Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Update with the plastic surgeon

I saw Dr. H yesterday and told him about my phone call from Dr. K about surgery. Dr. H assured me that he felt it would be okay to do the reconstruction surgery and my memory that bringing in good healthy tissue with its own blood supply might actually improve circulation on the right radiated side. He also said that there would not be an open wound any longer (YAY!) and that any wound that needed to heal would be underneath the skin. He did warn me about potential complications but I didn't ask for details - my thinking is that, in this case, the power of suggestion might influence my recovery and I'd rather not know and expect the best instead. He said that he'd talk to Dr. K and try to get to the bottom of his concerns. Dr. H said that if I were a different kind of patient, one that's struggled more, then he'd really listen to Dr. K's concern, but instead, he sees me as a young, relatively healthy patient with fortitude (I think is what he said) and felt that because of my attitude, I should do fine.

For some reason, last week in Vegas, I remembered a passage from Bernie Siegel's book "Love, Medicine and Miracles" in which he related several anecdotes about the power of suggestion while patients were under general anesthesia. There have been several studies that have shown that while patients have their eyes closed and they don't remember anything while they are under, they hear everything. In one case, a surgeon said a lot of negative things about a patient while she was under and she woke up crying and cold. So, Bernie stated that he started to give positive statements to patients - even saying things like, "you will wake up hungry, thirsty, and pain-free" and patients generally do a lot better post-operatively. So, I copied a few pages from the book and gave them to Dr. H yesterday and asked him if he would say positive things while I was under and he said that he would certainly be happy to do so.

He also said that I should certainly say something to the anesthesiologist prior to surgery about what happened to me and to see if there is anything else he or she can do to alleviate some of those side effects.

All in all, it was a good appointment. And, I got "pumped up" even more on the left side. It's finally looking around the same size that I was prior to the mastectomy.

It'll be nice to look normal!


Carver said...

I'll be sending out a ton of good vibes for you. I like the idea of giving the doc some positive words to say.

Dee said...

Hi Carver,
Thanks yet again for your good vibes and for visiting. I'll report what happens when all is said and done!

Liz Kreger said...

Oooo, this sounds really promising, Dee. I just know everything will go well. Keep us all posted.

I also like the power of suggestion. Ever so true. I firmly believe that even while out of it, there is a portion of the patient that is aware of what's going on.