What's it like to peel away the bandages? It's a beautiful thing.
Not for the squeamish. This is what it is like for a husband that has been playing nurse and caretaker for a week.
An elastic bandage wraps twice around Darlene's chest. It holds a four layer gauze bandage against her skin. The elastic bandage has two pieces of Velcro on it to hold it to itself. As the elastic bandage is loosened it loses the support for the gauze bandage and it slips, but does not fall because it sticks to the scars. Unthreading the bandage through the drain tubes being careful pull or catch the tubing that enters her skin.
Tossing the elastic bandage aside I slowly lift away the gauze bandage. Little threads stick to the scar and stitches holding in the drain tubes. Carefully I pull them away trying to be gentle.
Exposed is two big thick scars across her chest. The scars are red, swollen and wrinkled. Darlene will not look in the mirror. From her side are tubes coming out of her body. Draining liquid from inside her into bulbs dangling from her side. We clip these to her necklace so that they do not drop and hurt her.
The breasts that provided life to our three children as babies are gone. Nothing left to resemble what once was.
What is there now is the most beautiful part of Darlene. What is left is pure. It is beautiful. Those scars touch her heart. They are physical evidence of the love she has for her family.
We are all the sum of our parts but we must never forget that if something goes away it is not a subtraction from the whole unless we allow it to be.
The sum is the whole. Everyday we get a chance build on the whole because the most important part of the whole is not the physical.
(I'd post a picture but Darlene does not want to go that far.)