It’s the anniversary of my breast reduction surgery! Hooray!
Break out the party hats and the balloons because it was 15 years ago today that I went under the knife and changed my life. My surgery scars are now eligible for their learner’s permit.
I’ve written about the struggle of having large breasts and the relief that surgery provided me. I’ve written about the scars that the surgery left behind and the struggle with the insecurities the scars have caused. I’ve even told my favorite boob story.
This year to celebrate, I’m going to tell you all a pre-surgery story.
My breast reduction was scheduled for eight in the morning, so I had to be there at six. My friend Gin had graciously volunteered to come out and take care of me, getting me to the hospital, hanging out with me there, taking me home, and minding me for a few days afterward. When we got to the hospital, we were met by my friend (and co-worker at the time) Josh.
I got checked in and settled into my room. Gin and Josh kept me company until it was time to go under the knife. When the nice nun came in to ask if I’d like to pray before surgery, I politely declined, thanking her anyway. There may have been a comment made after she left that the nice nun praying for me would have been pointless as I make angels cry.
I can’t remember where Gin had gone to, but when the nurse came in to insert my IV, only Josh was with me. Now, I’m not afraid of needles. Naturally, I’d prefer not to be punctured by them, but for me, they’re no big deal. Josh, on the other hand, didn’t like needles. At all. Period. But, Josh is a sport and he wanted to be supportive. So while this nurse tried to insert my IV, Josh held my other hand.
And he also held the hospital menu in front of his face so he wouldn’t actually have to see the nurse trying to establish my IV.
Which felt like it took forever because she said she couldn’t find a vein. And I’m looking at this poor nurse like, “Lady, I’m so white I’m practically see-through. What do you mean you can’t find a vein?” while Josh is looking at this menu like, “Oh, they have cottage cheese. How interesting.” And despite this woman digging around in my arm with a needle trying to strike oil, which stings quite a bit, I’m trying desperately not to laugh at the absolute absurdity of this situation and make it all worse. Because if I started laughing, that poor lady was never going to get that IV done.
Some people feel apprehensive about having surgery. No matter if it’s elective or necessary, life-threatening or minor, anesthesia will be administered, incisions will be made, blood will be lost, and the chance of death will linger. Others feel excited. Whatever had been burdening them is going to be fixed. They’re going to go to sleep sick and wake up better.
I, on the other hand, felt totally calm. Not really apprehensive. Not excited. Just zen and ready.
The comfort of knowing there’s cottage cheese on the hospital menu is clearly underrated.