Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Finished Product

I know we all have secrets.  I understand that I'm slightly less good at keeping mine to myself than many people are.  What I've found is that it seems that people are actually less inerested or excited about your secrets if you come out with them. Lance.

With that said, while I have basically plastered the details of the last two years of my life over the internet, I still find myself walking around with a bit of a smirk, as if I've got a secret. A feeling that I've been given information that many others have not been given.  An awareness of tough times that may not be apparent upon first meeting.  I also often wonder what secrets other people are holding. What experiences have made them who they are. What you cannot tell just by looking at a person.

Two weeks ago Thursday, I completed the breast reconstruction process. The "stamps" of completion, if you will.  After such an emotional and trying 2 years, this day came and went, almost unnoticed.  I got up, got the kids off to school, went by Central Market to buy some flowers and some muffins to thank my Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Ned Snyder, and his office for their compassion and professionalism, and then I headed over there to get the areola tattoos that would complete the breast reconstruction process and provide the final touch in the building of my giant imaginary "re-set button" in the sky.  I really hadn't had much time to think about the whole deal.  I was planning on not feeling any pain, or anthing at all for that matter, and returning to work that afternoon.  Silly me. Good news and bad news.  The good news is that it turns out I have quite a bit of feeling on the left side and some feeling on the right, which is confusing.  The left breast was built with skin sparing technique so it is basically the same old skin with fat from my belly stuffed into it.  The right side was built with a skin graft and fat from my belly so the sensation is less.  It hurt. I'm sure not as bad as a person with normal sensation would have hurt, but it hurt.  I didn't cry, which I'm sure was a relief for the tattoo artist Arnoldo Carillo of "Shades of Gray" tatoo of East Sixth street here in Austin.  His shop was named many years before the book by the way, but I thought it was hilarious that I was getting nipple tattoos from the REAL "Shades of Gray" guy! Can't get much more S and M that that.  So just before they began the tattooing, they proceeded to give me instructions on the care of a tattoo.  I had no idea there was going to be any CARE involved! The only experience I've had with tattoos was when my highschool boyfriend came and visited me in college with a brand new tattoo of my name on his arm and I punched him in it. It was still bleeding, even before i punched it. I'm pretty sure there was not a lot of CARE involved with that tatoo, but maybe I was just naive and unaware.  Anyway, the instructions were something like:  don't get it very wet at all for about 3 weeks.  DO NOT SOAK it. 

OK well, I'm gonna be running 18 miles in 2 days in 78 degrees with 90% humidity. I'm pretty sure it's gonna get soaked.   

After about 12 miles of my run, in which it also rained for 30 minutes I looked down into my shirt and saw this.  So, I ended up running the last 6 miles with a random bra that i had in my car and an old shirt, and worrying the whole time if there was going to be any ink left. Oh well, I'd made my choice.  Now, a week and a half later, I think they still look pretty good, even if possibly a "shade" lighter than they would have been.

So, in the morning I get poked thousands of times by a needle in my breasts and prance around topless in between sessions for viewing/angle puposes for about 2 and a half hours, get gauzed up and then head off to work just like any other day.

But, I'm saving my big hoorah, the punching of the giant re-set button, for New York City, and the NYC Marthon Finish Line!

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