I did something yesterday I never dreamed I would do. I went to a plastic surgeon. Okay, no need to giggle and make jokes about my face. Besides, the visit wasn’t for me, it was for my bride. With the impending surgery to remove Ole Scruffy on the horizon, it was time to meet with the person who would help put my wife back together. It was a little weird but also reassuring.
I didn’t know what to expect walking into the office. I was a little nervous about the whole experience. They first put us in a small room with a couch to watch an informational video about our surgery. I sat there and watch as information crossed the screen and a soft female voice described in very real detail all the options we have concerning surgery. In those brief moments, I learned a lot. I saw a lot. I was also glad when it was done.
Then the doctor came into the room. He explained in very clear terms what we should expect from surgery and our inevitable timeline. It appears that we will be doing reconstruction for about a year from the initial surgery. My heart fell. This means that we are not close to being done. We are just on the precipice. I was hoping that we could have all of this nonsense behind us by next summer, but instead it looks like it will be sometime next fall. While minuscule when compared to a lifetime with my wife, I still was wanting a shorter timeframe.
What followed after our conversation was surreal. I sat with my wife while the doctor and his assistant went over everything. I mean, everything. The discussions that we had I never in my wildest dreams could have come up with. We are answering questions that just plain abnormal to who we are as people. I felt weird. It was very uncomfortable, but I wanted to be there with her because I can’t imagine how strange it is for my wife.
On our way out of the doctor’s office, we had to go to the emphasis, “check out,” desk. This is the station in every hospital and doctor’s office where we have become very acquainted. As we talked with the lady behind the desk, she calmly looked at her screen and typed away. She informed us of our copay. I informed her we did not have to pay anything. She disagreed with me. We began to banter back and forth. I informed her we had hit our out of pocket maximum and the insurance told us to have everything billed out. She said they couldn’t do that.
I got hot
I got mad
I was getting big green guy angry. I told her I refused to pay any amount. I knew we would then spend months filling out forms and arguing with the insurance company just to get back what we rightly were owed. She didn’t seem to care.
Then she looked up at my wife. All of a sudden her countenance changed. In a split second, she said, “Don’t worry about it. I can take care of it.” Then I felt bad. I felt like a jerk. The lady assured us it was okay. She then asked, “Where are you in the process?” As my bride began to tell her all that we were going through, the lady began to tell us of her own battle with cancer.
We traded stories of chemotherapy. We discussed surgeries and reconstruction. She even told us she fired her sons from coming to chemo because all they did was play video games and sleep. I smirked inside because all I do is read books and type on a computer. I sure hope my bride doesn’t fire me.
As we walked out of the building the weirdness didn’t leave. I didn’t, and still don’t, know how to process this whole situation. I still can’t get a grasp on all the experiences we have had and will still endure. It was just odd to have someone look at my wife’s body, discuss cosmetic opti0ns, and then walk out. However, I know it’s a part of the process, and I have come to accept it. It still doesn’t make it any less weird. Although it does mean that soon Ole Scruffy will be gone, and we are that much closer to holding hands on a boat as we #LookTowardstheSea.