Helpful Healing Hints
Marga F. Massey, MD, CLT, FACS is board certified in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery with a commitment to women who are beginning their journey in the world of breast cancer.Learn More
Marian – Charleston Queen of “Take a Few Extras”
Marian is my Queen of Charleston. A native of the Holy City, she grew up only blocks from my current home. We love the same food, speak the same language, prefer being up at night rather than sleeping, understand the need of men to fish, and appreciate all the good things only southern women naturally enjoy.
Marian has been employed by Roper St. Francis Hospital for over 20 years. She has worn many hats – worker bee or administrator, she has been there.
Several years ago a call came out to the OR staff for someone “to help out that new girl doctor in Room 10″ and that’s how we met. Reportedly, Marian volunteered. She had no idea what she was getting into. Most likely, she was just being nosey! Needless to say, she has been by my side for the past 5 years helping to sculpt breasts from fat and to siphon water from swollen arms and legs – doing things that few rarely hear about in other hospitals throughout the country.
I have learned much from Marian… patience, not to fear trying to close a complex wound – “let’s just try it and see what happens!”, banking skin for a “rainy day”, screaming in my head and not out of my lips, how to “hold” a flap and not “mash” it, but most of all she has taught me to “take a few extras”.
I hope all of my mermaids too can learn from Marian how important it is to “take a few extras”…
When my patients are traveling for surgery, it’s really important to carry a few extras home with you – extra dressing supplies, surgical bras, compression garments, girdles, lymphedema bandages and even Lymphoderm™. Don’t be afraid to ask your nurses for what you think you may need! We are happy to provide these supplies for you prior to your discharge.
As such, we provide each of you with a National Institute of Lymphology (NIL) tote bag that can accommodate these “extras”. The central pocket can accommodate the larger items in addition to your protective surgical arm bandages and grey foam. The smaller outer pockets are good for your medication bottles, betadine swabs or single 4×4′s. Zippers abound so it’s easy to segregate your treasures. It even has a shoulder strap so it’s easy for your husband to carry it in the airport for you. And, don’t be shy about telling ladies who admire your bag about the mission of the NIL i.e. “Be Proactive about Lymphedema Care and Prevention”!
Further, I hope you learn to “take a few extras” in your personal life as you recover. Don’t be in a hurry to get back to work – take an extra week or two to heal up. I invite you to view your recuperative time as an opportunity to pamper yourself with a well-deserved pedicure, matinee, afternoon nap or outing with your girl friends. Use your quiet time to reflect on short and long-term plans for your family. Perhaps you may have some unanswered questions about you own personal growth. Fortunately, natural breast and lymphatic reconstruction procedures are not too painful. Your recovery time is more about avoiding flap trauma – not consuming pain pills. So “take a few extras” for your own personal development.
PS: This is Marian holding court in the Roper Main Operating Room! See her crown… Really pretty!