Saturday, September 16, 2006

Feelings - Very Special Feelings

I’ve had this spot on my forehead for several years – sort of like a wart or a callous. I never really gave a lot of thought to it until my accident last April (post of April 11, 2006 – Fear of Flying.) Because of the broken cheek-bone, I was referred to a plastic surgeon.

He felt my cheek, said, “I don’t think there’s a problem with that – it’s still well aligned and should heal by itself, but you better have that lump on your forehead removed.” I explained that my Medicare didn’t activate until May 1, and that I’d be back in touch with him.

“It’s a simple procedure,” he said. I swear I heard him say that it would take 30 minutes under local anesthetic and could be done in his office.

I called for an appointment last week, and was told to come in to his office on Monday, Sept. 11 for an examination. Surgery was scheduled for Wednesday the 13th.

On Monday he examined me from head to toe and found two more suspicious growths – one on my shoulder and one on my right breast. The shoulder spot was about the size of the plunger you push on a ball-point pen. The one on my breast was the size of the head on a straight pin. “Those need to come off too,” he informed me.

As it turned out, the procedure was performed at our local Surgery Center, took two hours and was under local anesthetic and what they referred to as “twilight sleep.” That’s the technical term for giving you something intravenously that keeps you awake, but also makes it so you don’t give a shit even if they castrate you.

Wednesday night I was one sore puppy. I never felt the incisions on my shoulder or breast, but that motherfucker on my forehead was a real bitch. The stitches cover ¾ of the width of my forehead, and draw the skin together very tightly over where the spot was. My forehead has lumps all over it from the bunching of skin and swelling, and it hurt like hell. The pain medication that was recommended was – Tylenol! That’s all.

Luckily Barbara had some Vicodin. I took those and they just barely took the edge off the pain. After two virtually sleepless nights, I returned to the surgeon’s office on Friday. After he examined the stitches, I told him of the pain and the fact that Vicodin was not even working. He prescribed a muscle relaxer, because he had separated a nerve under the spot and had pulled on my forehead very hard to get everything closed up.

The good news is that the forehead and shoulder spots were basil-skin spots – nothing to worry about. The tiny spot on my breast was pre-melanoma, and completely removed.

The bad news is that because of the nerve he had to sever, I have no feeling along my hair-line. That coupled with the nerve damage and resulting loss of feeling in my damaged elbow and broken cheek-bone means that I’m slowly losing the sensation of touch in too many parts of my body.

I assume that I’ll fall on my ass next and not be able tell if I’m sitting down.