Thursday, August 2, 2012

Consult #3, remember it was the "accidental" phone call?

I told his boss.
I told the head of the plastic surgery in Soroka, Prof. Lior Rosenberg, the story about the traumatic bandage-ripping-off episode, carried out by his head surgeon. I told him that the episode left me feeling assaulted... and worse.

"On behalf of myself and the entire staff of the plastic surgery department, I sincerely apologize." 
said by a man who *really* meant it.

Professor Rosenberg gave me an hour, "off the books". Loooong free consult.
I learned so much. One of the big things he helped shed light on was why the one doctor said he'd have to leave my navel a little off-center.

It is merely an issue of experience, and facilities available to him. Less so of experience, though.
The private plastic surgeon I am talking about is the 'second consult' guy. He works in the private hospital here in my city. I learned from Prof. Rosenberg that there is no way that he himself (Rosenberg) would take me privately and do the surgery in the private hospital. He knows what it would entail in order to make me symmetrical, and it is a very big operation. That sort of operation needs a fully equipped major hospital, not a private one meant really for lesser operations. So the 'navel-off-center' doctor just could not take the chance of doing such a major procedure in a small private hospital, so he knew he'd have to leave out part of it... the part that makes my belly straight again. A very important part that I am not willing to compromise about, if I am going to go through this painful surgery at all. The result must be optimal.

So, surgeon #2 is out. He was out, anyway, in my book-- partly for the navel positioning issue, and partly because he was "pretty sure" he could do it in 3 surgeries, 6 months apart. And if not? Then we are talking about over two years. Wasn't enamored of that idea.

Continuing on, Prof Rosenberg and I talked about skin expanders, grafts, and a few other techniques available to me... one specifically freaks me out and I *won't* be doing.

He put the options on the table, then he checked me- in a very delicate way, thankfully. His manner was pleasant, friendly and professional. Everything you could want in a doctor. Unfortunately, because of the hospital situation, I can't take him privately to do the surgery. If I decide to go with his team in Soroka, he couldn't commit to be my only surgeon. He said there was a good chance he could be at my surgery, and be one of the main surgeons, but could make no promises.(but I'll be asleep...)

After the consult, I felt drained... partly because of telling the bandage story again. It drains me every time. Although, because I have done some work on it with Shulamit, it doesn't re-traumatize me each time. That is a HUGE blessing.

But I also felt still as confused as ever. That confusion being... what do I *really* feel about this? Should I actually do it? Would I be *nuts* to do it? The old adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is suitable in this case. I mean yes, gapey is problematic. It is not "only cosmetic" (there is the issue as well, of probably needing a new thigh joint in the future), but the voices of "should I do this surgery or not" really can make me crazy.

*Finally* this morning Robert & I had some time to talk things through. I needed to have his input, and we hadn't had any time to talk at all in quite a while.

And what a good talk it was.
You see, part of what was also so confusing was that I found out that Dr. Gur, the plastic surgeon in Ichilov who I had a plan to see tomorrow (Thurs), is actually out of the country! Good thing I called today to make sure. (thanks R for suggesting it). So, I cancelled that trip. No need to go if I can't see Gur. He will be back, of course, and I could see him in October (spoke to his secretary), and we talked about that, too.

We realized that it isn't so logical to go to a Tel Aviv hospital for this procedure. Too much traveling to-and-fro, and that is difficult, and painful with fresh surgeries going on.

I also reminded Robert that a few years ago, when I was talking about reconstruction, we called Rav Firer, and he said at the time that regardless of the fact that I live in Be'er Sheva, he'd recommend Prof. Rosenberg. *That* sealed it.

I will do it in Soroka.
Prof. Rosenberg said he could "protect" me from Dr. A, (aka "devil doctor"). That he can request from his ward to have someone else do rounds on me, that it shouldn't be him. Also Robert will be around and make sure the staff knows as well.

I *like* Prof Rosenberg so much. He is a "mentch". There is a reason he is recommended by Rav Firer; he heads the plastics department in the biggest hospital in the Negev, *and* he is a mentch.
He doesn't show up there every day, though. (but I have his private cell ph #).

We decided to sit with this decision and see how it feels over the span of a few days, a week. So far, I am good with this decision.

I do not know when I will set the ball in motion. That will come at the right time, as well. There are many considerations, of course. (Ya'akov's Bar Mitzvah is coming up, beginning of March- will I be before or after reconstruction by then? All I know so far is that I will *not be in the middle*). Thank Gd, this is not urgent.

Could it be, that after five years of thinking about this reconstruction, that it will actually materialize? Am I going to get gapey put back together? Stay tuned... same bat time, same bat channel... :)


  1. I can imagine your relief at having reached this decision. It's been a long road, but "it takes as long as it takes". You well know that you can't rush it.
    I have heard only good things about Lior Rosenberg.
    Keep focusing your positive thoughts on the result. You'll know the right time to schedule the surgery.

  2. great post - have a wonderful, relaxing Shabbat.
    Bracha (Barbara)

  3. It is so good to come to a decision, and to feel good about it!