After the surgery, I returned the following Monday for a bandage change. The doctor is so cute; as he was removing the old bandage, he kept saying “I’m sorry!” anticipating my pain at the tape being pulled off. He was actually so gentle, I did not even think I winced, but was reflective of his concern. The surgeon was doing the dressing change, not a nurse, not an intern.
Last Friday, I returned again. Each meeting begins with idle chit-chat, but regardless of what I say, he responds with something to assure me that he is really listening. This go-around, he removed three stitches, dressed the bandage, and sent me on my way.
Monday was the final removal of the last of the stitches. After they were out, he sprayed a “liquid bandage” on me to protect the scar. He said it will take six weeks for me to completely heal. I made a joke about my state of affairs, just off the cuff, so it really surprised me when he busted out laughing. Now I can shower. Sponge baths are fine in a pinch, but they are really god-awful over a week’s time. Regardless how fastidious I tried to be, I thought I smelled myself with every little breeze, making me feel like a dirty pariah.
As I left the exam room knowing I would be returning again this Friday, I turned to him to ask if he was going to be around forever. What I meant to ask was if he was a resident who would be finishing a rotation only to disappear. When I modified the question, he assured me he was a specialist with the department and would be around for some time.
Relief washed over me…I hate ending these long term relationships.