Hey, know what we haven’t talked about for a while? That’s RIGHT! My BOOBS!
[Don’t you just wish you were me, or at least a fly on the wall for the “Hey, I have to tell you about this website I have…” conversation I had last night? I’m all about full disclosure. Even as I find myself mired in a discussion which I realize makes me sound like a complete freak.
Me: So, I, uh, write about ALL KINDS of things. Like, EVERYTHING.
Me: I mean it. Like even stuff most people wouldn’t talk about.
Me: Like YEAST INFECTIONS. You might not want to read it. (Thinking to myself: And you might not want to talk to me anymore, either. Did I just bring up vaginal fungus to a man I’m hoping to someday see naked? I think I did. What the hell is wrong with me?)
So, um, yeah. Where was I? Oh, right! BOOBS!
As you may recall, my boob–more specifically, my left breast–has had sort of an interesting few weeks. Today I went in for my very last post-op follow-up appointment, and to tell you the truth, I’m feeling pretty good.
I mean, yes; I’m still a bit green around the edges where the last bruises are fading out. But the incision itself is healing nicely; the pain is gone; and I haven’t oozed anything for a while. I figured this makes me a model patient, and the surgeon would be complimenting me on my excellent healing job. And then I would tell her not to hate me because I’m beautiful.
Traffic was light and I scored a sweet parking spot down by the hospital. I bounced inside, ready to flash my rack and get out of there.
The waiting room was PACKED. Hmmm. That seemed like a bad sign. It’s never been particularly crowded in there when I’ve gone, before. And it really didn’t help that I appeared to be the youngest patient by about 40 years. I am uncomfortable in large groups of elderly people who are comparing their support stockings with each other. In fact, as I sat there for upwards of an hour, I listened to the following exchange:
Younger: We can set it up however you want. It’s your room.
Older: Any way is fine.
Younger: Well, whatever you want. We can do it like your old room, or rearrange.
Older: It doesn’t matter to me.
Younger: We’ll figure it out this weekend, if you like. Like, we can leave the TV there, or move it somewhere else you’d rather have it.
Older: I just need my programs.
Younger: Your programs?
Older: Yes. You know, they didn’t have Turner Classics at Bill’s. Or the Gameshow channel. Oh, I just LOVE the gameshows.
Younger: Ooookay… ummm… we have Adelphia….
Older: He had Comcast I think. No Turner Classics. I love those old movies.
Younger: We’ll figure it out.
Older: Also I need a rail in the bathroom. And the gameshows.
By the time I was called back, I’d vowed to curb my What Not To Wear and all things Iron Chef obsessions. Visions of a crotchety old me telling Chickadee I need more Depends and the “Classic Fashion Disasters and Unusual Cooking Competitions Channel” danced through my head.
So, I had a nice chat with the nurse, and she gave me a very attractive paper shirt to put on and then left, promising the doc would be in soon. It really wasn’t soon, but I read a magazine and waited somewhat patiently. Eventually the surgeon appeared, and started palpating my various lymph nodes and chatting.
Personally, I find it difficult to have a pleasant conversation while someone sticks her fingers into my armpits and then feels me up, but whatever.
When she opened my paper shirt I was prepared for exclamations of delight, but instead I heard, “Hmmmm… what’s this?” That’s just not what you want to hear from someone who’s checking out your boobs. I followed her gaze and looked down at a tiny bit of scab on the edge of the areola, at the top end of the incision scar.
“It’s… a scab?” I offered, hopefully. To my horror, she proceeded to SCRAPE AT IT WITH HER FINGERNAIL, which prompted me to add “UM, OW!”
“I need to have a closer look… lay down, please.” Now she was turning on a gazillion-watt lamp and rummaging around in a drawer. I was NOT liking how this was going. She returned to my side with a pair of tweezers.
“I THINK IT’S A SCAB,” I said, more firmly this time. Or at least, much more loudly.
She chuckled at me. “I think it may be a piece of suture,” she explained. “It needs to come out.”
I didn’t want to watch, but I couldn’t seem to look away. She jabbed those tweezers into my breast like she was playing Operation and about to fish out the winning piece. I swear that half the length of the tweezers disappeared from view. I was contemplating vomiting on her shoes when she raised them triumphantly in the air.
“Got it!” she crowed. I looked. Yep, clinical proof that I really am fraying at the edges. Whaddaya know.
Finally she stepped away from me and put the tweezers down, and I pulled my paper shirt closed and hugged my arms around myself. All this time I’ve spent with this woman… all of the things I’ve allowed her to do to my body… and this one minute search and retrieve expedition had left me feeling cheap. I wondered if she still respected me or if I was just another notch on her tweezers. I vowed right then and there to keep my clothes on from now on!
Until she reminded me that she’ll see me after my mammogram in 6 months. Bitch.