my sister and i flew back to new orleans last wednesday 12/10 and were brought over to the center for my 2pm pre-op appointment. it was so nice to see susan at the front desk again. she is the kindest person i have ever met, and it amazes me how she can remember every little detail about someone she’s only seen a few times. we caught up, and i told her about my having won a scholarship to the force conference and seeing dr. sullivan there – and how i wasn’t intending to switch surgeons, but that it just kind of happened. i told her i felt really awkward about the whole thing, and she reassured me and said that i am the only one worried about it – which is probably true, but i still couldn’t help feeling like i was cheating on dr. d.
anyway, we were brought back to an exam room so i could have some updated photos taken. dr. sullivan came in to marker me up and talk to me about the new plan of adding a small implant to try to address my lack of upper projection. he said that even if he removes some overall volume, it isn’t an exact science, and it was likely i’d end up being somewhat larger than i am now. i said i thought i would be okay with that if it meant a more symmetric and better overall shape, but that i’d really prefer not to be any larger. he agreed that my size fit my body frame, and we talked about trying more fat grafting instead, and i told him i was worried it would reabsorb again, and i really didn’t want to go through another surgery. eventually, we settled on natrelle 410s in the smallest size – these are the “gummies” with cohesive gel, and their shape (not round) would hopefully give me better upper projection with less overall volume. he said he would probably want to place the implant under my muscle, which surprised me, because i had talked to a couple other women who went this route and had implants added over the muscle, but dr. sullivan said that he thought i’d have better results even if it did mean a slightly harder recovery period, and i told him i trusted him to do whatever would look best. dr. sullivan finished markering me up (talked about tacking up the right boob to try to get it to hang more evenly to the left one), more photos were taken, and i signed release forms, and by this time, it was after 5pm.
even though my sister and i were looking forward to our delicious tradition of charbroiled oysters, we were so hungry and tired (and i was feeling really anxious) that we ended up just having semi-lame dinner at our hotel. we went back to our room, and the center called to tell me my surgery had been pushed back and i’d be picked up at 8:30am instead of 5:30am. turns out we probably could have made it to drago’s for oysters after all, but oh well. i talked to a couple of my pbm buddies about my pre-surgery questions, since this was such foreign territory to me, and after taking my first of two stinky-pink-hibiclens showers, i tried to get some sleep.
thursday morning, i took my second hibiclens shower and asked my sister for the 243rd time if i was going to end up looking better instead of worse. i just couldn’t get over feeling like i was tempting fate and that i should leave well enough alone. we were brought over to the center and given a room, and i saw jamie, one of my favorite nurses. we talked about dr. d running around yelling, “i let her ride in my car, that bitch!” and she told me that dr. sullivan was a perfectionist and i’d look great. went back downstairs and was called back to change and have an iv started. as usual, my veins decided not to cooperate, but the numbing spray helped keep my anxiety semi-down. then the anesthesiologist (dr. kimora? sp) came in to visit with me, and lo and behold, i was going to have melanie (co-anesthestiologist? assistant anesthesiologist?), who remembered me from my initial surgery! we talked about my post-surgery nausea/vomiting issues, and she said she was going to add some zantac to my iv to hopefully help with that this time around.
dr. sullivan came in to talk to me right before they brought me back, and he said he’d been up all night going over dr. d’s notes and my chart, and he decided that he wasn’t sure an implant would be the best solution and wanted to know if i’d be okay with heavy fat grafting instead. i had still been feeling torn over what to do, and so i told him he could wait to get in there to see what things look like and do whatever he thought would be best. he then agreed to take some photos – and videos! – for me. so they taped a piece of medical tape to the back of my phone and had me write my password on it. eventually, i was being brought back to the operating room, and somehow dr. kimora, melanie, and i were talking about my wanting to remember this part, so dr. kimora told me to pick a number and he’d see if i remembered it later. i said, “if i have to pick a number, it’s going to be 3, and of course i’ll remember that, so you need to pick the number.” so he said okay and picked 17 and told me to start taking deep breaths from the oxygen mask he was placing over my face. i was breathing and saying “17” and they laughed, dr. kimora told me to take 17 deep breaths, melanie accused dr. kimora of cheating, melanie told me to take five deep breaths, and that’s basically the last thing i remember.
thursday evening was mostly a blur, courtesy of the morphine pain pump (aka bliss). my wonderful nurses took care of me and interrupted my sleep every hour or so to check my vitals etc. i had one drain in the right boob, which wasn’t outputting much, so they said it looked good for my getting it out either friday or saturday before heading home. friday afternoon, dr. sullivan came by to check on me (on his day off – casual sullivan!), and he said he was really pleased with everything and asked if i’d looked at my photos/videos yet. i told him i had peeked at the photos but not the videos yet, other than to see that it didn’t look like they’d done a dance for me as requested. one of the nurses (in recovery i think?) had told me not to look at the videos until i got home, so i think i was nervous. i unfortunately can’t remember everything dr. sullivan said other than that he had to do a lot of fat grafting from different areas (which is why i might find weird areas like the tops of my thighs hurting), that it’d be great if all the fat grafting stuck around but that that never happens, that it’s easier to remove some later if too much does stick around and i end up larger than i want to be, and that if i need more fat grafting done, he’ll fly me back (?!).
the surgery photos looked nice and symmetrical, but then the fun swelling set in, so i haven’t been able to tell what things will really look like, but monday night i got very upset when we were changing bandages and it looked like the right boob appears to be lower than the left one again. trying not to think about it too much and hope that it’s just swelling, but i really just want to be done with this part of things already. so, was third time the charm? tbd.