Six weeks out from abdominal surgery, I was still in some pain. My oncologist was reluctant to start Avastin until I had been examined by the surgeon. The day after my iron infusion I saw the surgeon in his office. I expected it to be a quick trip--he'd find all the sore spots, and send me on my way telling me, "It's just nerve damage, you're good to start Avastin". Instead, this happened:
Surgeon: Let's see that incision. Hey. Wow. You have some
stitches here, still. These must be bothering you.
Me: Uhhh...no, not really
Surgeon: Let's just do this [Grabs tweezers. Yank! He pulled a stitch.]
Me (unspoken): These need to come out WHYYYY?!!
THEN! He held the thing up to the light so I could see it. Did I want
to see that? NO! Of course not! I am a person who is unable even to
pull my children's baby teeth. In theory, I am interested in All Things
Medical, but in practice? No, no, no. And besides: OUCH. But he
didn't stop there. He yanked out another one.
Surgeon: [Holds up...a length of...whatever it is...so I could see.]
Me, weakly: Yeah, I don't need to see that.
Oh. Hey look at that, Celine. You've got a knot right...there!
[Scrounge, pull, probe, yank... He turns around to retrieve some other horrific
instrument. Dig, pull, yannnnk] AHAAAA...there we go!
Me, getting sicker: OWWWWW...You do know that I'm awake, right? And that I can feel that?!
Him: All done. You did great.
Me: [sweating profusely]
I am about to vomit all over your shiny floor. And then
pass out...and probably vomit some more. That is not great, Doc...not
great at all.
I can't remember how I got out of there. I do
remember sitting in my car, still parked, and trying not to throw up. The sense of "something awful just happened" lingered on the fringes of my frazzled mind. I was a mess. I called Patrick at work from my cell phone. Patrick, wonderful husband that he is, comforted me over the phone.
One nap later and the surgeon was forgiven, but I doubt I'll ever forget the way those stitches came out.