The 2 week countdown is usually a steady one as far as emotions go but it's the 1 week mark that things start to get a bit manic. At least this was the case for me anyway.
I think everyone in my house got a taste of Pre Surgery Britt. My kids adapt well that's for sure. One second I was laughing and the next I was balling hysterically. I had accepted the emotional part. It wasn't about losing my breasts. It was the hype of major surgery. The cutting. The slicing. The blood. The pain. The hospital. Being alone in the hospital due to Covid protocol. My husband couldn't even be by myside. Yes my imagination was a bit dramatic.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
I remember hardly sleeping that night. Overthinking everything of course. Not about the decision but the pain. I was terrified that the pain would set off my MS and it would end up being a domino effect of disaster. I prayed. I don't think I talked to God as much as I did that night. By the end I'm sure he was thinking "Hush and go to sleep already."
I had googled so many post off photos of reconstruction patients so I had an idea of what the new me would look like. I just wanted to mentally overprepare...which ended up having me spinning. Spinning doesn't equal a good nights sleep.
THE MORNING OF
My surgery was the first one scheduled. I had to be at the hospital at 7 am and show time was 8:30. My husband was allowed to walk me to the surgery wing and there was where we had to say "see you later". We don't say "goodbye" in our family. Only "see you later".
We walked down the series of hallways. Thank goodness my husband was allowed to walk me because I'm pretty sure I never would've found where I needed to go.
We said "see you later" after a hug that I'm pretty sure made the check in nurse irritated as it lasted what seemed like 15 minutes. I felt like a little kid walking with the nurse to where I would change and put my personal belongings. My mask soaked because I had been crying for the past 15 minutes. When I got changed it felt like everything was moving at warp speed.
Doctors were flying in and out of my room. Confirming information. Procedure. Prepping me with IV's, drawing on my chest, injecting die into my nipples to light up my lymph nodes. It was fast which I actually liked because it gave me no time to think or be emotional. It was go time baby. I got to see both of my surgeons Dr. Anderson and Dr. Lee. I made sure they both got their fill of my daily comedy naturally.
In my head I had imagined the operating room resembling what you would see some from alien space ship. All the instruments would be shiny and bright lights everywhere. They would lay be down on a table and strap me in and a Doctor would be over me with a scalpel in their hands.
No, this is not how it happened. It was actually quite peaceful. But I'm sure that was due to the lovely pre-surgery medication cocktail they had given me 20 mins prior. The last things I remember was being wheeled down a long hallway and pageant waving to other patients and nurses. Then I was lifted onto the operating table and a plastic mask was placed over my face where I was told to breathe in. The last words I can still hear myself speak were "Beam me up Scotty!." I heard a laugh and then it was lights out.
Waking up was a fear of mine. I was nervous that I would look down, see my new breasts and freak out. I was naturally a 36E. I was also downsizing quite a bit to a large C cup. Dr. Lee was able to get me down to 350cc's which was a significant reduction in size. I was thrilled. I had been large chested since I was 14 years old. They had their time in the limelight and I was over it. No more back or neck pain. No more nipple slips. Maybe I could now take up running. At least when I was healed of course.
I recall waking up being full of relief and peace that I took charge of my body and did it!
I had 4 drains total. 2 on each side. It was easy being in the hospital overnight. I have to say that bed came in handy considering I am a side sleeper. Being reclined was the only way I could get comfortable enough to actually fall asleep.
To be honest I don't recall a whole lot about waking up. I was under heavy medication but I do remember feeling overwhelming sensation of peace and reassurance that I made the best call for me.
Seeing the drains was a bit odd. I felt like an alien with exposed wiring. They were a bit to navigate around but I made it work! 2 weeks ahead of me with them so I made sure to get used to them fast to make the experience a more tolerable one.
MORE COMING SOON!
As chaotic as it was of course I managed to take advantage of some photo ops.
After being introduced to the 9th Nurse I gave up trying to remember everyone's names.
My Nurses were very patient as I made sure to hang onto my phone until the last minute. I believe this was a few moments before they wheeled me into the OR.