Saturday, 29 January 2011

Your Needs Are Priority

There is no escaping the dark hour of the night. I dread these long nights because I cannot sleep. The bleep of drips and calls for assistance from nursing staff disturb the silence well into the early morning. I am left glaring into the night sky just praying my imposter does not rebel. The operation has gone well with no complications. They unzipped my imposter from my chest and cleaned it up. The consultant decided to keep me in over night as a precautionary measure. He wanted to limit the infection process by pumping me with syringes of anti biotic. The plastic surgeon also dropped my imposter by one centimetre. It now resembles my current breast and is a lot softer. It just needs its cherry to match the other.  I have been told I must book an appointment with my diabetic nurse or GP to be reviewed. This I already knew, but as usual I am trying to escape. Like I said this hypochondriac does not like taking tablets.
My time in hospital gave me a chance to make new friends. The swapping of numbers and the promise of a meet for coffee has become a common occurrence on my journey.  Most of the nursing staff that was treating me are from when I had my recon. They took great pleasure at checking my imposter out. Discussing how neat it was and that my reconstruction is nearly complete.
But in the corner of the room there was a woman not so happy. She had seriously hoped that her reconstruction would have left her complete. I sat with her telling her pros and con’s that sometimes the first roll is not always right. That she would need tweaks like me until she is satisfied?  Yet in her heart of hearts through her treatment like me she wanted her treatment to finish. She had hoped they would get it right first time round.
The issues of having a mastectomy and the reconstructive surgery are not like having a boob job. They have taken the fatty tissue away and left you with a casing of skin. That skin has to be filled with what is at hand. Mine was my back muscle with a small implant to give it shape and fullness. There are different types of reconstruction out there each tailored to an individual person. She had aimed herself at having a pair of pert breasts, but the result left her with zero breasts to speak of. So I explained to her if you are not happy then tell them do not walk away. The woman was tired of the prodding and poking like all BC women, but we spoke into the long hours. I said do you honestly think I am totally happy with my result. She said but yours are fantastic you have no reason to complain. I said yes they are now, but it has to settle. There is risk the implant may move or infection/rejection. I face the same road as you, but you must tell them. Do not walk away from this hospital feeling depressed.
I had spurred her into action. Instead of her doubting her complaint which was genuine to her she had to confront her plastic surgeon. The minute that curtain rolled back you could see a weight of stress had been lifted. The plastic surgeon knew her breast recon was not right, but until she had told the plastic surgeon direct. Nothing would have been done to resolve her stress.
She still felt she was making a fuss by saying I should be thankful I am alive. My reply was direct and that they are listening to your needs. Stop doubting you have a genuine complaint which needs resolving so you are able to move forward. It is no good you leaving the hospital upset and let down. Your needs are priority not the hospitals they are there to take care of you.


  1. Hey Sarah, it's Nikki here! I met you at Charing Cross Hospital during the week! Been trying to find you on Facebook but can't although I was successful with Twitter and am now following your blog!
    Find me on Facebook please, it would be great to keep in touch! You are an inspiration to us all!
    Nikki Roche-Harris

  2. I shall hunt you down on facebook.. hope your feeling better.. My breast is playing the rebel in quite a bit of pain .. see you a Fb Sarah xxx