Another, rather long break from writing! I should preface this post with this: I am currently on a plane to New York (City), where I will undergo further cosmetic surgery, with a different surgeon from the one I saw in March. By the time you are reading this, I am likely out of the surgery. To answer some of the questions you may be thinking: This procedure isn’t actually cosmetic at all, but reconstructive. There are taking donor nerve out of my heel, attaching it to a branch of my ‘good’ nerve, and threading it under my skin and muscles to my ‘bad’ side. Then, they close me up and let it marinade for 6-12 months. This is phase one, so I will be getting minimal aesthetic improvement.
6-12 months from July 20th, they will take a piece of muscle and blood vessel from my thigh and attach it to my new nerve (that has been growing across my face). Then, some months after THAT, I will be able to smile spontaneously.
This is the surgery that I opted out of initially, because it will take a long time, and each step has to go well before the next to be successful. But, here I am. I’m over it. I’m unwilling to accept this as my reality. You may have noticed that a different surgeon has taken over my reconstruction. I am incredibly lucky to have the ability to be connected to such incredible resources, and beyond a certain point there is no way to tell where to go. My rationale for this move is an extensive pro/con list, but I can say simply that this surgeon is at least the same caliber as my last, so it’s time to try something different.
What am I afraid of here? That it fails? That I develop an extremely dangerous post-surgical complication that leads to more surgery? Been there. Done that. Next. I am not going to say that was the worst because it seems that THERE IS ALWAYS WORSE, but that was pretty bad. And my psyche survived in spite of those things. I didn’t think that I could deal with putting myself on an OR table and having it fail, until it was happening to me.
I won’t say it was easy, or that I was strong through it all. Those closest to me witnessed my insecurity, my pain, my post-anesthesia hanger. They know. Sometimes I still cry about the unfairness of it all. But I wouldn’t have thought that I could have survived my accident, and I did. I wouldn’t have thought that I would survive a failed surgery, but I did. Some days I don’t even think I’ll survive a day or work, but I do.
My point is, go with your gut and don’t sell yourself short. I know people say this all the time, but I am living proof that we’re a lot stronger than we think. I still count on my fingers sometimes (a lot), but I’m also a research scientist at a biotechnology company that will change the world. I refuse to eat raw tomatoes but am saying yes to having 3+ surgeries this year (more on that later).
I have picked my battles and what doesn’t kill me, better run.