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…).