Our day in Cleveland started this morning with my pre-op visit to see Medalie. K and I took the subway to the bus, and while standing at the bus stop saw this piece of work:
Once we got to the office, things were running on-time, so we only waited a few minutes or so. This was our first time meeting Medalie face to face, and he was very pleasant. We basically immediately got to business: he said, “do you want an ugly gown, or would you rather just undress here?” And I, appreciating his candor, said, “no need for the robe.”
He took a look, felt me up (he should get an award as the only man to ever lay hands on my tits), and we talked about my options. As it turns out, I find myself in the not-uncommon situation of having one breast that is slightly larger than the other. The problem for me is that Medalie would preform the DI method on one, the Peri- on the other. And thus he has left the decision up to me.
I also find myself in the strange position of having a substantial scar, one that looks almost hypertrophic, from my hysterectomy. However, my body has never scarred like that from any other cut throughout my life, nor does anyone else in my family scar hypertrophically. Ugh. So, I risk some pretty substantial scarring, which might dissuade me from the DI method, but with the peri-areolar I lose the best contour option. Again, Medalie has left this decision up to me, and I appreciate that ultimately it is my choice. I just wish this was an easier decision to make.
My gut says “scars be damned, you want the best contour, so go for the DI,” but then my brain comes in and says, “remember going to the beach in August? Do you really want that kind of extensive scarring to look down at forever? ” The contour difference between DI and peri-areolar I don’t believe to be substantial, but again, I do want the best results possible. And with peri- I risk extensive scarring around the nipples.
I need a break from thinking about this. Here is a picture of Lula the Cleveland Chihuahua sitting in my lap:
I think I accept the long scars of the DI method, with the understanding that I never treated my hysto scar with anything, (I can get cortisone injections to minimize the DI scarring, for example). They might not even be as bad as the hysto scars: I take better care of myself now, this surgery is of a different variety, and I do believe the panic I was feeling in every cell of my body about the cancer related to the hysto affected my body’s healing process. I feel much differently about this surgery: I am healthier and not nearly as worried. And if these scars get just as bad, a sweet chest piece will cover them, and I have always considered getting a tattoo there, even before realizing I might have excessive scarring.
For those of you considering this surgery, I asked Medalie the following questions:
-Do I need to sit up to sleep for any period of time? (No, but sleeping on my back is important)
-Is a nausea patch necessary? (No, they give me meds in my IV to combat nausea)
-Do I need the anti-phneumonia breathing contraption they gave me after my hysto? (No)
-I hear some people have a hard time waking up the ol’ bowels after anesthesia, should I take a laxative? (Yes, post-op)
-VIcodin can make me feel a bit nutty, can I take Advil for the pain instead? (Not within the first 48 hours)
He then gave me an outline of sorts of the day of surgery, and we were done. In the waiting room when K and I came out there was another butch, or previously butch id-ing person in the waiting room. K approached him as I finished up my paperwork and they had a quick chat. She asked if he was here to see Medalie; he unzipped his hoodie and showed us his grenades. He was really sweet: today was the day to remove his drains! He was very friendly and was happy to talk about his experience, but we chatted for just a moment then he was called in to see the doctor. Shortly thereafter K and I saw him leave the office as we were sitting outside. He smiled widely and waved.
I am a week away from that smile.
K and I hopped on the bus and made our way over to Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood and had lunch at Ohio City Burrito, where we split an enormous naked burrito (a burrito with no tortilla) and shared an horchata. Then we went two doors down to a little vegan bakery and shared a chocolate cupcake that was too big for our bellies:
On our walk down the road to the historic West Side Fruit Market we came across this nice piece:
When we arrived at the market, this gentleman greeted us:
We bought some strawberries and blackberries (the strawberries were devoured with tonight’s dinner, and the blackberries will likely be part of breakfast tomorrow.)
How am I feeling, two days away from surgery? I’m stoked. I’m ready to heal. I’m ready to meet my new chest.
Be nice to yourselves and dogs much smaller than you,
Your Pal Eli