When this post is published, I will be in hospital for my top surgery, so I probably won’t be blogging for a while. After having dragged myself emotionally through a month of waiting for the appointment with the plastic surgeon, the day eventually dawned.
And since, all the pieces have fallen into place in such a manner that I have no doubt that this event in my life had been preordained. The journey I had to travel to this point in time, was necessary, though lengthy and harrowing.
My appointment date and time was my lucky number and a multiple of it. In the morning, I had to visit my GP for something unrelated and shared the intent of my afternoon appointment with him. I had been his patient for many years and he had become a friend. He assured me of his support and even mentioned that if the surgeon should object to my request, he would be available to support me. With both his and my shrink’s support, I had high hopes for a positive outcome that afternoon.
B and I arrived about half an hour early at the rooms from where the surgeon practices (Why do they call it practice? They should be specialists, dammit!). His name is Chris – same as mine, only spelled with a C – another one of those magic puzzle peaces. The receptionist used to work for my GP, so she knew me by name. This made completing the forms divulging my pedigree and those of my ancestors twenty generations back, so much easier. (I forgot to mention those who lived in caves, but I guess it doesn’t matter!).
Then the surgeon came to fetch me to his rooms. I followed him on rubbery legs and with a heart beating like a bongo drum, sure he could hear it.
The waiting was finally over, the judge, jury and executioner sitting opposite me at a desk. He listened silently while I spilt my guts, baring my fragile dream to a total stranger.
“No problem,” he replied, as if I had asked for a band-aid to help heal a scratch.
At first I was not quite sure I had heard him correctly, but my hearing aids were on. When he asked me to go to the room next door and undress from my jeans upwards, I knew for sure the verdict was delivered – I was going to become a free man! He entered a while later after I had made myself comfortable (well, actually, not so comfortable) on his examining bed and prodded the udders thoroughly, explaining that he would not remove the glands, as they were healthy. Then I had to get up and he sat down on a stool in front of me, aiming his super deluxe camera at me and shooting a few photos from different angles. I could see myself in the mirror behind him and believe me, it was not a pretty picture. I fervently prayed that the photos would not end up in some medical journal one day! Then he took some measurements of said udders with a tape measure and pronounced his examination over.
Fully clad again, I returned to his desk, where he drew some pictures of how he would make the incisions and we discussed some juicy things like nipple sensitivity and areola sizes. Did you know that the average diameter of male areolae is around 25 mm? Nope, neither did I. Now we know. Then he discussed a less juicy (actually horrible) subject, the cost. I swallowed hard and said I wanted to go ahead with the operation.
Dry bread and water for the rest of my life sounded like birthday cake with icing and cream at that stage. I briefly considered asking him to include some bum and tum reduction as well for that price, seeing he would be working on the chassis!
He checked his operating schedule and as destiny would have it, had had a cancellation for a week from that day – would I want to have it done then? Would I want it??? Wild horses would not be able to drag me away…
Having scheduled surgery, there was still enough time to go to the hospital across the road for pre-admission procedures. The nurse who took my vital statistics in triplicate once again, was a bit sullen. She asked about all my previous operations and I mentioned that my tonsils had been removed.
“Any other operations?” she asked, still surly.
“She had her brain removed,” quipped B, who had accompanied me, and the nurse laughed, her mood suddenly less sour, and we finished the procedure with smiles all around.
The next day we were at the bank when it opened to transfer the money from my account to the surgeon and hospital’s accounts. This went smoothly (how easily money slip away electronically!). Yeah, it’s a pay-before-we-heal world, and this is by my own choice, so I have no reason for lamenting.
That night B and I read though the instructions I had been given. I mentioned that I was booked in for “breast reduction,” as the surgeon had no “package deal” agreement with the hospital for top surgery, it being an unusual procedure for him to perform. Trust me to want the not-so-regular procedure! (In case you are wondering about his qualifications, he is the top surgeon in this part of the woods and breasts are his specialty (professionally speaking, I have no idea of his personal preferences!)).
“I think you need to write, ‘Remove 100%’ in big, bold letters on each of them,” B mused.