Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wear sunscreen!!

Hmmm, where to begin? These last few weeks have been a little draining and have kept me away from writing any new posts. Several times, I thought that I should sit down and write about what was going on, but I honestly just didn't feel up for it. In a nutshell, I had to have a surgery done on my face to remove two basal cell carcinomas (very fair skin and stupidly tried to tan when I was younger), which left two relatively large holes in my face that subsequently needed to be repaired in a second surgery.

The second surgery was an outpatient surgery that was performed by a plastic surgeon two days after the initial procedure took place. I was sedated and a local anaesthetic was used. I don't remember anything really except that at one point I tried to make small talk with my surgeon. I'm not sure why I am able to remember that part, but I do remember asking him what Rhode Island is like! (I had read some biographical information about him prior to letting him cut my face open and lift up the skin on my cheek.) Anyway, I don't recall him answering my question. After the surgery I looked fairly hideous, and I'm pretty certain that I was ushered out a back exit so that I wouldn't scare the people who were sitting in the waiting area. Or maybe they were worried I was going to dissuade an incoming patient from having a surgery done. Or maybe they were actually thinking of me and knew I wouldn't want to face the world at that moment.

I had big black sutures sticking out of my face (left side, just above my lip and under my nose), the fattest lip (on only one side of my upper lip, which made it more frightening) you've ever seen, blood between the sutures, and later, one half of my face was swollen. Sean and Kate barely blinked when they first saw me --that's unconditional love. Sean had warned Kate that I was going to have a boo-boo and stitches, and that seemed to work because she really took it in stride. I took some pain medication for the first couple of days, but I didn't really need it after that. After the physical pain went away, I spent a good deal of time fretting about how my face was going to look once the swelling subsided. I'm not as worried now as I can see that things are slowly improving, and I'm hopeful that after some more time passes (possibly as much as a year) I'll look almost the same as before. Actually, when I cover the scars with make-up, I already do look pretty close to the same.

Kate and I spent a lot of time in the house while I still had the sutures in, and for a short time after they were removed as well. Sean took her to her weekly music class and to the zoo when he was home for the weekend so that she didn't go completely stir crazy. I started going out to do things with her within a little more than a week after the surgery, and that helped to normalize things for Kate and me. I got a few second looks (and not the good kind, I assure you) on the first few outings, but people don't really seem to notice now. It really is amazing how quickly the human body heals. I hope that what I've written doesn't sound superficial to anyone who may (at some point in the future) read my blog. I know there are far bigger things to worry about than one's appearance, but it is disconcerting when your face is messed with.

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