sickness and knots
by the time i got home thursday night, i had a fever of 101, sore throat, body aches, chills … the whole drill. i’ve been in a hot bath or asleep since then, and leanne is once again making me nice foods. this is the longest i’ve been vertical since thursday. we didn’t get to go to vegas for nate’s birthday and i’m sad for that, but i wouldn’t have been much fun. as it is, i feel a bit on the mend, though it’s quite possible nate and a martini in his honor would have sped it along.
i have noticed just today that my medial incision, previously un-scabbed, now quite possibly shows knots surfacing. i quote from dr. grissom:
Internal sutures are most commonly used to close the incision. They dissolve after 6 to 12 weeks. Occasionally the knot, which is tied to prevent the suture from unraveling, will come to the surface of the incision and cause drainage, redness, and irritation. This usually happens several weeks after surgery. If this occurs, please call the office and come in to have it removed. This is not painful and takes just a few seconds.
it is in fact six weeks since the surgery, so the timing is right for the dissolving (or the floating to the top?). i’ll call on monday if it looks the same. the knots, the sickness, and the SARS are all presumed unrelated! going to lie down again…
two of my scabs fell of in the last few days. does that mean i’m healing or scarring?
blood is an interesting thing. do an idle search on google for “blood, scabbing, and healing” and you’ll find a lot about tattooing, PC game cheats, some about tainted blood and platelets, and less about what a scab might actually be good for. there’s hardly a thing you can look at on the news, or in the ‘real world’, these days that doesn’t have as its basis — and its manifestation — blood or its products, yet i hardly comprehend what it’s actually made of and what it does, much less what to do about scabs and scars. my friend todd and my late friend david were forever changed by bad blood products from bayer, baxter, and alpha pharmaceuticals. deb suffers from an entirely opposite condition of the blood, and many of us rely on products that affect the blood – but ironically might damage it – to keep us alive. two years ago you couldn’t turn on the news without hearing about mounds of burning animals, killed in masses because of the ‘mad cow’ disease risk. the phrase of today is once again ‘no blood for oil’.
if scabbing means bleeding has stopped, what does the end of scabbing mean? there is only a tiny scab left on the left corner of my medial incision. i haven’t even been picking at the scabs, because i understand that could make scabbing worse — though i don’t know why. when i lie on my stomach, one of my favorite ways to sleep, my breast hurts; when people hug me these days, i often wince. sometimes, even if it doesn’t hurt or they didn’t hit the sensitive left breast, i shout out ‘ow’, but nobody thinks its funny.
i suspect all the scabbing will be gone soon, and then i’ll see the full potential of the scars — marks of being stabbed, however precisely and on purpose, and then prevented from bleeding. then i just have to figure out how to heal.
it’s now just over three weeks since the biopsy, and my breast has been sore for the past few days. it’s not the incisions that are aching – those are drying up though generally look the same as they did a week ago, and the bruise, though fading, is still there. it’s more like the flesh that was removed is filled with a dull ache in its absence. leanne says she misses the pieces that are missing.
i’m not nearly sore anymore. the incisions are still ringed with red, but are starting to dry out. the bruises are beginning to fade, even if they are still stunning arrays of color. scott suggested they could be “mood bruises”, changing color with my mood or maybe how hot or cold i am! now i grow curious about the permanency. leanne picked them both up last night and said my left breast definitely weighs less.
i took her to roxanne’s last night to thank her for all she’s done for me during this biopsy. my god, was the food delicious. clearly the most interesting, worthwhile dining experience in quite awhile. what they did with parsnips was nothing short of miraculous. and the truffle-asparagus crepe was simply astounding – and a treat to get in on the last truffles of the season. we like the attention to sustainability but get just a little confused at how labor-intensive that food must be, and then how far everything has to fly to arrive at our table. and then… our waiter was really quite tired.
also as a celebration of sorts, we’re hiking with colleen and tom today in point reyes, which i need nearly inexplicably particularly after this week. it’s not enough to heal my wounds externally and in an external environment that is currently hardly healing and often no small bit confusing, globally, locally, and personally. in my world’s microcosm, i go to work in a foreign company, in the curious position to dodge or field anti-american sentiment and then catch blame for being too sensitive and taking it too personally.
in fact, i must go to point reyes and seek solace. of course my environment is all about my insides these days. i wear the scar right out on my left breast, hardly yet totally hidden by the personal nature of its location. nothing about my inside feelings is unrelated to its outer manifestation these days, and if the outer manifestation is hardly one i like, i’ve got to take it somewhere else. the desire mounts almost so that i can’t go back to sleep like i should on my saturday morning. must get outside to heal inside. i mean, let’s be fair about it. after all, what have i been doing if not working too hard to heal the outside with my insides, in a losing battle. time to turn the table.
spike responds to my problem of being awake way too early on a saturday by puncturing my skin just at one of those veins they couldn’t find for the IV. maybe we just need more antibiotics all around.
i’m going back to bed.
heike is the sweetest. today, she sent along a bar of (dark chocolate!) toblerone, marked with both a centimeter and inch ruler! someone has been reading very very closely.
marlena wrote some sage words:
healing will go along, and now that you know you are okay
you can relax. and enjoy. and whenever a scare like this
comes up, afterwards everything seems better, more worthy
of appreciation. okay, you have a scar, and each day we live
we get another scar here and there and everywhere, but
well, i'd like to think they just add character.
or at least fade.
good things to keep in mind. perhaps these can temper my nether-feelings, that dull attentionlessness and yet beauty of healing…
geoffrey swept in and sent a wonderful note. those people up in buffalo don’t know what they’d be missing.
writing with geoffrey gave me the chance to identify this sort of odd state after the biopsy and the results. i said before that i had a sort of uneasy feeling of liking all of this surgical attention. now the attention’s gone, for all the best, benign reasons, and i’m in a sort of dull, nether state, tending to wound management and incision healing in the reality that this all was, in fact, not a party. i still would not have preferred any other way aside from the certainty of surgical biopsy, but can this be a sort of ‘buyer’s remorse’? will my left breast heal to normal, ever be the same size again, or has it permantly suffered the casualty of attention? do i care?