Stuck in the house again!

I haven’t been able to write or read much the last two weeks – I had to have surgery for the Basel Cell cancer I put off taking care of promptly.  It was on the end of my nose and now I have a new nose on the right side.  It was very deep and they had to take a skin graft from my forehead and use that to create the new half.  The first part was the MOHS surgeon used a local for the procedure – a very, very uncomfortable process.  He took the cancer and found there were no roots, then bandaged me up with a kind of round bandage on my nose.  When I saw it, I thought I could paint it red and say I was an off duty clown.

The next morning was the reconstruction surgery, this time a general anesthetic.  Thank goodness I didn’t have to feel that!  Unfortunately I have not  been able to wear my glasses very well because the pedicle (skin flap) is along my nose and part of my forehead.    As a result, my world has been blurry for the past 2 weeks.  I can see things, just not clearly – someone turned the focus dial down.  This coming week I will have surgery again to remove the pedicle – they wanted it to  stay for 3 weeks.  The two  things I am not happy about are:   1. the nose mustache because they had to go up a bit into my hairline.  2.  The nerve in the pedicle is up on my forehead and that is where the pain is – feels as if I keep being stabbed with an ice pick.

When I first took the bandage off, I was horrified to see how drastic it was.  I have a scar down my forehead in a straight line, from my hairline to my eyebrow.  Then there is the patch of new skin sewn around the right side of my nose.  The pedicle was still bandaged but looked awful – I felt like a train wreck.  It was so depressing and scary.  I am as vain as anyone and I felt as if my face was cut up and it would look terrible – I have kept the bandages on because I am uncomfortable looking at it.  I didn’t show it to Eddie.  I have had a long narrow bandage from my forehead to the end of my nose since it was done.

The week after surgery I went back to have the staples and sutures out – he was pleased, though doctors are always low-key.  His comment was the skin graft is viable.  I will admit, I have had no desire to be seen like this – a woman in elevator when I went to remove stitches commented ” They really trussed you up”.  I found I could smile and laugh about it.  Even so, I was glad to be home.  When I changed the bandage yesterday, it was the first time it did;t look very bad – I even showed it to Eddie.

I won’t have to go through all the hoops for the second part that I went through for the first.  They needed a pre-op from Doc Pierce, and EKG and questions, questions, questions.  No doubt we’ll do questions again, but I think all the other stuff I did is still valid for this surgery.  Then I will have to do another surgery for my right temple – that has been there even longer.  Not looking forward to that one.

The hardest part has been not being able to take a proper shower.  I have a small sore on my calf that is a result of a car door that  hit my leg.  Normally it isn’t a big deal, but it didn’t heal.  When I saw the dermatologist, she said it was an ulcer because I have had edema in my legs for quite a while and there is scar tissue.  So every week I go and have the bandage change – they do a compression wrap to help release the fluid.  As a result, I have lost 10 pounds, though all this sitting around and not being able to do stuff has probably added some more weight.  She had me do a vascular ultrasound to see how the veins are doing.  I went for the ultrasound and now you can hear it as well as see it.  Really cool.  Fortunately my veins are fine, no reconstructive surgery for them.  But I can’t get it wet and that means spit baths ( the tech at the wound care center called it a duck bath.)  It was really bad the 10 days I couldn’t wash my hair – oh, it was ugly and felt terrible.  I used a dry shampoo a couple of times, but it really isn’t that great.

Life is rather limited at the moment, I have been catching up on old movies on TCM – some I have seen, quite a few I haven’t.  I like those movies better than the ones now – great entertainment without a lot of “message”.  Eddie bought Lily Tomlin’s “Grandma” and of the 6 trailers they had, only 2 looked interesting.  Usually none appeal to us or only 1.  If I write any more, it will end up being whingeing and that isn’t part of my blog.

One Response to “Stuck in the house again!”

  1. Charlotte Trayer Says:

    Glad to see you have written on your blog again, Liz.

    A surgical site almost always looks the worst the first week or two, then starts to look “good” after that. You probably could have shown me the other day and I wouldn’t have recoiled in shock and horror. After all, *I* have a son!! Haha…..Can’t begin to count how many times he had to have stitches, etc. when he was growing up! And I’ve been thru a few things with Ron, too, as far as surgery goes.

    If I had thought, maybe I could have brought you a few movies to borrow. Is there anything you’ve been wanting to see? Do you have only DVD or does your player take VHS tapes, too? Let me know….

    love, Char

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