“Wow, you look great! Diet and exercise?”

“No, scalpel and anesthesia.”

Everything happened really fast, which is an ironic statement for something that’s been, like, 15 years in the making. I saw the surgeon for an initial consultation on Dec. 3rd and surgery was on Jan. 3rd. From consultation to cut: 1 month.

It took about a week for me to submit my chiropractic records.

A week later, I was told that I had my date (1/3) and to get my blood work, a physical and a mammogram (unpleasant and awkward, but not nearly as bad as I thought it’d be–and the cancer screening was negative, so that’s cool).

And then before I knew it, it was surgery day. I did get to pick my hospital and I’m glad I did because it gave me a fleeting sense of control the nurses were great. Really really great.

My mom and I got there at 5 a.m.


Then waited for the short stay dept. to open at 5:30, which was a little annoying. I could have been not sleeping at home!

Once they called me back, I was all checked in (pre-op questions asked, cap & gown on, IV in) by 6:20 a.m. They let me keep my phone until it was time. It was nice to have that distraction. The anesthesiologist (I hate typing that word) came in around 6:40 a.m. Apparently, the fact that I have asthma changes the type of drugs they can give you. The doctor came in just after 7 a.m. I asked a couple questions about the procedure (how much he intended to take, if the NAC would remain attached to the pedicle), then he drew on me.

After that, I was wheeled, on the bed, into the operating room. IT WAS FREEZING IN THERE. No one ever talks about that.

The last thing I remember is saying thank you to everyone who was in the room and telling them to have a good surgery. Then the mask went on and…

I woke up in recovery about 6 hours later and 4 lbs lighter.

Waking up was hard because I was so tired. It took 3 tries for me to keep my eyes open.

Then there were nurses and my mom and apple juice (after a misguided attempt with crackers) and nausea and vomiting and almost fainting and a cold compress and a wheelchair and a ride home.

At home, there was sleep and antibiotics and apples and oranges and more nausea and more vomiting and ignored Vicodin (after telling everyone how much I hate Vicodin, so much so, they put an allergy tag on my bracelet) and more sleep and mashed potatoes and sore mouth/throat from being intubated and more sleep and the cutest halter top ever


I was seriously so impressed by that. Wrapped like the end of a movie shoot. I felt sad cutting it off 2 days later.

The difference is just…amazing. I look a lot smaller; my clothes fit differently; but more than that, I CAN BREATHE. I can’t work out for another 3 1/2 weeks, but I wonder if I’ll even need my inhaler anymore. I haven’t been able to breathe this easily in…forever.

As I said in my previous post, recovery has been a bitch, but it’s been fine. My feelings vacillate from being super excited about having done it and how I look now and being able to really dress the way I want to in the future to being so over this shit: over the swelling and the gauze (especially the super fancy stuff that is only sold in specialty pharmacies not near where I work or live) and the ointment and sports bra (FOR 6 WEEKS) and the never ending achiness and the not being able to stretch my arms over my head or lift anything over 5 lbs or hug anyone too tightly (ugh, learned that one the hard way tonight) or getting tired so quickly. But everyday is a little better.
And I can already see the spots where things are healing up super super well and the spots that definitely still have a ways to go.

Picture time!





I think I might be taking this dress back now. I don’t like how it fits as much. That’s okay. I just bought a new one in Venice 70% off!! One that I never could have worn pre-surgery.





After w/close upIMG_20130119_122829 IMG_20130119_122842

I’ve also lost some weight. I don’t know how much since the battery on my scale died and I have little interest in replacing it.  I wrote today on facebook,

“My skinny jeans are loose. Actually, all my jeans are loose. And I know that’s supposed to make me happy as a woman since we are taught that we matter more when our mass is less, but I’m just sort of annoyed at having to buy new clothes when I JUST bought these like 6 weeks ago.

Ah well.”

New body, new wardrobe, right?

About J.

A former twentysomething with a head full of curls and heart full of questions wondering: when we get to nirvana, will there be food?
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