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Category Archives: Vacuum assisted wound closure

My Legal Settlement

Earlier today I received the following email from a regular reader here at the blog. For personal reasons, the reader has asked that they be kept anonymous.

Maria,

In your blog, you said you signed papers with your doctor not to name them.  Did you have a settlement?  Did you have the option not to settle, instead spread their name all over? Or did an attorney advice you about libel or defamation?

If you can comment without naming the doctor, much appreciated.

I have written before about how I tried to deal with the legal ramifications of what happened to me. I also wrote about the settlement that currently binds me from mentioning the name of the surgeon. HOWEVER, before I agreed to the settlement that prohibits me and my “agents” from mentioning the surgeon’s name, I wrote a few posts. Those are listed below in my response to the reader’s questions.

Dear Reader;

I am, unfortunately, also bound from talking about the terms of the settlement as well. I DID have the option not to settle. At that point I was deeply clinically depressed and traumatized. I didn’t want that person to have anything to do with my medical care any more. I would start shaking every time I had an appointment. I just wanted it to be over with so I went with the first available way out.

People keep telling me that I’m brave. This is one of those instances where I was not. I DID put up a synopsis of what happened on the Complaints Board [Editor's Note: This post has been edited on advice from my lawyer.Please visit the link for details]

I never spoke to a lawyer about defamation, but I was a journalist so I know that once I signed those papers, I am legally bound, along with my “agents”, not to reveal his name. HOWEVER, those two links were written up before the contract went into effect.

Here is where things get interesting. I just happened to notice that a person I am presuming is the doctor in question or one of the 2-3 staff members familiar with the case (aka one of his “agents”), made a brief response to my initial post on the Complaints Board. I am presuming this because of the use of the phrase “ridiculous herbal remedy’ in the response. That is FAR too personal to have been written by someone just reading entries on the complaints board.

And so, dear reader, I am going to war. For some reason I am having technical difficulties logging on and making a response to that accusation. Once I do, you all may want to stop by for a look because I can guarantee that things are going to get very, VERY interesting.

This surgeon does not know with whom he is messing. He’s about to find out.

 

Comming Up On BoobCast

I’m excited about tomorrow’s BoobCast post! I have figured out a way to stretch the scar tissue on my back. It’s a bit complicated so it will involve photos of each step in the process. This is the most ambitious thing I’ve done with BoobCast since I decided that I would blog about my reconstruction process.

In a future episode I will also be talking more in-depth about the V.A.C. machine, how it works and why it saves lives.

I am also considering going back into the archives and posting photos of the breast necrosis so that women who are trying to figure out if it’s bruising or necrosis have an actual visual reference. I wish I would have had that when I was going through all of this.

Either that, Or I’ll do a dated photo diary titled “Breast Necrosis Photos” so that they are all on one page. I think that might be better to have all the shots in one place. That way people who don’t want to see it won’t have to look at it.

Which would be better, dear Reader?

 

The 200th Post

As the title says, this is the 200th installment of BoobCast. Today I am writing about you, dear reader. Today’s installment is all about the support and the stories that people have shared with me since I first started this blog on Oct. 11, 2008.

When I first started writing this, I was also fairly active on a website called All About Plastic Surgery (http://www.allaboutplasticsurgery.com). When I posted what had happened to me it didn’t take long before I was inundated by questions about various aspects of the surgery. You can find that entry here: http://boobcast.net/2008/10/14/questions/ People expressed a great deal of concern about how well I had checked out the surgeon, what indications I might have had and what legal recourse I might have taken. During that period so many people gave their support and I am grateful for it. So my thanks goes out to the women of the All About Plastic Surgery forum. They were the ones who inspired the idea for BoobCast.

Now you’re probably asking yourself, “Gee Maria, why do you call it BoobCast? Were they wrapped in plaster or something at one point?”

No, dear reader. There are reasons this site is called BoobCast.  In 2007 the podcasting community lost a precious member by the name of Joe Murphy. He died of a vicious type of cancer that took him quickly. During his medical treatments he talked in vivid detail about what was going on, the testing and all of it. His strength inspired me. I wanted to be as strong and as brave as Joe Murphy. So I planned to podcast what was going on with my breast necrosis. The name of that podcast was going to be BoobCast.

I never met Joe but his life inspired me. It just turns out that I’m not that strong or that brave. To honor that bravery I have kept the name.

I also owe thanks to a very dear friend, Tee Morris. When I was trying to find the strength to create BoobCast, He was there for me. He gave me mental and emotional support by letting me know that I *could* do it. I’m sorry I disapointed you Tee but want to thank you for being a friend when I needed one.

In the time I’ve been writing BoobCast I have had people email me directly for advice. Of course, after reading the email, my advice was always “Contact your PS (plastic surgeon) and ask for [fill-in-the-blank]. Whether it was about bruising, skin texture or pain, I advised talking to their doctor. If they couldn’t get a decent answer from that doctor, talk to another one.

The one that really broke my heart was the husband of a woman who, a few days previous the email,  had the same procedure I had. According to her husband, the pain pills her PS had given her weren’t doing much and she was in constant pain. She couldn’t eat or sleep and she was suffering. I told her husband to call her PS immediately and insist on different pain meds and not take NO for an answer. i explained that, right now it was his job to advocate for his wife since she couldn’t do it herself.

A couple days later I got an email from him saying that her PS had changed her meds and she was doing MUCH better. It’s emails like those that made BoobCast well worth the emotional pain of writing those early posts.

I also want to thank everyone who talked to me about BoobCast at DragonCon last year. Being told in person that I’m making a difference means the world to me. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me.

Finally, my thanks to Carol Montoya, Lolly Daskal and the Woman At Denny’s. I promise that once I’ve had nipple reconstruction and recuperate from that, I WILL write the book. The foundation is in the works already.

My thanks to you all for reading, commenting and talking to me. Here’s to another 200!

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2010 in anchor breast lift, Anxiety, barter, boob job, Bra Fitting, bra sizes, Bras, breast, breast cancer, breast health, breast implants, breast lift, breast reconstruction, breast size, breast volume, Cash fees, checkup, chemotherapy chemical, clogged surgical drains, communication, complications, compression bra, compression dressing, cortisone, cosmetic surgery, cryotherapy, debreiding, debridement, deformity, dehiscence, Depression, Drain, Drugs, emotional healing, emotional scars, Excise, excise fluid, fear, Flashbacks, flourouracil, Fluid, granular tissue, granulation tissue, Healing, Hospital, Hospital fees, Hosptial Costs, implants, Incisions, Infection, Insurance, interferon, Invisibility, keloid, keloid scars, laser, Latissimus flap, latissimus flap reconstruction, malpractice, mammogram, mastopexy, Medical, Medical Insurance, memory, Nausea, necrosis, negligence, Nipple prosthetics, Nipple reconstruction, Nipples, Pain, Pain Management, plastic surgeon, plastic surgery, Plastic Surgery Disaster, podcast, Post surgical depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Prescription Drug Addiction, Prosthetics, PTSD, radiation, Reconstruction, Recovery, Scars, Seroma, serous fluid, Sex, silicone sheets, situational depression, Sleep, slow healing, suicide, Surgery, Surgical complications, Surgical drains, Surgical Fees, Ta Ta Tuesday, Uncategorized, V.A.C. machine, Vacuum assisted wound closure, wet to dry bandages, wheelchair

 

Batshit Crazy

I was hooked up to a portable V.A.C. machine (http://www.kci1.com/35.asp), from December 7th 2007 until January 24th 2008 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Except for the few hours every three days that my husband spent pulling the specialized foam from the open wounds in my chest, cutting new pieces and putting the plastic and suction tubes back on, I carried this thing around with me as it slowly healed my chest.

It uses low level vacuum pressure to close the wounds and pull out dead tissue and fluids.  In all honesty I think it saved my life.  Up until the point that the surgeon’s nurse suggested it, I had been packing the open wounds with saline-soaked gauze three times a day.  Even though i was grateful for the machine, it still made a soft clattering sound that was a constant reminder that I had made this choice and it was my fault that this was happening to, not only myself, but my husband and my sons.

During those months, I became even more depressed than I previously was.  I think that I’m still suffering from what is called “situational depression”.  I don’t like going to bed because during the day and evening there are so many distractions.  When I go to bed, though, the distractions are gone and I’m left alone with my thoughts.  Sometimes I can’t fall asleep until 3 am.  Then I sleep until 11 and the cycle perpetuates itself.

I recognize depression in myself because there was a time when I loved cruising eBay.  Now, I have little to no interest.  I mean, I *could* look, but what’s the point?  I’m not totally depressed.  I still love my work and I’m excited about BoobCast.  It just seems like some of the flavor has been taken out of the world.

I’m not the type to pin happiness on a situation.  Such as, I don’t say things like “I’ll be happy when I get ________________”.  I think I’m making an exception though.  I’ll be happier when I don’t look at my chest in the mirror and feel mangled.

In the mean time…I’m batshit crazy.

 
 
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