The Stacey Report

Boob job! Boob job!

Posted in Stacey Updates, Surgery, Warning: Eewy Medical Stuff! by dbancroft on May 20, 2008

So we’re standing at the end of my driveway watching our children play in the street…

OK, simmer down, now: our neighborhood is surrounded by conservation land; the only cars on the street belong to people who live here, all of whom drive at a max of 2 mph. (Except that annoying woman on Stacey’s street who’s been here a million years and never wanted those newfangled stop signs in the first place. But we always know when she’s coming — you can see the flying monkeys a mile away.) Also I live on a side street with four houses on it. And the driveway is gravel, no good for scooters and sidewalk chalk. So back off, man!

Anyway, we’re standing at the end of my driveway watching our children play in the street and Stacey says offhandedly “So I’m going in for the surgery next week.” Uhhh… wha? And she looks at me with that look, like, where the hell have you been, dude? “My reconstruction! Or reduction. Or whatever.”

“Well, I didn’t know about that. You have to tell me these things!”

“It’s been in the plans forever, I thought you knew about it!”

“Well I didn’t know it was happening NOW!”

“Well, you should have!”

“Well… you broke my pink Matchbox jeep!”

“I did not, that was Matt Alford across the street, and it happened when you were FIVE! Get over it!”

So I run out for a few therapy sessions about the pink jeep and when I come back Stacey tells me about the surgery. Which has, in fact, been planned all along (I did remember that much.)

When they did the tram flap after the mastectomy, they used (as you may recall) a pound of flesh from Stacey’s tum tum to reconstruct the left breast. And although SHE (not I, she) said at the time that her tum tum was a plenty ample source, the new boob is smaller and perkier than the right. Also it has decidedly NOT been used to breastfeed two children. The other one, uh, isn’t. And has.

So, God bless health insurance, Stacey gets a boob job! Because you can’t walk around with one boob bigger than the other, oh heavens no! (Never mind the fact that perfectly symmetrical boobs come only in blister packs.) The surgery is scheduled for Thursday; tune in to The Stacey Report for all the eewy updates!

More Eeeeewiness!

Posted in Warning: Eewy Medical Stuff! by dbancroft on February 18, 2008

So as you have probably guessed (I know, I know) Stacey is home and feverles. She doesn’t have any drains, so that’s good, but she does have an open wound in her stomach, and she has to pull out the old dressing, clean it out, and repack it with a new dressing twice a day, so that’s disgusting!

On the other hand, TLCD said that the tram flap is healing beautifully, which is great considering that when he said that he’d just come from seeing a patient whose tram flap had died. Is that not horrible? The transplanted skin and muscle just didn’t take. Not sure what one does in that situation, and not sure who this patient was, but please send out your prayers, thoughts, vibes, auras, or whatever it is you emanate.

Your Unreliable Narrator

Stacey corrected me on a few non-facts that appeared in the post below. First, the turkey-baster guy (who is actually the plastic surgeon Dr. Davidson, who did the whole flap thing to wonderful effect and is actually a lovely man, so we will call him TLDD.) OK, TLDD pulled the drain (just one) the week before last. Yay! He thought there might be some infection at the site, so he gave her some antibiotics.

Over last weekend the site got all red and swollen; Stacey was going in on Tuesday anyway, because TLDD wanted to check the site. It was clear that there was some collection of fluid, but he couldn’t aspirate anything. (The first aspiration was when the drain originally came out.)

SO! TLDD decided that he wanted to put the drain back in. Booo! So on Wednesday she went in to Newton Wellesley to have the drain put in. While they were prepping her (always a challenge because of course my sister has no veins) they took her temperature and it was 101. They rechecked later and it was 102. But they decided to place the drain anyway, got all the fluid out.

At the time she was under conscious sedation “Which is a ripoff,” Stacey said “because it just makes you feel sleepy; if you’re going to give me drugs, gimme the good stuff!” Also who knows if it worked; because of the surgery, Stacey doesn’t have any sensation there anyway, so it’s a waste of time. “But to add insult to injury, if you get this conscious sedation you have to sit around for three or four hours so they can observe you. i just wanted to go home and go to bed with my fever!”

While she was being observed, TLDD came in to take a look at her tummy. He was happy with the drainage but didn’t like the looks of a small area of the original incision. “It looks funky,” he said. (OK, no he didn’t.)

So he took a pair of scissor and POPPED IT OPEN, stuck his fingers in there and took out all this goop. Eeeeeew! So now she’s got two or three inches of open incision, and a fever that went up to a high of 104… and she’s not going anywhere. The fever was up and down all day: chills, then sweats to soak the bed, then chills again, yadda yadda yadda.

it got interesting again yesterday: they did a CT scan to make sure the site was free of fluids, pus, aliens, whatever. TLDD also called in the Infectious Disease guys to see what the hell was going on in there. Meanwhile, he had taken a culture of the stuff he pulled out and it started growing staph. ID told him he was too agressive and needed to relax; thus far, Stacey’s medical staff has tended to err on the side of caution and we LIKE that, so shut up ID. “They were a humorless bunch,” Stacey said, which I guess is the risk you run when you hang around flesh-eating bacteria and Ebola and Dengue Fever all day.

That’s the scoop. Since then, the fever has gone down and as long as that continues, she’ll be coming home tomorrow. So if you want to send flowers or treats or an Amazon Kindle, send them to the house.

Oh, the drainage!

Posted in Stacey Updates, Warning: Eewy Medical Stuff! by dbancroft on February 7, 2008

So, some administrative stuff first: I’ve decided that y’all are savvy enough to see the date on a post, so I shall forgo repeating it in the title. (Also I rarely know the date right off the bat because that would require remembering a number and my brain doesn’t do that. Last night Chris asked me if I remembered our phone number in Brooklyn. I gave him the “you are clinically insane” glare, and he rattled off the number no prob. I don’t get it. But don’t challenge me on theme songs from 80s sit coms! Most singable? Theme from “Dear John” starring Judd Hirsch of “Taxi” fame.)

But I digress…

I never got back to the OOF!-ectomy (which, apparently, I am unable to spell correctly, mostly because I don’t really care): but it doesn’t matter because it hasn’t happened, but Stacey has been wallowing in the wonderful world of DRAINS!

This gets really gross, by the way; fair warning for those with a low yuke threshold.

So, when you have surgery someplace where there is generally a lot of goo, like your abdomen (where the flap for the reconstruction came from) you get to have drains. These are just about what you’d think: tubes sticking out of your body, dripping eewy mystery fluids. There’s some apparatus to keep you from leaving puddles everywhere, but I don’t know what it is because Stacey wouldn’t show me (thank God).

So, two disgusting things happened. OK, just the drains alone are disgusting. But this stuff is more disgusting: the first thing was that one of the drains fell out. Just, SPLOOP!, out.  So what does my sister do? What any right-thinking person woul d do… she shoved it back in. “BLEEECH!” I hear you cry. Yeh, but she said that the popping out was the most disgusting part: she said she kinda went weak and everything went dim and she had to lean against the wall. OK, that’s called fainting, dude.

Second disgusting thing happened when she went back in tohave the drains removed. The doctor first had to aspirate (suck out with, like, a turkey baster dealie) a whole bunch of remaining fluid. Stacey said that she didn’t feel anything, but that just the idea of it gave her the wooze. I asked her what it looked like and she said (in that special “what the hell is wrong with you?!” way she has) “I didn’t LOOK at it! Geez!”

Hey, man, you said you wanted to know what was going on with Stacey… that’s what’s going on.