July 28, 2006
posted on the Breast Health Online forum
Well, there definitely WAS hyperventilation involved in
Wednesday's pre-op. But this time it wasn't David.
By the time
the nice lab technician was sliding that long, LOOOONG needle into the
crook of my arm -- sometime around noon -- I'd gone a full eight hours without food.
(Oneleisurely cup of coffee was all the "breakfast" my
nervous stomach would allow me.) As I watched the second vial
fill with blood, I suddenly felt a wave of dizziness wash over me.
"Are you OK?"
asked the technician. "Your face just got all white."
"I think I may
... " I murmured. And then I *twinkled out* for a few seconds.
When I came
to, she had me lay my head down on the armrest while she went to get me
a cup of cold water, which I gulped down in two swallows.
After a minute or two I felt a little better: steady enough, at least, to wobble out to the waiting room,
where David was reading a two year old issue of Sunset Magazine.
"I need a
cheeseburger," I announced.
it," he said. And he took my arm and helped me out the door.
amazing on Wednesday. There was a
brief moment, after we parked the car and were walking toward the
surgeon's office, when he grew uncharacteristically pensive. I asked him
(for the 43,897,621st time) if he was OK with all of this, and he said
what he always says: that he loves me, that he supports any decision I
make about my own body, that any concerns he may have are purely
medical in nature.
"I would be worried if ANYONE I love was
having major surgery," he said, and I believed him (mostly), and reached over and took his
hand as we entered the building.
charming with the surgical nurse -- he actually TOOK ONE OF THE
DRAINAGE TUBES IN HIS HAND and asked her about negative
vs. positive suction -- and he was calm and
pleasant with Dr. Togba, shaking his hand and making quick polite small
talk about weather and traffic. I did most of the talking
during the pre-op: I had my list of questions to
go through, and then more questions in response to the answers to my
questions, and then more responses to the responses to the answers to
the questions ... but occasionally I would turn to
David, sitting in his corner of the examination room, and ask for his
thoughts. He was never anything less than completely
All the important questions were answered. Dr. Togba said one week off from
work is mandatory, then it's up to me ... the
surgery will take three hours, more or less ... there is nothing in his opinion that can reduce scarring
except time ("If you
want to spend money on lotions and supplements,
that's up to you," he said: it was clear he felt we were
oil) ... I can shower as soon as the drains are
out, on the Monday following my Friday morning surgery ... we
can resume bike-riding in three weeks ... carrying the
laptop bag is fine ... buy some cheap sports bras now, he said, then
buy nice new bras later.
all, David listened, nodded, asked a couple of questions of his own
("How fast do the drains
fill up? Will I need to wake her up
in the middle of the night to empty them?") and generally
made me feel
VERY supported and partnered. I was proud to have him by my
side. I'm ALWAYS proud to have him by my side, but especially
so during times like this when I need him the most.
to throw a rock?