Eyes Wide Open

Remember the joke that went around some years ago where you grabbed your face along your scalp and pulled it back until your eyes squinted – and said, “Mommy, mommy my ponytail is too tight!”  It wasn’t that funny then, and it is certainly not funny to me now.  Life is like that.  It alters one’s outlook on things, it turns funny remarks and asides into un-funny comments.

Those who have “been” to my place often are familiar with my sense of humor and how I use humor to express things going on with me.  Humor also helps me sort out things and helps me to adjust.  A good example of this is when the biopsy of the lump on top of my head came back positive for cancer.  Of course, I was stunned and dismayed that I had to have surgery.  I did not want to meet hubby back at the car crying and being upset, so I told him I needed a lobotomy. “Not to worry, hon,  it’s only a partial one, I told him, so I will still have half a brain.”

“Cancer, huh?” he asked.  I can’t fool him. I honestly was not too worried about it because skin cancer treatments are common. Everyone I knew who had that type of cancer, got it removed and that was that.  Easy peasy, right?

Well…, not so much.  The removal goes in stages. The surgeon cuts some out and you are temporarily bandaged and sent out to the waiting room for a while.  If there is more they need to take off – this translates ‘to dig out’ – you are called back in and you get more pokes with syringes full of nasty burning numbing stuff and deja vu back to the waiting room.  

Four times of deja vu as it turned out, but the doctor is 99% confident they got it all.

Next came the hard part.

If a doctor ever asks you, “do you want to see the hole in your head?”  Say no.  I can’t get that awful sight out of my mind.  Good thing I have a fairly strong stomach.  There was a perfectly round, quarter-sized hole that was over one inch deep.  Yuk.  Bruce was in the room with me, so he saw everything happen.  I had a cloth draped over my head 

The stitching up process was horrifying.  The doc and his assistant surrounded me and both were attaching sutures. They must have woven them together, because when they completed a layer of stitches, they pulled them, causing them to stretch the layers of skin together.  This hurts like a Mother, BTW.  The topical numbing stuff was long worn off at this point of the surgery.  As they pulled together layers of my scalp, they needed to lean on me to get the leverage needed for pulling everything in place. Then they “put a ‘million’ little staples” on the outside,, according to Hubby.

I think I was in shock when they handed me post-surgery instructions and a baggie with 6 Tylenol in it.  After our 2-hour drive home I was in agony.  All layers of stitches were still pulling and tweaking the nerves in my head.  After a night of no sleep and lots of tears, I called the surgeon’s office the next morning asking for something stronger for the pain. When I did not hear anything back, I called and left another message that afternoon.  No one ever got back to me.  I was told by the receptionist that the doctor never prescribed anything but Tylenol.  Frankly, I don’t think they ever gave him the message.

I felt myself becoming homicidal.

A friend gave me 2 of her Tylenol with codeine she had left from her dental surgery.  I took one at bedtime and I got a decent sleep (for 2 nights anyway). – Thank you, Kandy!  My friend Christina brought me a box of homemade truffles to cheer me up.  They did and I  rationed them as best I could, but alas they are all gone.

Today is day nine, post-surgery.  The stitches are still constantly pulling. Since the hole in my head was more on the right side, I have one half of a facelift.  This caused my hubby to inform me that the lines in my forehead were not even anymore.  He is one to notice things like that.  

 

My follow-up appointment was Friday, 10 days post-surgery, and the bandage was removed. The surgeon’s assistant Cindy removed it and told me, “it looks perfect!”  I politely declined the need for a mirror.  However, since she did not bandage me up again I saw it as soon as I was in the car.  I nearly fainted and I never faint.  Bruce knew how huge the wound was because he watched them open up the hole in my head to get all the pulling and tweaking sutures in.  Instead of a dainty round dot, there was a HUGE “L” shaped wound on top of my head. 

L is for lobotomy, right? –> 

My friend, Diane, is making hats to hide my head.  They are the cutest hats ever.  I will have to model them once the swelling goes down and my black eyes go away.  Maybe I should have asked her to make me a ski-mask…  Sigh. 

March 3rd is when the assistant removed the staples.  No anesthetic, she just started pulling them out with tweezers.  This burned like fire and I really wanted to smack her, but somehow  I managed to control myself.

 ♥  TTFN  ♥