Monday, October 20, 2008

I Love My Doc.

Not for the faint of heart. Seriously. Stop reading if you get queasy easily, or dislike medical stuff. 'Cus this is gross.

Some of you know I recently had abdominoplasty. I am not going to call it a "Tummy Tuck." There is nothing cute about it. Nothing. Well, not yet anyway. Not till my belly button heals, at least.

I knew I wanted/needed this for a long-time. Longer than I knew the procedure existed. However, I was always nervous about picking a doctor. I was skeptical when I went on line, and even more when I was so impressed with the first local doctor I found. I liked everything about the site, but most particularly the pictures. I appreciated that the before-and-after pics were disrobed, and the shapes of the "afters" looked natural, and pleasing. So sure, I thought I would go see this Dr. Anous.

To make a long story short, I liked everything about the place, including the people, and the explanation of why the before-and-after models were naked - something Dr. Anous mentioned before I even thought about it. He seemed warm, yet serious and professional. One thing that really stuck with me was a book in the waiting area, which was done by one of his (six) children. It was a darling interview including hand-drawn pictures; a life-story of the Doc. What resonated with me (as corny as it sounded at the time) was how the Doc wanted to be thought of by others. His response was simple: "To be a nice doctor." What a wonderful image to portray to ones children. How lovely, indeed.

So after going to only one other doctor (and getting my excess skin yanked on as if it were dead, being told I wasn't a candidate until I first had liposuction for 7K, lost some weight for 3 months, then I could have it done for another 9K) I thought I would bite the bullet and go for it.

Let me tell you. It is not like a C-section. I have not had a C-section, but I have had two people who have had C-sections and abdominoplasty, and this is what they were told. I mean, this is how they were lied to. First of all, I am guessing when I say that having a C-section is not like having your tits sewn to your knees. Just a guess.

I already have had lower-back problems almost all my life. I found out about 6 years ago that I have a pars-defect in my lower back, which is basically a crack in one of the little "wings" that comes off the vertebrae. For the last 2 or so years I have managed to keep it at bay with yoga. Amazing. No back pain whatsoever. It was the only of a gazillion things I tried that worked. So anyway, I thought tying up all those abs (that turned to jelly once they first found out I was pregnant more than 17 years ago) would really help my back as well. Just a guess. "Tighten the core" they say. CORE?! WHAT core? I have no friggin' CORE. Ugh.

So, what was I saying about "tits sewn to knees?" I knew I was going to be in trouble, but I sort of made light of my previous back pains, telling the doc I surely had it in check. I remember something about letting him know if I needed a "walker" I just give him a call. A walker?! What the hell was I going to need that for? I couldn't get off the fucking bed. For a week.

So here's the gross part... (Really, there is a mission to this madness - stay posted if you will.) You have these tubes, or "drains" that come out of your upper thighs, so that all the fluids and blood clots (and whatever that other gross stringy stuff is) can be properly expressed and not build up as toxins in your body. This even grossed me out so much that I had a hard time looking at my own stuff. This is one redeeming thing about my husband's "husbandry" if you will. He was able to deal with this, because I sure didn't like it. Anyway, the longer you take to heal, the longer these end up staying in. This is the vicious-circle thing. The more active you are, the quicker you heal, but it is SO painful to move around. On top of the normal pain, I have this horrible back-pain - debilitating, really. I get the walker. I am 11 days out and still on the walker, still with the tubes (and bulbs of puss that I have to carry around in my pockets wherever I go), and these normally come out after 4-5 days. The doc called me in anyway since they were so painful and obviously working their way towards infection, since it is basically a raw, deep hole in the leg. My biggest fear (and believe me, I heard horror stories before I even knew how bad the tubes would be) was having those tubes taken out in a long, most-painful-fucking-thing-I-have-ever-endured process. But no. And this is precisely what made me realize how much I liked this doc.

Technique. No bullshit, down-to-business-tried-and-true technique.

I am sitting there in the exam room, waiting, waiting (I was 10 minutes late so understandably had to wait a little longer) and thinking about how the hell he was going to do this. First of all, I thought he would only take out one, since it was barely draining, and incredibly painful. When I say painful, I mean if a feather would touch anywhere on the tube I would basically jump out of my skin. Anyway, Dr. Anous comes in and tells me (in his naturally terse manner) that he will take out both. "Yea!" I say, then quickly try to distract myself as he prepares to do the dead. No time to ask questions, the doc rolls over, tells me to breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out (are you kidding, when is he going to...) ZZZZIP! Whatthefuck. It's out! And that was the bad one. Oh awesome. OK, now to the second one. He rolls to the other side. "Now you are an expert, no?" He says in his warm low voice and very slight Egyptian accent. "Sure" I say. "OK. Good. Breathe in," ZZZZIP!! NO SHIT! You friggin' rock! Well, I didn't say that, but I did sort of sit there with my eyes wide open. "Now, you breathe out, no?"

Plastic surgery is not for everyone. I insist that mine was somewhere between aesthetic and reconstructive. I understand how some people think it isn't necessary. I am mostly-vegan, think green, and abhor what some people do with plastic surgery,. You won't see any people like that in Dr. Anous' books. What you will find, is a record of how this "problem solver" (as he likes to see himself) helps people deal with and fix things that they don't necessarily need to live so troubled with. It is easy enough for one person to say we should all stay "natural" and another thing entirely to live with some physical feature that causes troubled albeit hidden health troubles such as yeast infections in bellybuttons and occasionally zipping sagging skin in a zipper - that shit hurts.

One thing I do know, is that a good doctor is hard to find. Not only did Dr. Anous take me serious, have incredibly friendly and charming assistants (including his lovely wife Candy), but he showed a genuine yet reserved concern. I did have fears going into the surgery. You know, just stuff like, maybe dying under anesthesia. While lying on the surgery table, I realized one of the assistants was rubbing my left arm while the anesthesia doc prepared my injection, only to turn and realize it was the doc himself holding my hand. Now that is good bedside manner. It might not have helped if he was pacing around the surgery table with a scalpel, or even just scrubbing-up with his back towards me, but he actually held my hand and gently rubbed my arm while I completely went under.

I think my only fear that now remains, is that I said something awkward as I went under. "Iz luz yuz Dr. Anuz."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Guess What I am Doing Right Now. Really, Just Guess.

Men Don't Always Make Good Caregivers After Marriage.

Some don't even make good ones before getting married.

More wise words from a long-time friend. I should have known, though. I really should have. I am at day six post-op and can barely do much more than I could at day one or two, and that is most-likely due to the absence of horse tranquilizers in my system, which I have apparently built up a tolerance to, as well as my existing lower-back defect.

Oh. I am not looking for pity. No sir. I am basically just bored as hell and wanting desperately for something good to be on cable television. I quickly realized that isn't going to happen, and the best thing I have right now is watching Growing Up Polar Bears or gaping at Fox News (has now taken the place of the 700 Club) or watching 82-year old Playboy Tycoon and his three young blond girlfriends celebrate his latest birthday. Nothing.

So, I am lucky my husband actually left me the computer to write nonsense.

However, while I would normally feel like a useless bump on the log, I am actually vacuuming the house. While I lay in bed. Seriously. One of the best inventions in a while - the Rhumba. This cute little "vacuuming robot" (as we call it) is busy trolling around the house picking up all the little dust bunnies and sucking up all the stray little pieces of hardened playdough, while I lay here in bed watching some who-knows-how-the-hell-he-got-money talk about how only the rich people have coffered ceilings, 24 HD TVs, and round glass-and-chrome coffee tables in their "crib."

I want two of these machines. We'll name the next one "Hank."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Judge Ye Not

I suppose it doesn't matter much, but I would sorta hate for someone to judge me by the posts on my blog. But, in the words of the greatn 80s hairband Whitesnake, "Here I go again."

This book came to me with a warning. "Everyone is reading it. I mean all the kids are reading it. You will need to hide it from all your friends and especially colleagues. And by all means, never, never tell them where you got it."

It is indeed like popcorn. You find yourself reading it, flipping the pages, one by one, gradually working through the 560+ pages, the whole while saying "I can't believe I am reading this. I don't care about these people at all. This is so stupid."

Three days kids. It took me all of three days, and I didn't even try to read it fast. I swear it.

Now, you may think, OK, sure. It must be good. After all, they are coming out with a movie that is reportedly to be as big as Harry Potter.

But here is my disclaimer. I would normally never EVER knowingly read a book, watch a movie and most of all EVER get into any serious discussion about vampires. Did I say vampires? OMG. I said vampires. Eeeewwwwweeeeeeeeeee. What's even more embarrassing... teen vampires.

So, you can't believe you are reading the book, but as my friend said, by the time you get to the last three pages, you are going "What?! Where?! How did they?! agh!!!!!" And if it is 5:30 in the morning - no doubt having read the thing all night till then - you are asking yourself if Barnes and Nobles is open all night. Provided they have been able to keep the darn books on the shelves.

I can't wait to see the movie right before Halloweeen.

Did I say that too?

Party! Party!

Five years old. It was such a tumultuous start, and Isabel is now almost 5 years old.

It was about two years ago that Isabel first laid eyes on a pony. This was back in San Diego at a "pumpkin patch" where they had hay rides, game, and pony rides. In true Isabel fashion, she knew she wanted to get right on that pony and ride off into the sunset. So, after getting settled back up here in the Northwest, I thought there would be nothing better than to live vicariously through her and rent a pony for her birthday. I am going to have so much fun. No, I mean she is going to have so much fun. I have even purchased a fun 1940s Western pattern for chaps and a vest, which I am going to make out of black and cream felt. I better do what I can while this one still will let me. On a good day I can still dress her up in pigtails or what-have-you sort of twee frill and ribbons. It may take some bribing, but I can still do it.

Provided I can get around a bit (with or without my walker), and with a ton of help from my in-laws, we hope to post tons-of-fun pictures of pinatas, western star candies, pin-the-tail, and darling dollies. Oh, and not to forget, the party will be nothing without a master track done (by Grand Master Mark) with Bob Will and his Texas Playboys, and all that great retro music.

Holy COW!!!!


This is one time that silly online acronyms are totally appropriate.

I did it. I can't believe I f*cking did it. I am just coming out of the elephant-tranquilizer fog, and every part of my body hurts. Well, my little toe is in pretty good condition, but could use some Miso soup.

After over 17 years of wanting a tummy tuck I finally got one.

Now, I feel.... not so beautiful. I have affectionately named my new walker (yes, as in a old person's *walker*) the GL6000. (The GL stands for "greased lightening", of course.) However, I cannot say it out loud because it hurts waaaay too much to laugh.

One of the weirdest things, was having to search-down a place that will bill my insurance company for my much-needed walker, and it turned out to be the same place where I got my panty hose for verecose viens.

I am 41 years old for cryin' out loud!!!!!!

Aren't these the types of things you get when you're, what? 80??!!!

And I thought, "sure, plan the kids party for a week after the surgery. I am sure I will be hoppin' around in no time, passing out canapes on a silver tray while swirling through the party crowd of cuties in my new handmade party dress (from a 50's vintage pattern no-doubt) and waving off all the 'My how you look so nice!' comments."

Not so much. I feel rather like... Like a troll. A troll. Oh well, hand me some lipstick.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

You will NOT believe this.

And frankly, I don't expect you to.

However, it is true - and weird, and almost challenges my idea that there is no intelligent design, or someone watching out for me. Almost.

So, my husband was coming home for the first time in 7 months. I decided to go out and get a sexy new outfit. I fell in love with some shoes - this is normal, right? A hundred clams they wanted. While I decided it was OK to go ahead and shell out for the sweater and pants that were great, I decided the shoes would NOT make it past the accountant. I even went so far as to try them on, turn my lovely new foot side-to-side, bat my eyes in admiration, think about all the dance classes I could take with these. While I didn't own a comfortable pair of heels (not one, I tell you, not ONE!), I left broken-hearted and with a deep pout.

So, as I walk to my car, I think to myself, wouldn't it be great to just have the money fall from the sky so that they were like, "a gift!"? I look down to the floor.....

A fifty dollar bill!

No.... TWO fifty dollar bills!

Exactly the price of the shoes.

What would YOU do?

The Man Comes Home...

Finally. We have spend 7 long months waiting for this.

I never really like saying what he does. Not that I am embarrassed about it but from my own personal experience, having grown-up in a hippy-friendly artsy environment, but I realize that there are always preconceived notions about things. Like Soren Kierkegaard said, "Once you label me, you negate me.

However, I am very proud of what Mark does. Not becuase he is "fighting the war on terrorism" - any fool with half a brain knows this is wrong, wrong, WRONG, but because he is a genius where you wold want a genius to be. I once had an ex-lover write to me and give me a shitty time for my husband being in the Navy, and actually used the term "collateral damage." (Mind you he was bitter, drunk and probably pining, realizing what he had lost, donchaknow.) I stepped right up and said that he was an ignoramus (yes, I often use such delicate terms) to not realize that having liberal sound-minded people in the military was in his best interest - that he ought to count his sorry-ass blessings.

All that said, we are more than happy to have him back, safely, and no worse for wear. Well, so far so good. Seven months is a long time, and hopefully the last time, as he is set to retire in 4 years. Wooo hooo!

For now, we have birthdays, Halloween, crazy doctors appointments, relatives (thank goodness only in-laws ::snort::) and shopping shopping shopping to take care of. Not to mention the birthday and Halloween costumes I have planned to sew. I better get my fat hiney in gear!