Thursday, June 4, 2009

"Scars" [[part 1 of 2]]

Everyone has scars. Whether they are mental from a bad test grade, they may be emotional from a bad break-up or loss of someone close to you or they may be physical from a slip and fall or a surgery or two.
No matter what kind of scar it is, every scar has a story. It may make you smile or frown or bring tears to your eyes, as your mind is flooded with the memories that those scars bring.

I am only 22 years old and for someone my age I have been through a lot; physically, mentally & emotionally.
This is very hard for me to write, as it is very personal. So keep that in mind if you’re going to comment. After talking to someone I am very close to, one of my best friends, she convinced me that I should write this.

Every girl goes through puberty at a different age. I was young when I got my period I was barely 11 and I wasn’t growing right, but my mom and thought I would catch up. I was so young I had just turned 11. I was only in 6th grade, still playing with Barbie Dolls™, and going to dance class and soccer practice. I wasn’t entirely worried about my [very] lopsided bust & awkwardly larger left hand/foot. I would tell myself that my right side would catch-up-soon. Everyone’s got a bigger hand/foot etc…

Well as high school quickly approached and things didn’t “even-out” but only get worse. [we’re talking a cup to a cup and a half sz difference here ppl] and going into the 9th grade that’s mortifying. So during my physical, you know the one you have to get before going into school, every year, we asked my doctor about this “problem”. She replied, and I will NEVER EVER forget what she said “Oh, wow yah that is a rather large difference. I see a size difference, a lot in young girls but nothing like this” “I think we should do some blood work” Holy crap! You don’t tell a 14yr girl and her mom that! I was freaking out. After NUMEROUS tests & blood work it fin showed that I had a slight growing disorder (the name is as long as the Nile).

Here’s the run down on my diagnosis: every woman is born with something called breast buds we have 6 in each breast 3 in the upper pole and 3 in the lower. They are stimulated when you hit puberty and they are what cause the breast to grow. Well folks I was born with on the left TOP [[3]] BOTTOM [[2]] and on the right TOP [[2]] BOTTOM [[1]] - - Yah. The X-Ray also showed that my growth plates in my hands, back & ankles had been closed or whatever for an estimated 3 years (way early here folks!...I was planning on being like oh idk 5’7 5’8…no no Im barely 5’1) that’s like the year I hit puberty. When in all reality its supposed to take yearS for your growth plates to close together.

So after a year of getting gel inserts sewn into my bras and bathing suits, and having one actually fall out while walking in the mall…embarrassing! My mom and I talked about my options and we tossed around the idea of breast implants. Now before you freak out… not to increase my actual size but to even me out. Like I had mentioned before there was a huge difference in size, one was about a full B and the other was not even an A… yah a very drastic difference. We went to see like 5 or 6 plastic surgeons and finally found one that would operate on a 15 year old, because we had proof that I was completely done growing.

The plastic surgeon the agreed to operate on me was highly esteemed in the plastics world…was voted one of the best in the central Florida area… etc so we felt very confident in him and his abilities. This remarkable, or so we thought, surgeon was Dr. David V. Poole He had a terrific bedside manor and made me and my mother feel very comfortable. It also helped that my mom grew up with one of the nurses in his office. So we proceeded to schedule my surgery for right after school got out so I could heal and be ready for summer school, I was only taking drivers ed.

[This story begins in mid2001] I underwent a routine breast augmentation and all was fine I was bandaged up and sent home. I had about a million and one post surgical apts and those seemed to go well too. Then, Satan [Dr. Poole] himself cleared me to go to summer school, followed by band camp in Aug. While sitting on the bleachers in the hot sun I started to have a strange pain in my RIGHT arm. I mentioned it to one my best friends who was in class with me, we both brushed it off as I just slept on it wrong. So SS continued and then on to band camp… the pain intensified… but it was also in my chest but this time I thought it was because I was basically living in a sports bra for 9 hrs a day; that’s just un-natural.

We had had a few yearbook workdays before school stared in mid August and the pain continued… I had talked to my mom and we had inspected my breasts- noticed some slight bruising. Not wanting to admit that something might be wrong SOO MANY months later, I ignored the pains/bruising (or what I thought was bruising). School started and I was busy as hell with yearbook and what not. Then the day came… picture day… aka.. HELL! If you’re a yearbook staffer… you have to be at school hella early and stay late… on top of that I had marching rehearsal just as I got to leave yrbk…basically I was at school from 6a-930p. I couldn’t take the pain anymore… at the end of the day I pulled my yrbk advisor into the bathroom to show her the bruising and protruding at the lower pole of my breast. The protrusion was a new development with in the week. To give you an idea of what it looked like… It looked like my breast was laying an egg of sorts… she told me that I needed to leave school immediately. I called my mother and told her to meet me at Dr. Pooles Office ASAP.

I had called his office and they said they would see me. They took me back as soon as I arrived and when I removed my shirt and he saw what was underneath the look on his face was clear… he had made a mistake many months before. He could barely touch me would tears streaming down my face. He told me that my bold was rejecting my implant and it needed to be removed, NOW. That made me cry even harder. That was going to put me back where I started, before the implants were put in… but even worse. I had an implant on the left as well. I couldn’t comprehend why this was happening to me. The next morning at 7a my right implant and all my breast tissue, skin and some muscle was removed b/c I had a staph infection that had been “brewing” in my body for close to 6 months! WTF?! The staph had destroyed my tissue and some of my muscle and A LOT of the skin on the lower pole, It wasn’t bruising, it was my skin dying, gross, I know.

DR. POOLE WAS UN-STERLE when he was filling my implant, that’s the conclusion, we came too. After we did research we found out that the kind of staph infection I had you can on contract if a surgeon is un-sterile while operating. [I will re-visit this in a few minutes]

After the removal there was nothing there. I was flatter then a board [on one side, remind you] and I was a full C on the other. But on the RIGHT side I was butchered, not only was I completely FLAT, there was this crease, where he had stitched me up on the lower pole and it was basically like he took my skin and sewed it to my ribcage [to help give a visual, I see my new surgeon soon and I will try and get a copy of all my pics and post them for yall so you can see what I am trying to describe… or is that TMI?]

Once I was all sewn up I was given a round of antibiotics, to help make sure all the staph is out of my body, seeing as it was there for almost 6 freaking months… come to find out I am DEADLY allergic to them… they almost killed me! NICE. Also, I was allergic to the MASSIVE amounts of tape he used all over me… yah come to find out I had developed a lovely LATEX allergy [no I hadn’t always had this allergy, but if you go through traumatic experiences, your body does weird things].

So much for keeping my surgeries a secret at school, I had slight burns/rashes anywhere he had tape on my body, ouch- b/c the tape had covered stitches. I had to also wear a drain to drain the excess fluid and blood and to make sure all the infection was out of my body b/c I am allergic to the strongest antibiotic out there so we had to take extra precautions.

At my 3day post surgical apt, Satan said “in 6 mons we can replace your implant, your body is young and young bodies are remarkable. It will only take ½ a yr to heal” I was all over that! In 3 months we had already scheduled my replacement [free of charge] surgery. This was the WORST idea we had… letting him operate on my again. But we thought “who will make the same mistake twice? When does lightening strike in the same place twice?”

6months and 1 day after my removal I have my implant replaced… I was sick of wearing baggy shirts and I couldn’t believe that I was back to putting the gel inserts in my bra again. It sucked. I had missed my JR prom b/c of the emergency removal and near death from the allergic reactionS to BOTH the latex and antibiotic. I was very self-conscious about something that only a handful of people knew about. But when you’re in HS everything seems like the end of the world. I know how superficial it sounds but I had been through a lot, so Judge me as you may. All the while I had almost lost a finger on my writing hand at the beginning of the semester and had to have nerve reconstruction surgery. Surgery and me were good friends.

***Part TWO comes tomorrow, if you're interested, in what happens... I didnt want this to get too lengthy***


fsuchica819 said...

I'm proud of you for doing this.

And, I remember when you almost cut your finger off!

LiLu said...

Writing anything like this takes a LOT of courage, never mind sharing it with the world. Thank you for doing it!

Laura Sue said...

i've missed your posts!
thanks for writing this -- i'm looking forward to part 2.

Jessica said...

Holy cow, you are one strong girl!

The Bumble Bee said...

So uh, HK will start working on your book cover, your photo shoot (because duh, authors have to have photos on their books!) and we'll start putting your book together. K? Sound good?

:-D ILY.

Erin said...

I'll edit the book. :)

I know you've been through a lot, though I didn't know the whole story. Sucks.