One Week until Skin Removal Surgery

This post has been evading me for days. I just can’t think of what to say or how. My surgery is on July 19th, exactly 10 9 8 days away. (See what I mean about putting off this post?) I’m filled with nervousness and excitement—nervous excitement? Some days, it’s all I can think about. Some days, I’m strangely calm. (I think the eery calm comes from being entirely too distracted to focus too heavily on it.)

Let’s start with what I can articulate. A week ago, I went in for my pre-op appointment with Dr. Weniger. I really like him as my surgeon, and am so pleased with my choice. My boyfriend went with me, and really liked him, as well. Dr. Weniger was reassuring, frank, and funny, and he definitely put us both at ease. (Well, if Chris is uneasy, he doesn’t show it. He’s super supportive, cool, calm, and collected, and a slew of other alliterations for poised under pressure.)

I don’t have a lot of questions at this point. I’ve learned that anesthesia is almost instantaneous, and according to the internet, most people don’t even remember getting to the OR, falling asleep, or quite waking up. They definitely don’t report suffering from my biggest fear, which was having horrible nightmares while under and not being able to wake up. I am fascinated by the idea of anesthesia, though. I’m losing 8+ hours that the rest of you will not. The lack of anything—remembering or dreaming for 8 hours is crazy. It’s like time travel.

I think my nervousness stems from not feeling like I don’t have a check-list of preparedness going into the surgery. I know essentially what I will need, but I don’t have a physical list, and that works me up. I want to be able to go down my list of To-Dos the night before the surgery:

Preparation Achieved.
Advance to Surgery Level!

(When giving out superlatives of adulthood, I get nominated as “Most Likely to Become a Notary Public” hands down.)

Here’s what I know I need (from scouring great resources like: Runs for Cookies and Kellawanda):

  • a helping hand
  • too many pills: I have a list of 8 prescriptions to pick up from Kroger totaling about $300. This includes:anti-anxiety meds (pre-surgery), anti-blood clotting drugs (post-surgery, and what’s more, it’s shots), pain-meds (post-surgery), and anti-nausea meds (cause the pain meds make you blergh.)
  • a go-girl. Seriously, smartest invention ever. Considering I will be stretched so tight I can’t sit upright or stand upright for days, this will be a pain-saver.
  • pillows
  • a comfy place to recline
  • loose comfy, clothes (slip-on shoes, pull on pants, and button-up tops/bathrobes.)
  • protein
  • iron
  • more protein
  • something to put between me and the bed, in case I ooze. (i’m probably gonna ooze.)
  • Mederma
  • gauze (I have Maxi pads are a cheap alternative.)
  • medical tape
  • a positive support group

Which, the last item leads to my next worry—that this calm before the storm is going to lead to one hell of a storm. I’m not worried about the physical aspect of healing so much as the mental and emotional one. Michelle, the office manager for Dr. Weniger told Chris, “Don’t be surprised or worried when she’s laughing one minute and crying the next. Her emotions are going to be all over the place. Chris laughed and said, “Are you sure she hasn’t already had the surgery?” It’s true. My emotions are up and down anyway, but Michelle says there are going to be days when I freak out, and wonder Why did I do this? This is worse than I was before! and when someone’s going to need to talk me down off an emotional ledge.

The important thing I have to do, and those around me have to do, is remind me that I worked hard for this, and that it’s not forever. I will heal, and it will be better than before. It is going to be an acclimation. I’ve never known my body this way before, and there will be some adjustment time. I’ve set small goals, though. I hope keeping these mantras/rules/general things in mind will help me focus on the end-state during the healing process.

  • Healing is not instantaneous. Healing is hard work. Healing is more than skin deep. Focus on healing the mind with good thoughts and the body with good food and exercise, just like you’ve been doing for the last two years.
  • No skinny clothes for two months. Face it—there will be swelling. Your body won’t look proportionate. There will be oozy, goozy, grossness for a hot sec. This time is about taking it easy, recuperating, and loving yourself on all levels. The skinny jeans will come.
  • It’s not about the number on the scale, and it never has been. It’s about how you feel in your own body. There will be time to work on that number a few months down the road, but that time is not now. Now is about shedding the chrysalis and stepping outside.
  • But okay, let’s face it, you want that two piece bathing suit. You worked hard for it. When you get the okay to start working out again from your surgeon, you can go buy it. You earned it.
  • Walk every day and know you won’t be up to your 34min. 5k speed for a while. But, walk a little further every day, and run when you feel able. You’ll do that Color Run in October, and it may not be in 34min, but it will be the first 5k this brave new body has ever run.

This post got long and rambling, but most of my thoughts on the surgery are long and rambling at this point. I just wanted to touch base with you guys and let you know what was going on and when. It’s soon, and the day-of and post-surgery time will be here sooner than I expected.

More soon. <3

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