That Time My Heart Broke. Literally. – Part 32 (The “Touching On the Scar and Going Home” Chapter)

November 14, 2012

A Scar, but not my scar. (Get it?) (Photo Credit: Disney)
A Scar, but not my scar. (Get it?)
(Photo Credit: Disney)

It’s Wednesday night , so the story continues.

Picking up from last week

Let’s address the issue of the scar. I almost put up a picture here of my scar,

(Edited to add: Later, I did.)

but I thought that might be weird. You can see it sometimes in certain lower-cut outfits, but we won’t look at it on here today.

When I found out I’d be having open-heart surgery, my biggest concern was the scar. Forget “pump head,” micro air bubbles, and everything. Let’s worry about the way I look.

I love dancing! How am I going to ever be a Pacemate if I have a scar up to my neck?

If you do a quick search for open-heart surgery scars on the internet, you can find plenty! Some look okay. Some look not as okay. I spent way too much time looking at them before my surgery.

I was extremely lucky in that I had a doctor who gave me what is the smallest scar I could imagine. I still have a scar, which, of course, sucks. But, it’s quite small in terms of open heart surgery scars.

It’s weird that I can feel the place where my sternum was cracked. I remember not too terribly long after I’d healed, I put my hand on a friend’s chest while telling him something, and I felt what a normal sternum felt like. It’d already forgotten.

I don’t go around feeling my own (or other people’s) sternum all day. But once you have a weird feeling sternum, it’s something you notice. Isn’t it weird how stuff works like that – people becoming keenly aware of normal things once their normal thing is different.

Of course, at this point in the hosptial, I wasn’t yet feeling or seeing the scar as it was bandaged up pretty well.

My doctors were sweet and kind. All the various doctors who’d been on my case at Mass General came to check on me at one point or another. Dr. Vlahakes, my surgeon, said the surgery went brilliantly. I easily came off the bypass machine. I didn’t need any blood transfusions. Everything went great.

I got better and stronger as the week went on. One week from my surgery I was discharged.

Stephen came to get me. (He had just gotten back from Greece.) I refused to take a wheelchair downstairs. I remember being slightly more energetic than usual. I think I may have been slightly overdoing it in the “look how healthy and sprightly I am!” show – not in any way that exhausted or injured me. Just in the way that I wouldn’t have wanted to be around me.

“I get it. You don’t need a wheelchair. Quite scurrying down the halls and bouncing off the walls. Just be a calm adult and get in the elevator.” That’s what I would’ve told myself. But Stephen just smiled and said you couldn’t even tell I’d had had surgery.

Boom. You know it!

He drove me home and asked if I needed anything at all. I didn’t. I’d set myself up very well for my return (pats self on back).

You’d think I might be bored – coming from the busy world of the hospital with the constant chatter and machines beeping, the bright lights, and the general hustle and bustle to the boring little (lovely) apartment that was my home.

I didn’t have time to get bored yet, I had guitars to record for my soundalike project.

This is where I’ll pick up next week.

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