Going With Your Gut

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.



3 thoughts on “Going With Your Gut

  1. There is a book written by a POW about why some people survived the ordeal and others didn’t that helped me deal with my medical issues. Two concepts stood out: first, know that you will prevail…but be careful not to define the time frame. Second (and I’ll paraphrase here): “the ups and downs are difficult but not having hope is no way to live.” Your writing is full of hope and determination to prevail. Please keep at it!

    Liked by 1 person

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