, and refuse surgery. J. was worried that I might (he knows I can get fairly irrational when emotional), and we talked as best we could about me making decisions that were like the old tale of cutting off the nose to spite the face. I felt angrier and angrier.
I finally left. Just walked out. I stopped by the reception desk to sign the consent forms and one of the (many) staff asked if Dr. B. answered all of my questions. I replied that I hadn’t seen him yet, but I wasn’t going to keep waiting. While they were getting the forms together, said staff member came back and said “Dr. Barker needs to see you.” I said, am I going to have to wait? She said, oh no. As we went back into the exam room, she says to me, “put on this gown, so he can do an exam.” Exam? now? WTF?
I like Dr. B. and seriously, when he came into the room I started to calm way down. He immediately apologized — his staff had sent him into the wrong room and he ended up seeing someone else first. (Finally! an apology!) Then we talked. 15 minutes that were, in the end, worth it.
We then went over to the hospital, it’d been 2+ hours by then and I was hungry, tired, and still emotionally-wrought. Again, emotions flooded over me, all of them negative. I realized that this was real (yeah, duh) and I didn’t have many options and I STILL wasn’t sure reconstruction was a good idea. Oh, everyone assumes it will be done, its only a matter of time. but I loathe assumptions, and have a real thing about fulfilling them. Dr. B. put it very well: “What it comes down to is whether you want an internal implant or an external one.”
I felt/feel manipulated by assumptions. As we drove home, I said to J that I resent the assumptions and it was really a problem because it is getting in the way of me being able to find positive associations to the idea of having an artificial breast. I said “I guess my birth metaphor doesn’t really work” he told me it does, but this was a scenario where I’m pregnant by a guy who has disappeared and I don’t believe in abortion so I have to have the baby — but there ain’t no joy of life going on here. I laughed.
I know I will know more post surgery. All of my visualization and guided imagery and suchlike have been helpful — but I continue to not be sure the implant will be worth it. I’m playing the odds, but am not sure.