Thursday, 20 May 2010

3 weeks of beard growth

Had some stiches removed from my mouth today to help free things up, there are still quite a few in there but they will dissolve.
Also Dr Van Gemert said he'd email me a copy of my xray, but he hasn't so far. He did give me a print out though so if he doesn't send it I'll scan it in.

Bit pissed that he still did not have my pathology results, seems the guy doing it is backed up and promises to have it tomorrow. I am expecting a call tomorrow and I'll remind him about the xray pic.

so time for a progress report, I posted this orginally to Erics site for cancer support but the details are still relevent so I'll post and update it here.

I'm getting there,slowly. Healing is not something you can rush and I'm not a patient patient. Its now 3 weeks since the op and swelling has gone down quite a bit, apart from the hard swelling on my neck which is causing quite a bit of restriction on my head and shoulder movement. I have had pretty consistent levels of mild pain, 2-3 on a scale of 1-10. This has been quite easy to deal with using mild pain killers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol though. I try not to take them all the time, since they are not the best things for your stomach but even mild pain gets a bit unbearable after a while so I pop a pill. The thing about being in fairly constant pain, mild or otherwise is it makes you grumpy and snappy..Fortunately I have the presence of mind not to jump too much down peoples throats but I have from time to time snapped at family for no real reason...lucky for me they are quite forgiving of my current lack of tolerance...the guy at the other end of the phone when I was trying to pay my credit card wasn't quite so understanding though when I let rip at him because I had forgotten one of my security questions

I'm eating pretty much normal food now, but I have to eat very slowly and carefully with very small bites, since I still have quite limited mouth opening ability. Eating and talking represent the 2 hardest things I can do at the moment. Its a real effort and a meal can leave me totally exhausted. I also tend to prefer to stay quiet and grunt for a while when that tiredness kicks in.

As things heal I am experiencing another pleasure of surgery, nerve reconnections, as the feeling starts to come back to parts of my face I get sharp pains ranging from needle pricks to something akin to a nail being hammered in my chin, also strangely phantom toothache, where there are no teeth..These can be quite monumentally severe but thankfully very short. But if there's a lot of them I reach for some tramadol to level things out.

One thing I am worried about is my speech, as a teacher I need to be able to speak, and that's not really improved much in 3 weeks. Even though the ball of cheek tissue they stitched up in my mouth is shrinking daily, I still feel like I have a mouth full of marbles when I talk. My lip is starting to regain feeling, as is my right side of my tongue but control is still not there yet so I do sound drunk and slur a lot...yes I know this will improve but it does sill give me cause for concern, I find myself thinking, what if it does not get better, a lot.....I can't help that I suppose, I just need to see/hear some improvement there to ease my mind.

My right arm movement is actually pretty good considering, I was warned it would be severely impeded, but its not, though I am aware of weakness and some slight restriction when lifting my arm high, so I avoid over use of my arm or raising it high. The shoulder/neck muscles are a masseuses nightmare, just a big tight knot of painful tissue but some gentle rubbing takes care of that.

My fitness levels are improving and I am now able to get out and about for longer periods, which is happily coinciding with the return of the sun here in Holland, so I'm catching some rays.
I even cycled to the hossie today so that was good, though I did need a nap later :D I have to do some mouth stretching exercises now which will be a bit painful but will allow me to increase the size of my doughnut stuffing hole..hopefully I'll be able to do my chocolate digestive biscuit in one go trick, soon :d

In I say....I'm getting there.


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