Whether you like it or not.
allcallheralaska-deactivated201 asked: i just had my pectus bar removed about a month ago. i wasnt as severe as you, but i can still recall the experience of the day after the surgery, the pain i experienced in the hospital. please, do share.
Well, I remember “coming to,” if you could call it that, after the surgery and asking the nurse four times in a row how many bars they put in. Two was her response every time. But the Real first night after my surgery I woke up at eleven and hadn’t pressed the button controlling my morphine so I was in a lot of pain. To describe the pain, it was restrictive and taught, felt like two men were pulling me on each side, their fingers hooked in between my ribs. I pressed the button for morphine, but because there was nothing on my stomach I threw up. That was honestly the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life, and at the time I equated it to one of two things, or at least what I imagine these things would feel like: being shot in the chest point blank, or some one ripping my rib cage into two halves, lifting the top like a jewelry box. However, through all of this imagery, I think the important thing is that I don’t remember what it felt like, I only equate emotion and my thoughts at the time to my physical experiences. Your body isn’t designed to remember pain in a physical sense.
Its been three weeks since the surgery, I have two bars, three incisions and loads of things to say. I finally feel in a position where I can objectively and eloquently describe my experience so far. Look out for more, ask away.
So It’s Going
My surgery is tomorrow, less than twenty four hours away. Trying to stay chill isn’t an option.
I decided to do a bunch of things I won’t be able to for a while after my surgery:
Drive my car.
Sleep on my side.
Pull a tight shirt over my head.
Eat some of my favorite solid foods.
Touch my shoulders together.
Twist my abdomen.
See my heart beating, which will never happen again.
So it’s safe to say I’ve accomplished quite a bit today, but the nerves are still racked. I’m sad to loose the way I see myself the most. The notion of falling asleep and waking up a foreign object to your own eye might appeal to some people if you have something you don’t like, but I love my cavity, I’m going to miss it. Sure not wincing at the thought of a short jog or being able to wear plunging necklines without revealing myself to the world is nice, but having pectis, at least my case from my point of view, is pretty sweet. I’m practically a walking parlor trick. I’m going to miss being able to eat cereal out of my chest (surprisingly the #1 thing people ask me about my pectis), which I have done! I’m going to miss being what I see as myself.
Looking ahead, yes, I will be able to jog and run and hold my breath under water for more than 35 seconds, but when I’m fifty and doing whatever I can’t help but think I’ll wish I could see my heart beat again, cause its me.
Nussed: An Origin
This blog is dedicated to people with pectis excavatum. It will be an account of right before, during, and long after my surgery as a guide (or what can be said) for pectis.
I’ve had it all my life and as I grew it got worse. My general physician never said it was harmful, even with my mothers prodding, so we dismissed it. About four months ago, and very much on a whim after some chest pain, I said I wanted to see a specialist. Then it got real.
On that trip to the specialist I found out that I, in an all caps worthy fashion, HAVE to have the procedure. My Haller index is 9.7 which makes the “extremely severe” cases of 5.2s and 5.5s look shallow (pun intended). I breathe at about fifty percent lung capacity and there’s an inch between my spine and my sternum, around the width of two of your fingers. Scary numbers.
They’re going to stick a few bars in me, albeit begrudgingly on my part, for my health. To be clear, I never wanted the surgery for cosmetic reasons, and even with the clock ticking closer to the surgery I don’t. It seems part of me, this “hole.” And you can’t even call it that, it’s just a dip, an absence, as the name suggests.
So this is to help, something I wanted to have to read as I lead up to my surgery, and instead I’m writing it. And yes, yes there will be pictures. Enjoy…