Guess what’s been postponed again! My new surgery date is ‘sometime after March 1st’. Why? Because that’s when the plastic surgeon will be back in town to sit in on the surgery.
“The what?” I asked Connie, my surgeon’s NP, the one who always called with the bad news.
“We’re not sure we’ll be able to close the wound.”
“I don’t understand. It’s closed now. You’re going to be taking out the spacer and putting something back in that’s almost exactly the same size. There’s nothing wrong with the skin. How would you not be able to close the wound?”
“Well, we might have to pull in some skin and muscle from somewhere else during reconstruction, and that’s why we want the plastic surgeon involved.”
“I’m having a really hard time visualizing this.”
“Well, why don’t we set up a meeting with Dr. Menendez (the orthopedic surgeon), before your meeting with the plastic surgeon.”
So after I got off the phone, had a good cry in frustration, and calmed down, I got to thinking more about what she was talking about. My visualization of ‘closing the wound’ just included having enough skin to cover it over. This notion was clearly inadequate. They hadn’t just taken out the scapula. They took out surrounding muscle and other tissue, and part of the clavicle.
Just as my eyes avoid the misplaced protrusions around the incision, my mind had been avoiding any more sophisticated understanding of the problem than, ‘well, they just have to reattach all the muscles to the new part’. But no, if they did just that, there would gaps, pitting, and nothing to protect the skin from the sharp edges beneath.
So fine. I get it. I should probably be grateful that they are arranging to have the plastic surgeon involved in the reconstruction, rather than splitting it up into multiple surgeries (ok typing that just gave me chills. That had better not be foreshadowing.).
So much dread.
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