Last night I was scrolling through the pictures on my phone and came upon this one of my sister Pamela and I outside the front of my house in our bathrobes. I wracked my still anesthesia-fogged brain trying to remember when this photo was taken and only by looking at the sequence of photos taken before and after this one did a vague recollection dawn.
It was my first full day home from the hospital (three days post-op) and we actually walked around the block (or probably just to the corner and back). In our pajamas. And our bathrobes. I can’t even begin to imagine what the neighbors thought. Well, at least we looked cute.
Dr. Evil Returns
On day 6 post-surgery, I was awakened by the barking of my neighbor’s dog at around 8:00 in the morning. Not a big deal except that the dog would not stop barking. It barked and barked and barked, and by 3:00 in the afternoon I could stand it no more.
Exhausted and weary from the frayed nerves (did I mention that the neighbor’s dog barking made my own two dogs bark non-stop?) I stomped out of bed, jotted a quick and not so nice note threatening to report the dog to animal control if they couldn’t control it’s barking, and marched myself over there (wearing god only knows what). When nobody answered I slapped the note (with tape I had already applied) on the door and strode home, collapsing back into bed.
The next morning, completely devoid of any memory from the previous day’s escapade, my husband strolls into the bedroom and hands me a piece of paper. I eyed him suspiciously and slowly opened the note. It began like this:
First, let me wish you a speedy and healthy recovery from your surgery (apparently I mentioned this in my note). Second, I understand how difficult it can be to rest with a barking dog nearby. Please do not call animal control. We want to work to resolve this. I will keep Brodie in his crate inside all day today so he will not disturb you. Here is my phone number if Brodie’s barking ever becomes a problem.
Ridiculously Nice Neighbor
When I finished reading it, a crushing blow of guilt and remorse struck me in the solar plexis. The first thing I did was to send off a quick email to my friend Susie Lindau who had her mastectomy a couple of months before me, and asked her how long I could blame my bad behavior on the narcotics and anesthesia. She quickly replied, “At least three weeks–and milk it, honey.”
I thanked her profusely, but strangely I didn’t feel the relief I expected to because the note was something that the Real Me would never do. It was then that I realized that, despite the fact that I had just slayed the Zombie’s that had invaded my dreams since surgery, the Evil Me (See Who Are You and What Have You Done with the Real Me) had returned.
Determined to not let Dr. Evil stake his claim on me, I sent off an email to my neighbor (she left her email address in her note) and explained to her that I had been momentarily possessed by an evil force and begged for her forgiveness.
I waited on pins and needles for two days for her reply and was pleased when the first line read that I had nothing to apologize for. I can’t remember what she said after that, but I made my husband promise not to let me stomp out of the house in anger ever again.
Back in the Saddle O.R. Again
In my last Post-Mastectomy blog (click here), I reported that Dr. Kind discovered a patch of skin that looked as though it might be dying. Despite our best efforts to encourage it to live, it did in fact die, and now it has to be removed. This Thursday I will return to the operating room to have the offensive tissue excised. Unfortunately, this will set my reconstruction back a couple of months, but Dr. Kind still promises me a pair of perfectly matched sisters when it’s all said and done.
What about you? What helps you through the challenges in your life?
Repost from August 27, 2013