The vagaries of modern surgical logistics are frustrating to me. I was scheduled third procedure of the day for my surgeon, and he, as one expects, ran late. So I had a great deal of sitting around at the Mayo while wearing an ill-fitting smock and shorts.
But, finally, at 12:45 I was wheeled into pre-op.
And, finally, at 2:15, I was taken to the O.R.
The procedure was expanded at the last minute. I’d signed up for a throat biopsy — where they go in and cut samples out of my throat for testing. But Oral Derm (who I see next Friday) also wanted samples. So I signed the release and the surgeon cut “punch-disks” out of my lips and gums. Which, apparently, are considered hella painful and take a longer time to heal.
The interesting part was when I woke in recovery. The anaesthesiologist came in to talk to me, and apologized. The words, “we are responsible” were uttered, which I am certain is some sort of legal culpability. The gist is, when she put the intubation in the walls of my throat were more friable than expected. They cut open my pharynx accidentally. The doctor made a hand gesture to indicate length, and I wish I could unseen said gesture.
So, I have a host of extra cuts and holes in my mouth and throat, some planned and some unplanned.
It will take a while to heal.
In the meantime, I’m on voice restriction. (Which I knew already, what with the inabilty to speak!) Also my tongue and gums are swollen to the point that I have liquid vicodin for the first week. Food will be … an interesting challenge, seeing as how I choke on said liquid vicodin and sips of water.
But it will all heal. It will all improve.
The surgeon remarked on my atypically cheerful attitude prior to the procedure. I pointed out that eleven months ago I was mis-diagnosed with throat cancer and was facing three months of radiation therapy. Every procedure and result since then is fucking awesome because it is not throat cancer.
Holes punched in my gums? Sure, fine. Accidentally sliced my pharynx? Cool, cool, whatevs. Still not throat cancer.
Perspective, y’all. It’s a lovely thing.
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