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Face surgery report - June/July 2013


D-Day, or should i say Op-Day, minus one...  Booked taxi for tomorrow morning but trying not to think about it too much.  Must go out shortly and get some bread, milk and cash.
i felt sorry for the organisers of the Norfolk street fair/party on Saturday when it alternately rained and blew a gale.  i was going to go but just didn't fancy getting wet.  It wasn't a lot better on Sunday or yesterday, though it didn't rain and we had the odd bit of sun. It's still windy but a lot more sunny today. Here endeth the weather report!

If you don't want the medical details and the sight of my face is going to bother you - please, do not read any further, i've added photos.


Up just before alarm went off at 7.15am. Taxi on time 8.15am but the plastic surgeon was still on rounds and was about 20 minutes late. Nurses good and the lady surgeon was excellent. They all made sure I knew what I was having done and the Plastic Surgeon drew on my face! She put the shots in my cheek and by my nose, then a couple on my shoulder by my neck [for the skin grafts]. She had elected to do grafts on both sites, which will hopefully make sure my lower eyelid doesn't droop! Horrid but as with all things, just bearable. My right eye leaked and I really had a case of the shakes after all the injections, about 8 little ones on my face and three on my shoulder... I barely managed not to have a real good cry. *shudders* It's reaction and about a break in control more than anything else [kinda like crying when you're really angry]. I kept thinking of brave Ditto who had one in her eye and telling myself not to be a wimp and if she could bear it, so could I... *blows a kiss* Luckily I recovered quickly, then I was fine.

We had a wait for the full numb effect to set in, but not too long and the PS made sure I was good to go before she started – and put in a couple more on my cheek. PS took the skin for the grafts first, then did my cheek as it was on the same side, before moving her trolley round. Then after an amazingly short time, she moved round to the other side to do my nose [which is now starting to ache]. She used what she described as tweezers, which are used to cauterize blood vessels as I thought she was using a laser or some-such; you can smell a slight burning and feel a little heat. Not distressing at all. In fact, I would love to have been able to watch the operation! I couldn't see anything as a) I had my eyes closed, with b) a dressing over them, against the very bright lights they use.

I don't feel anything else yet. It will take 3-4 hours for it all to wear off – I have a large area of shoulder that is completely numb.

My eye looks like i'm recovering from a black eye and i'm quite swollen above the cheek site. I must not bend over for 48 hours and the PS advised me to sleep more upright for a couple of days to keep the swelling down. Have you any idea how many times you bend over in a day?? i've taken to carrying my senior-citizen 'grab-arm' around with me!

Washing is going to be a problem – I knew I should have washed my hair yesterday! No showers above neck for a week, until the dressings come off [they're sewn on] next week. My eye dressing is scrunching up the skin and it could be a bit of a problem with my glasses, but hopefully it will flatten out after the dressing comes off and not touch the sore bits.

Later... all the numbness has worn off and my normal painkillers are covering any real pain I might feel. I do have a headache behind my right eye and my shoulder feels prickly. And I keep wanting to wipe the inner corner of my right eye [can't even see it!].  I have some really decent red bruising; wonder if it will be better or worse tomorrow?

To bed...clutching large extra pillow!


Swelling continues to reduce and large yellowish patches on the bruising now.
Can't wait for dressings to come off.

1st July, 2013

Dressings coming off Wednesday, thank heaven. Itching like crazy and of course, I can't scratch! All of the bruising gone and swelling down to next-to-nothing, just a little over the cheek patch. Dry shampooing sucks big time; can't wait to wash my hair again.

3rd July

FINALLY! Booked taxi for 8.30am – He was nearly ¼ hr late. Traffic of course, being a dull and drizzly day, was murder and it was five minutes to 9.00am by the time we got to Addenbrookes. I went up to the Clinic and having queued for 5 minutes – only one person attending to patients, out of the four who were circling like lazy flies... Oh no, sorry, you have to go to the Plastic Surgery Unit. Just go down to the end of the corridor, on the right. Ten minutes later, i'm sweating like a pig and getting madder by the second – it's a Bloody Hike! It was the whole way across the damn hospital to the Institute of Medical Science wing, for pity's sake. I stopped and leaned on a window sill a couple of times, as my blood pressure soared and I was so angry with the limp-wristed twat who should have said it's quite a walk for a lady with a walking stick! I'd like to go back and give him a damn good slapping.

I had to keep asking medical personnel if I was going the right way as there were no signs at all, and I couldn't believe how far it was. I only saw one sign – at the actual entrance to the Unit. If you know the Hospital, it is upstairs from the IMS entrance, one of the three main access points for the public. If the instructions had said where the PSU was and to go to that entrance, it would have taken me less than five minutes to get there.

I eventually checked into the PSU Reception, apologising for being 15 minutes late. She wasn't really bothered. I sat in their waiting room, sipping cold water until I reasonably sure I wouldn't have a stroke, and cooled off.

Nice nurse type, who said 'oh bless you' pretty much to everyone about everything, came and got me about 10 minutes later. She really wasn't in any kind of hurry and had a conversation with another patient before coming back [he was in the cubicle next to me, waiting to see the doctor], but eventually returned and removed the dressings. Only one of the nose stitches pulled a bit, so good result. She said it all looked really good and smeared antiseptic ointment over nose, cheek & neck.

Instructions to dry face with hair-dryer, don't use towel. I was so surprised, I forgot to ask how long! She amused me by asking if I wanted a mirror to look. I declined, saying I'd look when I got home. I actually caught sight of my face in the lift; wished I hadn't. It looks a bit horrific at the moment, but all surgical wounds look bad so soon after the op.

My nose graft is a bit rumpled and my cheek graft is a bit grey and looks as though someone has scooped out a hole with a spoon! I guess it's okay and it'll take a while for it all to smooth itself out and start looking more normal. Scars don't bother me, sink holes in my cheek might.
Oh well, if my PS got all the r/ulcer out, I can live with that – not like I'm going to have a choice!

So all done bar the shouting. I'll be very interested to what I look like in a month's time. I go back for a check-up on 12th August.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 3rd, 2013 01:52 pm (UTC)
Oh I'm so sorry, this is bigger than mine (actually mine was exactly like the one next to your eye (even in the same spot), but I didn't have anything on my cheek... yet). But mine has heal really well, I have a tiny scar, but it isn't noticeable at all. I hope you heal up well soon! {{hugs}}

The icon DALEKS are supposed to be sending love and encouragement that it'll all be behind you soon.

I'm in the middle of a trip, I'm at Ocean City at the moment (West coast of the USA in Maryland). The ocean is a little bit rough and cold for swimming, but that is why I got a hotel with a pool (so I could walk on the beach and swim in the pool! LOL).

Tomorrow I drive to Baltimore, Maryland for the Discworld Convention.

Jul. 4th, 2013 12:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the love & encouragement! Scars look better on a man for sure but it really doesn't worry me half as much as the lumps & bumps around the wounds. If they flatten out and disappear, i'll be a happy camper. I've no pain in them at at. i've some ooze on the bottom of the cheek wound, which i am assuming is normal. i do have some discomfort above the neck incision, which i find odd. The skin feels 'pulled' and i wondered if the stitching had trapped a nerve or something. At the moment, it doesn't hurt. Fingers crossed.
You got me quite confused over Ocean City - of which there are 3 in USA - one in Washington State on the West Coast and two on the East Coast - in New Jersey and Maryland. So you are in Maryland, you are on the East Coast, yes?
i know you love the Discworld 'verse, so have a great time at the Con!
Jul. 4th, 2013 03:41 pm (UTC)
Oh I was at Ocean City, Maryland which is the most famous one... and I left there this morning and drove to Baltimore, Maryland where we are staying at the Inner Harbor (there will be huge fireworks tonight!). I always enjoy the Discworld Conventions, and I'm sure this will be great (the hotel is really nice, but they make it VERY expensive w/added costs for parking and internet use... oh well).

Mine was really tight too, but it relaxed as it healed. And yeah, the oozing lasts a while as it heals, but I think that is a good thing (protecting new skin as it grows). Hopefully it will continue painlessly; mine was painless except for occasional twinges that I thought might be phantom reactions to the memory of the trauma... any way the twinges didn't last. Good luck!
Jul. 3rd, 2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
Agh agh agh you were so brave! I only had the one needle and am a grade A wimp! I've gone weak at the knees looking at those photos. You did so well to get through it. Yes, all done bar the shouting...thank goodness!
Jul. 4th, 2013 12:34 pm (UTC)
Dearest Ditto... You really helped me through this. Bravery is knowing hurt and great distress will happen and going ahead anyway, which makes you one of my heroes. The wounds are really looking better even today and i'll put a up a picture next week so you can see much progress - fingers crossed, touch wood, etc!
*squishes you*
Jul. 4th, 2013 06:26 pm (UTC)
Yes, touch wood as I always do...it'll all look better and healed asap. (((hugs)))
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )