We walked up to the clinic again today at nine in the morning, and again were buzzed right in. Dr. Reed removed the dressing and stood back to admire his work. Calling Beloved over, he showed her the changes.
"See, this was a big square, now it's a couple of parentheses facing each other. This is a little smaller, and this is bigger, and now they're like they should be. And that lip that was down here is gone. So now everything is going all in the right directions and it's gonna be just beautiful.
"But I've just taken off the bandages, so now it's all going to get a little puffy and blue for a few days, so I want you both to know that so you won't get alarmed, yes? Now you see these blue stitches, there aren't a whole lot of those, have your doctor take them out -- when did I operate?"
"So, ten days, fourteen days after Friday. Fourteen is better."
"And all the little stitches?"
"Those can stay in. They're expensive stuff; it does the job. They keep all the little bits lined up while they recover, and then they just kind of wither away. Just dissolve.
"You can have the catheter out sooner, eight days, ten. Here's a prescription for the catheter, because you're not supposed to bring fluids on the airlines right now; I would just say walk through but if they need to search you they can see the prescription and they can call me if they want to. You should be fine."
"What about dilation?"
"Wait three weeks. You're a lot stronger than those stiches; you want to give them time to do their job."
"I'll lose some depth?"
"Yes, but you'll get it all back."
We said our goodbyes. It was like leaving old friends. I dropped Dr. Reed a deep curtsey, in the royal Thai manner, and he smiled. Anne hugged Beloved, and took us to the door, and we made our way slowly to the elevator and pushed the DOWN button for the hot streets of Bay Harbor Islands.