Friday, December 26, 2008

magic and the monster

the breast, the breast. it is all about the breast. like tending a sick child, nothing else takes priority. i am a good patient and follow all the doctors' orders. and i am a good mother to this wounded breast. soothing balms and healing potions are applied on schedule, ice packs employed on a regular rotation.

i am doing anything and everything i can to assist and speed healing.

there would appear to be no real rush, as the world has shut down in the northwest. between the holiday and the epic snow storm, nothing is moving. i am stuck inside and not happy about it, i'll admit. but perhaps nature is pushing me into inactivity to help with the healing.

my breast looks shockingly, horribly messed up. my first thoughts were so dark, my heart sank when i saw it. did i make an awful mistake? i know my surgeon said it wouldn't look gorgeous for a few months, but this? my breast looks like a monster. dark and colorful with bruises, a crazy series of long incisions, coupled with a shape that is in no way a match to the other. a sad, beat-up monster, one you would take home wrapped in a blanket and nurse back to health.

i wish the surgeon had warned me exactly how bad it would look. i always do better with the facts and don't fare well with surprises of this nature. i didn't expect to feel more disfigured after surgery. but i guess that was silly. i worried about taking care of so many incisions. and i was right, it is difficult. i am squeamish and don't like looking at them. but no band aid will cover them and besides, i have become allergic to medical adhesives. the incisions are held together with glue.

i am held together with glue. oh, it's all far too gory for me and it's actually on my body. is this really happening? is this my body?

thank heavens for good drugs. painkillers that float you away when it's too much and sleep aids to help get that deep rest needed for healing. although i will be so happy to be past the point when i need their help.

the breast looks strange, it feels strange, too. it's tight and prickly with pain. nerves healing? who knows.

i have barely even pondered how i feel about being smaller. i am still working so hard to control the swelling to wrap my head around the look of it. my sculptors' brain is turning this puzzle over and over - how what i see now can possibly heal and relax into even a pleasing shape, let alone a shape that matches the other breast.

my sister assures me she has seen
the process from start to finish, on reality tv and that every plastic surgery procedure looks like six kinds of hell at first. but that then the lovely results boggle the mind, like magic. she tells me that plastic surgeons are magicians and mine is one of the best. that my procedure is something he does everyday, like me going to the studio and making a ring.

i am trying to trust. trying to feel confident and reassured.

so i focus on what i can do. eat healthy, rest well, stroke on my arnica cream and take my vitamins. every couple of hours, ice the whole area. try not to worry. try not to look at it more than once a day.

suspend my disbelief.


emily b. said...

Hi Tay, i have watched my mother go through this process from start to finish and I know what you are talking about.but I just wanted to add another reassurance that it will get completely shockingly better and will be unrecogniseable compared to what it is now. So sending you good healing, don't worry too much

Tay said...

Thank-you, Emily! That is very comforting...shockingly better sounds really good. Thanks for the good vibes.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Dearest Tay,
So sorry to have been so silent - life has been a bit complicated for me lately. But the exciting news is that I can now read your blog again. Yay! I have just gone through all your missed entries.

As someone who has been disfigured and then returned to looking "normal" let me tell you that healing takes its sweet time. Swelling and stitches and bruising can be so terrifying looking. But it is truly miraculous what the human body is capable of naturally.


Tay said...

Oh Maryam~ So glad to have you back. Home safe and sound with your family is the most important...but also so thankful you are home and able to read my blog again.

I've been reading your blog and sending you such good thoughts everyday. I can only imagine all that is involved with life being *complicated* these days.

We all long for simple days, I know. But life often just delivers complicated and messy. Thanks for your love and encouragement. I knew you were here all the time in thought.