So, Thursday was bandage removal day.
My Daddy drove out, parking his blue Jeep in our driveway right on time. It was about a half-hour after Ro went down for his nap, so we (Dad, Dustin and I) hung out and talked projects. You see, my daddy is a perpetual homesteader without the hipster element. Guys, he doesn't even know just how damn cool all the stuff is. He knows tht he loves it and it brings him joy, but I kind of idolize how go-get-'em he is with his hobby adventures.
He makes / toils with:
- Beer (I have childhood memories of these big glass jugs in the kitchen blowing their tops and spraying the ceiling with immature beer foam.)
- Wine (He crushes the dang grapes in the driveway with a fancy wine machine. My brother helps. They refused to use their feet, though.)
- Limoncello (They have a GIANT lemon tree in the back yard.)
- Sausage (Jugs of pork intestine in the fridge, ripe for the stuffing. Ahhh, high school memories.)
- Jerky (beef, salmon and pork - all delicious.)
- Smoked fish
- Home grown herbs, veggies and fruit (He brought me a gallon ziplock with fresh herbs yesterday!)
- Fermented pickles
- Canned veggies
On top of that, he's an excellent cook. On top of THAT, my brother is too and likes to bake fresh bread. My brother's steamy loaves (mind out of the gutter, perv) are one of the few gluten-y foods I'll indulge in... Hot bread is straight from God, I swear. (NOTE: Dad and brother - please make me some gluten free sourdough starter. Pretty please?)
Okay, the foodie in me got a little lost there. Can you see where I get my love from, though?
So, Thursday. Dustin and I headed out a bit early in hopes of getting a bit of lunch prior to my appointment. We walked (I rolled) around Piedmont Ave in Oakland and stumbled upon a place called Holly's Mandarin. I am a Chinese food LOVER, but have to be careful because I'm allergic to MSG, a food additive that seems to be abundant in most Chinese foods. So, we asked and they denied using the evil additive and we decided to try our luck. Oh. My. Gosh. Best Chinese food ever. Dustin actually said that and he is not as in love with Chinese as I am. They had a huge selection of lunch specials, all under $9 and everything came with the best hot and sour soup I've ever had, chowmein or rice AND fresh steamed veggies. The veggies made the meal. Tender-crisp and delicious. I had the curry chicken, which blew my mind, and he had some spicy, crispy chicken dish that tasted like heaven and wasn't greasy at all. Hell yeah. I'm drooling right now just thinking about it.
After we stuffed our selves (comfortably stuffed - the fat chick in me wanted to eat all of my food and lick the plate), we headed over to the hospital with just enough time to check in to my appointment on time and plop down in the waiting room. And we waited.
... And after the suspense just about did me in, we were called back into a room. I found my place on the ever-so-familiar paper covered exam-room table and thought of my dear Roman. The poor kid HATES that paper - the crinkly noise makes cry. I though about how much I love him and how awesome it's going to be when I can walk around with my boy, go down slides with him and just be more mibile. How I'd want him to be brave and not freak out if he were in my position and then back to how much he hated that paper.
I allowed myself to take a moment and find the courage to be present. I am Stephanie, wife of Dustin, mother of Roman. I live in America. It is June 14, 2012. I am in my doctor's office two weeks after the final surgery that will allow me to be a walking Momma. I am not in danger and even though having the clear bandage film taken off will probably hurt, I will be okay.
I can do this.
Plus, I made Dustin promise to take me for a slice of cake afterwards. I am a foodie. Cake bribes always work.
Dr. Phil came in after a few minutes and we talked about how hard it was for me the week after surgery. How I can't handle drugs and how badass it is that I'm only taking Tylenol when needed now. He said that most people still need hardcore drugs. BAM. I told him how apprehensive I was to have the bandage t.aken off and that my mind was filled with thoughts of infection (gross) and gauze that was fuzed into my freshly cut skin. (I seriously need to tell my imagination to sit down and shut up because I dream up weird shit like that all the time.)
He let me pick the bandage off myself and the inner picker (you know, scabs, blemishes, sunburns) in me was equal parts ecstatic and creeped the eff out because I didn't know what I was about to find. I'm notice of those "yank the bandaid off slowly " type of people. I want to do it slowly, carefully and make sure that nothing too painful is going down. I started with the corners, little bit by little bit until I could see my incision line. Oh. Boring. I mean, it was creepy seeing a new cut on my body for the first time, but there was no blood or guts or anything gross. A tiny part of the gauze was stuck to one little part of me, but Dr. Phil took the time to take each string (string, people! My Doctor get the patience award.) out with little to no pain on my part. He's amazing. I told him that I wanted him to be my doctor for everything and that he better study up on oncology (just incase, heaven forbid) and obstetrics (baby making season, here we come!) because I want him to be the only doctor that I ever see again.
He said that my incision looked great and that I was free to shower (HALLELUJAH)! I begged him to put some steri-strips (super sticky, strong strips of medical tape) on me because the incision looked so damn good, but still pretty fresh and I wasn't comfortable enough not having some sort of something holding it together for at least another week. (during surgery He stitched me up internally, like a plastic surgeon, so I have no visible staples or stitches. Creepy as crap!)
After my appointment, Dustin and I busted out of there and my heart floated above me like a little red balloon.
I didn't have an infection. I didn't have to be re-admitted for additional surgery. I was good. HELL YES! I took a second to thank God that I wasnt stuck in the hospital with chemo flowing into my body. That I wasn't stuck in a bed, beeping machines around me, my heart and spirit crushed. I was Stephanie. It was June 14th, 2012. I was able to leave the doctors and bandages and intravenous fluids behind me and go home to start yet another adventure in my quiet life.
... Plus cake.