I appraised her as soon as she entered the exam room. She was lovely, held herself confidently yet in a friendly manner and love shown in her eyes. They say the first 3 seconds is the most important part of your meeting with anyone, as that’s when first impressions are made. I was getting a good feeling about her, which went along with the feeling I got last week when my appointment was made with her, the whispers of my soul was telling me then“this is the one!”
She asked me if this was my 3rd opinion and I knew how important my answer would be. I was not there for a 3rd opinion. I felt comfortable with the diagnosis my Ob/Gyn, Dr. Probst and the 1st Surgeon I saw gave me (even though I didn’t want him as my surgeon, I could tell he knew what he was talking about). I was here to find someone I felt comfortable with. My connection with my Doctors is no different and not any less important to me than the one whom I would give the privilege to hold my daughter after she was born. I explained how the first Surgeon treated me like a job. I was herded in and out like a cow, a piece of meat. He spent very little time explaining anything, was rough and hurt me twice, which crossed him off the list. The second Doctor referred me back to the first saying he didn’t want to do the surgery, he wasn’t going to be responsible for deforming my breast. Needless to say, this crossed him off the list as well. Matter-of-fact, by the time I was done crossing his name off my list, there was a BIG black mark and whole left in the paper where his name once was.
Dr. Chang, my husband and I had a great consultation. She explained the procedure, measured the Lipoma (6mm), and showed me where the incision would be made. She told me about her team, gave me a physical and asked if Friday, one week from today, would be a good day for me. With everything set, I proceeded to the next 2 steps – meeting the surgery coordinator and going for the tests Dr. Chang ordered. I left the hospital after my x-ray and the EKG to meet Eric and my son Stephen for dinner; evening concluded… and all that was left for me to do was to wait for my surgery date.
Our alarm blared at 3 am. We needed to be at registration by 6 am. It was raining and we had an hour drive to the hospital, an hour if there were no accidents. We were 15 minutes out of town when I realized I forgot my ID and medical card. It took half an hour to get back where we were after retrieving my forgotten ID’s. These kinds of things always add frustration and worry to a now tight schedule. But we made it and with 15 minutes to spare.
We were sent upstairs to the 2nd floor after I registered. I changed and I was brought back with Eric in tote to a room separated with curtains to give the appearance of privacy. More questions were asked, an IV was placed in my hand and my blood pressure and temperature was taken. The nurse left me with Eric, who had fallen asleep in his chair. At least one of us was relaxed. Actually I was ok, I grabbed my iPhone and let the game “Angry Birds” entertain me. I love flinging those birds at the pigs and getting them! Ha! I got myself 2 levels when the curtain moved. I put down my iPhone when a tall man who commanded my attention just from his very presence entered my tiny little room. “Hi, my name is Rick and I am your anesthesiologist. I will be the one who will administer the anesthesia you will need for the operation.” He proceeded to explain the procedure, told me how frigid the OR would be and asked a few questions. At one point, I interrupted to ask a question. I didn’t do so intentionally, but I didn’t try not to intentionally either. So it was my fault, and I refrained from doing so again, as his response let me know he had zero tolerance for interruptions. This helped me to size him up though. Because once I understood his personality and knew how to walk along side of him, rather than against him, we got along splendidly. Next visitor was my surgeon, Dr. Chang. Today she looked different than in the office. She was confident and professional and very personable. She felt comfortable in her zone. We talked a few minutes; she marked my body where she was going to make the incision and asked me if I had any questions. She left saying she would see me in a few minutes in the OR.
The nurse came in to escort me to the operating room. I kissed Eric and told him I’d see him in a bit and followed the nurse. Did you know that we walked to the operating room and got up on the skinny little table by ourselves? This was a shock to me, but not an unwelcomed one. I was fascinated with the experience. Rick told me the OR would be cold and that they would make sure I was heated, warmed up and they were right. It was frigid. Once I settled onto the table and the blankets and heater was attached to my gown, I would’ve never known how cold the room was. Next is just a little bit embarrassing… the nurse said before I got up on the table, hang on, let me untie you and put your bare bottom ( she patted the table) right on the table. I laughed and thought… well, why not? So up I went. I got all comfy, especially when Rick shifted the table to form to my body shape. I watched several things at once. They wrapped me, strapped my legs and body, arranged my arms, watched different nurses coming and going, looked at the bright lights over the table and all the medical equipment. Then Rick who was helping me to get warm and comfy, started to talk and explain a few things. Just as he finished up… my Surgeon came in… which it seems I always hear angels sing when she does (I just love her) and she introduced me to the team. “This is Veronica Schultz, birthday August 18, 19xx Medical record number xxxxx. We are going to remove a Lipoma from her left side, left of the breast” That’s when I started to feel loopy. “Rick?” “Yes?” “Did you give me drugs already?” I laughed. “Yes, I gave you the relaxant.” “Oh, I thought so!” B L A C K O U T… I remember nothing more.
I woke up in the recovery room and Eric was brought in right away. He told me that Dr. Chang had come out to talk to him about the successful surgery. She had gotten it all and taken pictures of the Lipoma (8mm x 6mm). She is sending it out for a biopsy and will let us know when the results come in. You can see the picture Dr. Chang took by clicking the link. I wanted to be discrete about the picture, because not everyone can stomach seeing things from injuries or surgeries. So, please only look if you have a strong constitution. Lipoma’s can grow fast. When I first discovered it about a month ago, it was the size of ½ a lemon. Surgery date it was the size of a grapefruit.
I’ve hidden my picture within this link. It is graphic. Click link to view Photo from Surgery. Viewer discretion is advised. http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w113/candiache/Life%20Coaching/photo16.jpg
It wasn’t long before I was on my way home. Recovery has been pretty easy, except the allergic reaction to Vicodin. Itching all over, swelling of the lip, chin and tongue. I took some Benadryl and the doc switched me to Tylenol w/Codeine, which worked great.
Over all, this surgery experience was a great one. I’ve learned more about myself and other people; especially those in the field of helping others. Not every Doctor has a great bedside manner. Not every Doctor cares about their quality of work. Not every Doctor should be doing what they do… but we can’t change the world. We can only make decisions that are best for us and those we love. Finding a Doctor that cares about what they do and who they are helping is important to me. I suppose the greatest feat for me, is learning how to say, I DON”T want you as my doctor, but I do want YOU!! Only recently have I felt like I’ve had that choice. Not because it wasn’t mine for the taking, but because I was not trained to know I had these choices, these rights. I should’ve been taught that how I felt, what mattered to me was important. I am WORTH the right choices. We do not have to take what we are offered, as if we have no choice in the matter. We do have a choice and with these choices comes the great privilege of being sensitive to our Soul Whispers, not just learning to recognize their voice, but to know that our heart, our Soul, our Spirit is guiding us.
P.s. I am waiting to hear from the Doctor about the biopsy. I will let you know.