After my second operation I was given time to heal, I had a year away from the table to allow hooks and clips to dissolve and to let my face reattached to my skull, before it got ripped off again.
So …..March 2007 was the date of my 3rd operation and this time it would be both the previous operations in one go, it surprisingly only took 8 hrs and again I was home within 48 hours of having my face sewn, glued and stapled back together, no mean feat. This time I was sent home with drains in again, these are particularly horrible contraptions, a tube comes from the bottom of the incision out to a deflated pump balloon which fills up with blood and fluid until the wound has healed. I was making frequent trips back to the dressings nurse again but this was due to the number of incisions and not an infection so I wasn’t that bothered. The stitches around my ears were the first to come out and then after another two and a half weeks out came the staples. Now this is when you think I am a real freak. Having staples removed is one of the strangest pleasure/pain sensation I have ever experienced. The area is still reasonably numb, and some of the stables are scabbed over and can be hard to remove but all in all the sensation as the staple is pull from your wound is kinda nice. There I said it, don’t look at me differently now.
After this operation I again put everything on hold to let my face recover and thought I should probably finish my degree without any interruptions, so any more operations could wait.
Time to get in the DeLorean, we are heading to 2009. (if you don’t understand this reference, please stop reading – only joking, but seriously Marty McFly is the bees knees)
I have finished University and decided this would be a good time to have my next operation ahead of joining the voyage on a ship by the name “Career”. I saw my Surgeon in August, I was on the list, but he was busy at the time and would get me in as soon as possible. I was given a date in September for a pre-operative assessment, which went wonderfully. Then the wait, a long wait.
Throughout December and January I was trying to contact the NHS to find out if I had a date for my surgery yet. I didn’t hear back and by the time February had arrived I was more than concerned that I was putting my life on hold for something that was not even scheduled. By March, I resorted to making a private appointment with my surgeon to discuss if that route would speed things up. Low and behold my surgery was actually scheduled with the NHS 6 days after my private appointment, I just wasn’t told. To rub salt in the wound, I was meant to be on holiday.
My surgeon kindly said that I should go on holiday and he would sort it all out for me to have the surgery in April. He was an absolute superstar creating space for me after the administration of Chelsea and Westminster had royally fudged up. My surgeon has always tried to make my surgeries as convenient as possible for me, for my first 3 operations we got our diaries out and scheduled them around my university holiday and his kids’ school holidays.
So April came and it was time for my 4th operation. This time I was having the scars around my ears removed and a bit of a tweak around my eyes. The surgery was a lighteningly quick 4 hours and after another breezy 48 hours on the ward I was being driven across London to nestle on a sofa for a few weeks.
As with previous surgeries I had to sleep upright again with my 3rd and 4th. This is one of the hardest parts of the whole experience, you don’t feel as though you are recovering properly when you can’t have a bit of quality shut eye. My recover took about 4 weeks this time with the stitches coming out after 2. I think my head is getting used to inflating to the size of Hey Arnold’s.
Well that is all of my surgeries covered now, but fear not, I am awaiting a date for my next and we have all the joys of the investigations and more presentations.