Today is the last Friday I will have with tits.
It is a beautiful, sunny day here in Western Mass. Today I am cleaning the apt. before our bon voyage breasts party this Sunday night–just a small gathering of a few friends to say thanks for their support and to enjoy some vegan treats.
Today the rest of the to-do list includes:
-Laminating (and shrinking down to pocket-size) our itinerary for OH (K has put a greater deal of effort into creating a document with all important phone numbers and addresses, a list of the places we want to visit before my surgery [American Apperal! Other retail outlets we are deprived of in the hills of Western Mass!], and a great pre-surgery mantra I have been keeping in my head).
-Picking up the Vicodin Rx Valerie called in to my local pharmacy yesterday (yes, you can get this filled before surgery, kids, so it’s one less thing to worry about later).
-Starting my travel bag, which includes: Vicondin, button-up shirts, post-op binder, and camera + charger, along with other such items–toothbrush, books, computer and charger, sweatpants, etc, etc.
K found this pre-surgery mantra, I’m not sure where, but I wanted to post it here for other folks having this (or any) procedure done:
1. I am healthy and filled with energy.
2. My body restores itself to its natural state of good health.
3. I am perfect, whole and complete.
4. Every cell of my body is healthy.
5. My body heals quickly and easily.
6. I love and accept myself exactly as I am.*
7. I joyously release the past. I forgive. I am at peace.
8. I always take good care of myself.
9. My body is strong and healthy; I am strong and healthy.
10. I am grateful for my good health.
How Do I Feel?
I feel pretty good: I just had my phone consult with one of the nurses from Dr. Medalie’s office, she was sweet and patient and wished me well in case she isn’t the nurse that will call me on Thursday with my surgical time and info. I have been reading my Yoga for Anxiety book and have been putting some of those thoughts and practices into effect, and they are helping. Overall, I don’t feel very nervous: I am confident my surgery will be complication-free, I have a great network of friends and loved ones in place for assistance and support, and I am in good health.
When I do get most nervous is when I start imagining the day of surgery, imaging being in the room when they put the mask over my face, but I know that’s not real. That’s me drumming up anxiety because that’s my pattern, being nervous and afraid is an old story I have been telling myself for a long time. I have been telling myself that I am weak, that I am incapable, that I am afraid. Of what? Well, hmm, anything I can drum up, really. This is an old story about my identity that is not real. I am not a little girl anymore. Hell, I never really was a little girl. But I am not defenseless anymore against the tyranny of the abusive figures from my childhood. And so the familiar feelings of dread and helplessness that well up sometimes when I imagine surgery are just reactions from things that happened in the past.
Of course surgery is something to be mindful of, something to prepare for, something to be honest with myself about as far as the serious nature of it and the necessary pain and healing I will experience after. But surgery is not something to be afraid of. This surgery is something to look forward to, something to embrace as it is something I have been waiting a very long time for. I welcome it, and move toward it cautiously, but without fear. At least that is the approach I work at every day I get closer to it. Am I afraid? Sometimes, yes, but I know that fear is about my own inadequacies, not about the care I will receive or the process of healing in front of me.
It is important to separate what we think about ourselves and what we know about the world outside of ourselves: What are you afraid of? Is it rational? Or is it just an old story you are telling yourself over and over again about who you are, what you are capable of? Is it true? I am learning I am more than the stories I tell myself about myself. Those stories are so limiting, and I would rather not spend so much time boxing myself in. Besides, isn’t that what I get so pissed at other people for doing, for trying to tell me I am a girl, or not a man? This surgery is about being my authentic self, and being my authentic self is about more than surgery.
Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli
*except for the whole female chest issue.