Just Because My Implant is a Failure Doesn’t Mean I Am!

Today’s blog post is not as cheerful and warm and uplifting as some I’ve written.  My right implant has failed me, is infected, and is now festering in my chest.  Well, I’m not certain about the festering, as I am NOT, as children like to remind me, THAT kind of doctor.  However, I can tell you it no longer sits pert and perky in my pectoral cavity, and instead is headed south a fast clip.  I can see the band of Alloderm, the ‘previously used’ skin that was installed into my chest cavity as a sort of ‘internal bra’ to hold the implant.  As that has failed, I can feel the weight of the implant fully on my breast skin, weight that used to hold pre-cancerous milk ducts and other sorts of atypical and cysty treats.  It is not a pleasant feeling, I must say.  What feels worse is that this lastest turn in the medical drama that is my life has been complicated by the fact that I let myself down.  I did not stick up for myself, and I let myself doubt my own symptomatic diagnosis, so much so that my visiting nurse had to call two of my team of stealthy cancer street fighters and let them know that I have some sort of infection, my blood pressure is 140/96, my heart rate is 100, I’m flush, and generally don’t feel good.  There’s that familiar pain on urination and urgency on urination just to complicate things, as they are, although tangentially connected, not really related.  She told them my whole story–and I realized–DAMN!  The person she is describing sounds like she’s sick…OMG, that is ME!  But I’m not sick–but she’s right, I don’t feel good.  The number one reason?  I did something terrible to my best friend– (cue sad music).  I did something terrible to myself!

So here’s what I did, so don’t you do it.   And it is something so small, so stupid, that someone with better self esteem, that doesn’t feel victimized by the medical community already might not feel the same way I do.  This is what happened:

I heard one of my medical providers refer to me to another medical provider as an ‘anxious patient.’  In fact, the tone of the conversation I overheard sounded to me like, ‘be cautious in believing what she says, she’s just anxious.  She is an anxious patient.’  Whether or not that statement is true is besides the point, it both hurt me deeply that someone would try to influence another health care provider‘s professional judgement just because I was upset at the thought of being infected and perhaps having to undergo yet another operation.  Sure, why the hell not?  I think I get a free hat with six.

And this isn’t even talking about the large black spot that showed up on Lefty overnight.  I can’t even think about that one.  Instead, I made some chocolate peppermint bark tonight, so that will have to stand in for the peppermint schnapps I wish I had and could drink right about now.  I’m going to see the medical provider who believes me to be anxious in the morning, the same provider to whom I sent photos of my failure of a bionic boobie.  It is kind of weird to send a woman pictures of my taters over email, but it is a good way for her to get an idea of what is bothering me and if it truly warrants her attention (since I am anxious, after all).  Today she shocked me by agreeing that yes, THIS time she very clearly sees that righty could stand in as a clock pendulum, while lefty is still looking like someone sewed a Cat-in-the-hat hat on to my chest.  What she has to keep in mind, and what *I* have to remind my self, is it is like the old joke–just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.”  In my case, just because I’m anxious doesn’t mean that there isn’t something wrong with my implant, be it infection or extrusion (not there yet, but I feel like if I didn’t have a bra on, it might want to slip out of  my skin…ew…not pretty…).

If the medical provider finds, tomorrow morning, that my anxious, nervous research findings hold some merit, the next step to repair this failure is surgical.   This time if she finds me to be overly concerned or anxious, then excuse the F out of me.  Because fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  So, as the great prophet Pete Townsend once said, “Won’t get fooled again.”  Who am I?  I may be that annoying anxious patient, but common decency demands I be treated the same as a non-anxious patient.  And if I’m not, the more to blog about.  Time for more chocolate peppermint bark!

UPDATE:  This morning I saw said medical professional.  Funnily, it was after I had filled out a ‘customer satisfaction’ in the waiting room.  Said medical professional took a look at Righty and indicated that yes, it had indeed fallen, and yes, it is indeed swollen, but thank G-d (my words) it is not infected yet.  Swelling could still go down, but to her it looks like it is just swollen.  It just needs some support, as yeah, perhaps a stitch or two has given way.

So, I said to Righty, “You go, Righty!  I’m here for you!”  Not quite the support she was talking about.  Then she revealed what I believe is the central nugget of truth in her examination for the day–the doctor is out of town and wont be back till Monday.  AH HA!  NOW I see how this operation operates!  I need to stay put and not get infected till the doctor is back on the job.  Till then, strap up, step up, and ‘stop fixating’ on it (that’s what I was told–I have a daily-changing IMF, but I will stop fixating…).

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4 Responses to Just Because My Implant is a Failure Doesn’t Mean I Am!

  1. Rivkah says:

    Miri – you HAVE to stick up for yourself! Only you know what pain you are in. Only you. Even if you could describe it to a T, no one else would know exactly what you mean. If YOU feel like something is wrong, screw the doctors and go in! I have heard stories about doctors that think the patient is anxious and there is nothing wrong. The patients refused to go, and finally the doctor gave in. Voila! There WAS something wrong, and many times it was something big!

    We love you! If you need a pickup, let me know and I’ll come over! (I’ll bring you chocolate too!)


  2. Rivkah says:

    Oh, and I forgot to say that a doctor should prefer to have an anxious patient than one that does not call, for the one who does not call usually ends up having more issues because they did not call, and oh, medical care costs more in that case, and takes longer to heal….. Doctors are suppose to want you to get better ASAP, right?


  3. Hollary, all day long says:

    Miri, you are a wonderful writer. I hope you turn these into a book some day. And for the record, anxious can also mean “GREAT self-advocate”. I asked a million questions because I wanted to learn. Also, I was being asked to make informed decisions (okay, so INFORM me), which I definitely intended to make. Call me anxious. Call me curious. Call me time-consuming. Whatever.
    Keep it up, woman!

  4. Andrea says:

    Miri honey. I feel so very bad for you. I wish that there was something more that I could do.

    Following what you lovely friend Rivkah has said, I too was told once that the six weeks of bleeding was STRESS. I returned to the very same doctor some time later to be told, THE BLEEDING IS STRESS (now weeks are months).

    When returning for the third visit, I insisted on seeing a specialist. I saw one the very next day, had an examination, had an internal and scan and was being operated upon the following day. I had a large Fibroid which had to come out. There you have it honey, we know our own bodies and screw (sorry but I am getting ‘Anxious’ now) anyone who begs to differ from you and if you are anxious, then that makes you human and a sensitve person. Who wouldn’t be anxious?????

    So, SAY SOMETHING HONEY. They obviously upset you and you have been through enough already. I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH. I wish that I could help you through this horrible and very stressful time. xoxooxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach. xxxoooxxx

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