i had my yearly follow-up with welk today. matt and i decided i could probably handle this one on my own. i got there right on time and i think for the 1st time ever i pulled into the car park and straight into a parking place! anyway, i get up to his office and the place is packed. there were 2 seats available but people had put coats on them or bags or something. maybe someone was coming back to them, i don't know. what i do know is that no one was in the ladies room so they weren't waiting for anyone to return from there!
susan was on the phone, no idea where michelle was. the other few gals who've done desk work there i think work for other doctors and have never paid attention to me, which is fine, i don't care. kathy was also with people, but while i was standing what was going to have to suffice as a decent distance for susan and client's privacy, kathy's people left. she saw me, greeted me with that wonderful smile and asked how i was and all. she asked if i had checked in and i let her know susan had been on the phone so i hadn't had a chance to do so yet. she got me a chair from another office and brought it out for me. that was so nice! i had thought about saying something politely to a few people, like "is this your coat? would you mind hanging it up so people can sit down?" but then thought they might not see the humor in it so i held my tongue. as she started back she let me know she'd tell mary (? gee, i just threw a huge ? i think that's her name, welk's nurse) i was here.
i didn't wait too long before she's there asking me to come on back. here's the gown, blah blah, same old same old. she did ask how i was doing.
welk came in after only a couple minutes. he looked at them, pushed a little, poked a little, said wrap up let's go get pics. after the series of 3 it's back to the 1st room. he confirms my email to send them to me (gee does this entry sound rote? that's pretty bad, eh? i mean we're talking about breast cancer reconstruction here, and there's really no emotion, it's totally factual, action after action etc. sad. sigh.)
basically unless something happens like a car wreck where i want to get them checked out, i'm done until time to replace. he says the saline i should never have to replace unless it springs the odd leak. yes, it does happen on occasion, but not often. the others he said should be replaced before it actually needs to be replaced. so if it has a 15 yr lifespan we should replace around 12.5-13 yrs. makes sense. there are people who've never replaced their silicone implants. me? to be honest i haven't thought that far into the future. so he said it was nice knowing you, see you in 10 years.
as i'm walking out i poke my head into kathy's office to let her know and she gets up to give me a hug. that was so nice! we talked again very briefly, and she asked me to keep sending her orch concert info. maybe 1 day i'll see her there. i let susan know as well and we laughed about her being a 'lifer' in that office. i would be surprised if she's still there. i can only hope that welk is still there when the time comes to swap devices.
as i left the office i realized i had a huge smile on my face. 1 more chapter almost (and it gets this only because of the 10yr maintenance surgeries) closed.