(Phew. Typing with no middle finger will definitely be something to get used to.)
Surgery went EXCELLENTLY today. I performed it at a friend (psuedononymously, Chad) and his family member’s (Linda) house. Linda has had quite a bit of medical training, so was an awesome resource to bounce ideas off of and get advice from leading up to the procedure.
After my failure last time(s), I was determined to make things work this time. I administered the lidocaine and cleaned everything (with additional clorhex swabs from Linda, which was super helpful).
On the first incision attempt, I had a bad angle and ended up opening a pocket that was barely subdermal (and worthless as an implant site). I was worried I had botched things, but I adjusted the angle and came at it again. Having both a camera person and a person dedicated to helping me was perfect – Linda helpfully prepped syringes, blotted blood, and gave great advice.
I lacked context for the reference points on the scalpel (writing, logos, etc) to let me know when I was deep enough since I used a different type of scalpel, so I made a first cut (which I felt nothing of), and tried to place the magnet. It went about halfway in. Remembering my frustrations with the slow progress of the pocket last time, I gritted my teeth and plunged into the wound again, with care but also with determination. As I felt the connective tissues give way, I watched the scalpel sink very deeply in, making a perfect pocket. I should note at this point, by the way, that it is utterly unnerving to be able to sense and feel the vibration of your finger pulp being sliced open and watch bright blood spill out, but feel nothing – surgery wouldn’t have been possible without the lido, but the dichotomy between what my brain expected and what I felt was bizarre. I think it would have been even worse if someone else was holding the scalpel – even given the choice of a professional, I’d feel better about being in control.
As I placed the magnet the second time, it sunk deeply into the wound, and disappeared inside… PERFECT.
We blotted and closed with a stitch (Linda wincing as I went a tad deep; fingers crossed I didn’t nick the magnet), and cleaned up, patching with a tegaderm patch (GREAT stuff by the way; far better than gauze for sealing things up).
From first incision to closing was 18 minutes, which was right on schedule. We sat around and talked afterwards, munching on food and relaxing – you’d never know I had just sliced myself open. The procedure went so smoothly and well; I was thrilled for the help.
Take a look at the pictures below, as well as the procedure video!