Cut Up Face Down
I had my last follow-up check-up with my surgeon this afternoon. You see, I was under the knife last week. Liposuction? Nope, don’t need that yet, except around the thighs perhaps. Tummy tuck? Hmmm…my tummy needs to be tucked a bit, but nope. What I had was actually a simple outpatient procedure to excise a mass I’ve been feeling for centuries now near my left shoulder blade. I know, I know, I should’ve had this checked and excised years ago just to be on the safe side, but then it’s a bad habit of mine, really, to procrastinate. The biopsy says it’s just lipoma (read: fatty mass) and I’m very much relieved, especially when my brother and my mom had been diagnosed with the Big C years ago (both, thank God, are in remission, hopefully, forever).
The surgery itself was, to the doctor, a very simple procedure. I entered Asian Hospital’s holding room on schedule and waited for further instructions. I was told to change into a hospital gown and remove all clothing including underwear, which sounded so weird to me especially when I was only gonna be sliced on my back and not elsewhere. Tha hospital gown had so many small ties and loose ends I didn’t know which went where. I had to ask the assistance of one of the nurses because if I tried to figure it out all by myself, I might end up wearing something like a straightjacket.
The nurses finally wheeled me in the operating room. The room was clean and quiet, except for the beeping sound of one machine I do not recognize. Suddenly, I felt butterflies in my stomach. My medical background did not help as my mind was racing with thoughts of everything that could go haywire for just a simple procedure. The doctor came in and asked me if I was ready. I asked him if he could put me to sleep first. Fat chance, it was too late for that. The shot of anesthesia, which the surgeon referred as cocktails, was supposed to devoid me of any sensation on the area. It was scary hearing the buzzing, slicing sound of the surgeon’s tool and wondering what on earth was happening as I was lying face down. At one point, I swear, I felt the blade and let out an “ouch”. Midway through the procedure, I finally calmed down and just closed my eyes. I must have made the doctor wonder if the anesthesia also made me doze off coz he peeked through the layers and asked me if I was alright. He must have thought I fainted. He also asked me if I had any sports coz my tissue looks fit, and I told him I didn’t do sports. Had to control my tongue from saying that I am so sedentary and the only exercise I get is when I climb two flights of stairs (it’s higher now that our team was transferred to the 4th floor) and when I chase Zoe before bath time.
The surgeon showed me the fatty lump I’ve been so worried about. He assured me it looked very much like a lipoma. To me, it looked very much like the fat I loved to eat in bulalo!
The succeeding days went well. The wound didn’t hurt that much. It was just uncomfortable knowing there’s this bandage on my back that I can’t wet when I bathe. I was also subconsciously keeping my left arm from moving a lot, like I’m scared the stitches will open up. Zoe had to be weaned from breastmilk, too, because i had to take antibiotics that weren’t safe for kids. That was the hardest part. We’re still struggling up to now, but she’s a great kid and I know how hard she’s been trying. She even changed the dressing once. I didn’t want to wake up hubby one night so I gave Zoe instructions and how-to’s. Although she tangled the first few strips of tape I gave her, she figured out how to in the end, and kept the gauze in place. Hubby was amazed when I showed him Zoe’s “creation” (the strips of tape did look like artwork!).
Now that I’ve experienced being under the knife, even for just a few minutes, I’ve come to realize how strong and brave those who have undergone surgery are. Especially those who’ve been for a major one. The anxiety, the fear, the anticipation…so many emotions, so many things to deal with, pre-op and post-op. It’s no joke what they’ve been through. What I’ve gone through was nothing compared to theirs.