It has now been a year since I had my breast reduction, and what a year it has been!
Today Also marks a year since I almost died twice because of internal bleeding and that was really scary for me and all the people that love me, too think that I could have passed away and not had the opportunity to be able to share my story with you all, all I have ever wanted to do by sharing my story is to help/ inspire someone,just one person, I hope that all the people that have read my story have been touched in some way, or that it has related to them or someone that they know.
When I went to the hospital the day of surgery (9th February 2017) I was so super excited because it was finally the day that my life was going to change in so many ways, but never did I think it would change in as many ways as it did, Having not only one but two near death experiences changes so much for a person, it also changes so much for all that are involved with that persons care, all the people that love that person, it does not only impact that person that is going through it. My surgeon had never had to go back and operate on anyone before, little lone go back twice, and to be honest with you I am so thankful that it was the same surgeon all three times that I had operated on, I trusted her with everything, my life was one of those things that I trusted her with, and if I was faced with this again I would put the same amount of trust in her, she is an amazing surgeon and I could not have asked for anyone better.
I remember so clearly almost like it was just today that it happened, how I was laying in recovery after the surgery feeling so relieved that I had finally had the surgery done, after waiting almost 2 years since I had started the process of the surgery, and then the surgeon come in and told me that they had to rush me back in before it was to late, I just cried, and thought to myself this is not how it is meant to go, I was meant to be in and out, have a few days in hospital until the drains come out and then I would be able to head home and start that recovery process round the people that loved me, but things did not go as planned, and that really crashed me. The nurse asked me if there was anyone one that I wanted to call when Theatre was being prepped and I said yes please, I need to call my best-friend and let her know what is happening, the nurse was going to get the phone for me, when another nurse come in and told me that there was no time for me to make that call things were getting worse and if I was not taken back now that I would die, so I told them not to call anyone because I wanted to be the one to tell people and I did not want to freak anyone out, but little did I know nor think that having not contacted my best-friend that she would get weird that she had not heard from me yet, she knew that something had gone wrong because of the fact that I did not make contact after about 7 hours.
Just as I thought that thing’s were starting to look up something changed and I was told at 4:30am on Friday the 10th February 2017 once again that they had to rush me back to Theatre because of internal bleeding, so I was heading back for my third lot of surgery, and something I was not fully aware of at the time was when I went back for the first time, I need to have a blood transfusion, and the same again this time around, I was honestly so scared, I thought that I was going to die, and if it was not for the surgeon and her team, and also all the amazing people that donate blood then I would have died and that is something that I often think about, I try not to think of it but it does often pop in to my head.
Then later that night I had my dad, stepmother and a couple of friends visit me, I was not 100% there, but I was happy to see people that I knew and that cared about me, and then the shock hit again when a nurse came in to the room and said I need to talk to Michelle alone, that is once again a moment when my heart was shattered, I was thinking no way, not again. My dad was really worried he did not know what to do, I remember a good friend of mine was there at the time, her name was Bron and she helped comfort my dad, and for that I will never be able to thank her enough, when everyone had left the room and the door was shut the nurse was telling me that I was still in quite a bad way and that I may need to go back again but first they were going to try another blood transfusion and also plasma transfusion, I was honestly so scared I could not think about going back in again, I was about to just lose it, my dad, stepmother and Bron came back in to the room and asked was everything okay, I remember saying well sort of but not really this is what they are going to try and it that does not work then they are going to take me back. My dad thought that he was going to lose me, and if I am honest I thought what will he do if I do die, I cant go like this. I stayed in hospital for 8 days, in in those 8 days I was a mess I was in so much pain, I was unable to eat most of those days because I felt to unwell to eat, I could not sleep because of the pain and I could not get comfortable, I had some quite low times that I have not told very many people that I had, I wanted to kill myself many times, I even asked some of the nurses if they could over dose me, because I could not handle it anymore, it was such a dark time for me, I am not someone whom normally cries and during these 8 days of being in hospital I cried a lot, I cried for hours some days.
My best-friend was in Hamilton where we both lived at the time, and I was in Whangarei because that is where the surgery was, because when I started the process I lived in Whangarei and there was no way that I was transferring the surgery because there was a change that if I did that the new DHB that I would be under would say look but sorry we cant do the surgery, so I just said I was still in Whangarei, because there was no way that I was not having that surgery, the dates were originally set for the 13th December 2016, but then at the end of November I got the phone call that I was hoping would never come, and that was to tell me that they had to change the dates, because they had to operate on someone with cancer and to be honest that was heartbreaking for me as I was so excited to have it finally coming up, but then at the same time the other persons was life and death as mine was not, I had helped give that person a better life. My best-friend was always right there at the end of a text, Facebook message, or phone call I am so thankful that even though she was not able to be there in person, she was still right there with me throughout the whole thing, I will also never be able to thank her enough for all that she did for me in that time.
Photos from the surgery, This is the first time I have shared these photos publicly
** I had asked a dear friend of mine to write me a little something about how she has seen me change over the last year, she has been there a lot for me, and i thank her from the bottom of my heart. Bron Jenkins wrote the below about me, and I found it to be so very touching and so special, to be honest until I read this I was not aware of how special i was, nor the impact that I had on her, I am so thankful that we have the friendship that we do. Bron I love you so much..
Michelle has asked me to write a little about her journey over the past year, but all I can do is write from my perspective.
Let me first tell you how I met Michelle. I met her in a previous job. This loud young lady came walking into my workplace for an interview to get on a course I was running. A colleague who knew her told me that although she had more than her share of issues, she was a ‘lovely wee girl’ and I should give her a chance…. I had already decided I was going to but that was just the confirmation I needed to take on this livewire. Boy, what a challenge I was in for, and one of the hardest parts of my job was having to say goodbye to her when she left 😦
Anyway, walking into the hospital room after her surgery that day, I didn’t know what to expect and I certainly did not expect to find her deathly pale and her boobs looking like she had gone 9 rounds with Mike Tyson! I have to say I was more than a little concerned after she told me she had been rushed back in to Theatre a few hours after surgery as her bleeding hasn’t stopped and they were not sure she would not have to go back again (which she did). Her Dad came in and while the surgeons were chatting to Michelle, I got the privilege of chatting to her Dad in the hallway as he was none too keen on the hospital environment, let alone with doctors in a tiny room hovering over his daughter with a multitude of machines and tubes everywhere!
Michelle had wanted this surgery for SO long, she had worked hard to do what the surgeons had asked of her, one, to stop smoking and two, to lose 10kgs. Michelle achieved this (and more, she lost 20 kgs!!) and went in feeling pretty nervous but confident and happy she was finally getting the surgery she so desperately needed. With double J breasts, life was a pain, literally!
Recovery has been a massive challenge for Michelle, because of the complications I think she found life got quite complicated, difficult and totally not what she expected… no fairy-tale ending here…yet! I can only speak from my perspective but I think this had a huge emotional effect on Michelle over the first few months with a lot of ups when she was feeling good and a lot of very, very dark downs. She has managed to work through (and continues to do so) these with some awesome supportive friends and whanau.
I have to say, the amount of positive growing and learning Michelle has done on herself over the past year has been massive. She really has blossomed and although she still struggles at times with life (don’t we all), she has become a strong independent women who knows what she wants and really goes for it. She has a freedom that others would envy and the confidence to stand up for what she believes in.
HAPPY BOOBIVERSARY!! Hang in there, the journey is not over yet and the best is yet to come!
Love you lots my girl! xxxoooxxx