Sunday, November 23, 2003

3 Days Post-Op

Finally able to take a shower today. Kept the steri-strips dry. Not sure exactly how to take care of the wound, so I'll call the nurse at the ENT tomorrow. My ear is still numb - that could be forever. The rest of the wound seems pretty numb too, but I'm starting to feel small pains and some itching. I'll take some new pictures if the steri-strips come off.
posted by Andy @ 7:12 PM

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

6 Days later

I pretty much feel normal now. I'm sleeping through the night, although I wake up early with a sore shoulder since I can only sleep on my right side. I'm eating normally now, although I stay away from really chewy foods.

I went out to lunch and to the mall yesterday to get some exercise. I put a bandage over my ear and neck to keep from grossing everyone out. It was cold and windy here (Chicago area), so I wore a hood to keep the cold and wind away. I'm starting to get a little bored around the house, but don't miss work yet :-)

I go back to the doctor on Friday to get the stitches out - I can't wait. More pictures! Happy Thanksgiving to all in the US! My wife is cooking turkey, etc. for us at home tomorrow and then we'll probably stop over to see the rest of my family.
posted by Andy @ 3:44 PM

Friday, November 28, 2003

New Picture

I'm just about ready to leave for the doctor's office, but I posted a new photo from yesterday - 7 days post-op. The steri strips are off and it's cleaned up a bit. I'll have new pics and a report from the doctor this afternoon.
posted by Andy @ 9:52 AM

Doctor Visit - Day 8

Went to see the doctor this morning and got the stitches out. That went well and the wound looks good - I posted another photo. At the "corner" of the incision, it wasn't quite healed, so he put another steri-strip on. I'm glad to be done with it all.

The lab report confirms that it was a 1.5 cm pleomorphic adenoma, so that's good. No need to see the doctor again unless the scar doesn't heal right, but he thinks it will be fine. I think that the part in front of my ear looks great - it is better than the previous incision from the cyst removal at the dermatologist. The part going around the back of my ear is raised, but he says that's according to plan and it will shrink down. I'm not very concerned about that anyway since it is small and mostly behind my ear.

A funny story from visiting my family last night. My daughter was asking my parents and sisters questions for her genetics project for biology (tongue rolling capability), and mentioned that she could have checked for ear lobes attached or not attached. I said that I would be an interesting case because I have one attached and one not so much! The look on my dad's face was great - he was laughing and squeamish at the same time. Luckily my daughter is used to my sense of humor.
posted by Andy @ 4:18 PM

Monday, December 01, 2003

Back to Work

Well, it was nice to have the time off, but it's nice to be back in the real world again. It's 11 days after the surgery and I feel normal. My ear is still numb and that causes the strange sensation of my glasses falling off all the time, but other than that, I have no complaints.
posted by Andy @ 2:53 PM

New Friends

I am really glad that I decided to do this Blog. Because of it, I have been getting emails from other people that are looking for more information and I try to help as much as I can. Of course, I encourage everyone to visit the Patient's Forum also - everyone there is really great.

I've traded email with people from Australia and, judging from the email address, the Philippines, as well as a number of folks in the US. I hope there are similar support mechanisms for other ailments as well! In any case, I feel "lucky" to have gotten this one.
posted by Andy @ 3:01 PM

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Finally a new picture!

It's been 16 days now and the scar is coming along nicely. It's all cleaned up and the part in front of the ear is not noticeable at all. I've posted a new picture and added a feature that shows the incision line when you hover the mouse over the picture. I think this will be more and more necessary as the scar fades away.
posted by Andy @ 4:53 PM

Lend me your ear!

About the only complaint I have now is itching behind my ear. It's kind of odd that the bottom quarter of my ear and some of my cheek and neck is numb, yet the itch sensation is amazingly strong. Since I hadn't been able to really wash the area too well because of the steri-strips, some of the skin is pretty dry, especially the crease behind my ear.

I took the last strip off three days ago, and now that I can really get it all wet, it is getting better. Sometimes, though, the itching is really strong and I need to be careful not to scratch too much since I can't feel it very well. I don't want to abrade it too much.

The whole "wooden ear" thing is a bit strange. I can't remember if I wrote much about this, but it is pretty much guaranteed that you lose feeling in your earlobe after surgery and it may never come back. My whole ear was quite numb and I started to get the feeling back little by little. Since it is mostly just my earlobe now, I wonder if I'll get it all back?

Earlier, the numbness was very odd - it felt like I had a large weight attached to my ear tugging it down. The other problem was feeling like my eyeglasses were falling off, but I've gotten past that now. Now it just feels like I have something clamped to my earlobe.

Hold on! I better check the mirror to make sure my wife hasn't clipped on an earring when I wasn't looking. Nope, just the numbness.
posted by Andy @ 5:11 PM