Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Decision: reconstruction, part II

I'll pick up where I left off...
That would be... the decision about the doctor I want to do the reconstruction surgery.

Since I published that post, I started feeling uneasy and agitated. I felt like, at once, that I wanted to 'get on with it' and do surgery already, and at the same time wanted to just leave everything alone.

Oh, that brings me to a few questions I got on emails after that post:
It seems that things weren't clear as to the reasons why to do the reconstruction surgery to transform gapey into a regular section of stomach.
At first I was led to believe by a few doctors that I will have nerve pain until I close the wound area (aka gapey). I was told that the nerve pain I have, and also the pain from the mesh would be gone if I would do the reconstruction. Also there was the added factor of needed it done before I'll [most likely] need a hip replacement, otherwise they wouldn't be able to open me up and do the hip transplant.

The reality turns out to be not quite that optimistic.
I have now been told by two plastic surgeons that by no means can I expect the nerve pain to lighten up by doing this.

To those who do not read between the lines, that translates to:

me being stuck with nerve pain... for the long, long run.
(the past few days have brought a heavy depression about this realization).

Tomorrow I will start the new nerve pain medicine.
pharmacology seems to be the only route we have.
(or cannabis, but that is a whole other discussion- KQ- we'll talk)

So, with that off the table, well, mostly... apparently there is a consensus that the pain I would be relieved of by doing the reconstruction is the pain from the mesh. OK, that is something, for sure. It gets a point.

Also, the need to have it done before I would [probably] have a hip replacement is true as well. BUT, that wouldn't be for at least 10 years, at the least. So, no hurry there.

So I hope that answers the questions I had from a few readers about the issue of the treat-ability of nerve pain with surgery. That is a dead end (many dead ends, actually... hehehe).

I knew I had to do something about the intense agitation I felt about this weighty decision. I called Shulamit, the medical life coach.

Using deep relaxation techniques, we explored my soul. I had some inner conversations, and decided together that it is fine to put it off. I discussed the importance of my son Ya'akov's BarMitzvah coming up this year at the beginning of March (please Gd), and that I want to be there for him fully.

So, for one day I have sat with the decision to put off the reconstruction, at least for a half year or so.

I am sad about it. I know, crazy. If it's not going to solve nerve pain (except the mesh pain), why get into the whole, complicated, painful, involved surgery (surgeries, actually) now?

You know why?
Because I want to feel whole.
Because in the day and age I live, it is possible.
I want to look and feel symmetrical. When I dress without the pressure garment and pillow, one can easily see a bulge on the left side. In five years of that, I have never made my peace with it. I think because I *know* that there is a way to fix it, that knowledge inspires some sort of discontent with the un-fixed status.

I want gapey fixed. I am allowed to want gapey fixed.
It may be like, l'havdil (literally means "to separate", used in context to mean 'this is a comparison which is far, far away from the issue we are discussing, not to belittle the comparison), an amputee who knows that as soon as he is able to use a prosthetic, he will. Just for the reason that it will make his life better in some way.

I want to feel closed, balanced (a word to replace symmetric which is closer to how I feel), and DONE.

Oh- I forgot to mention something!
Prof. Lior Rosenberg, the doctor who I 'chose' to preform and oversee the surgery, will be retiring soon. I have to find out when- I *think* it is at the end of this year. I will call him soon to clarify.
 Guess who he already told me will step into his office... 
Dr. A- the Evil, bandage-ripping Doctor!!!!! 

There is *no* justice.
I want Prof Rosenberg as my chief surgeon,
 and guardian on the ward.

So... do I schedule based on the plan of being in his hands before he retires, or do I schedule when I decide it is the right time, and believe that the right doctor will be there for me at the right time.

My gut (no pun intended) says do it with Prof Rosenberg. Do it as soon as it makes sense to do it, taking into account Ya'akov's barMitzvah.

Otherwise, if I go past his retirement, I feel like I am again left in limbo.

This is where Really Strong Emunah (faith in God), 
and all my God given, decision-making facilities
 must guide me.


  1. Concentrate on the bar-mitzvah!

  2. Find out if Dr. R could still be at your surgery in a year even if he's retired (he may maintain priviliges). If not, maybe have the op in Oct.