Old folk at lunch

Friday, December 22, 2017

A busy week

I had some serious surgery yesterday (Thursday) after the events of Tuesday and Wednesday described below.  There was a large line of subcutaneous tumors at the left-hand margin of my face -- stretching from my jawline to my forehead.  And a previous punch biopsy had confirmed that they were SCCs, a nasty cancer type. And they were growing rapidly so had to be got out soonest, even if it was on the threshold of Christmas.

I was a bit unsure whether the surgeon would or could get it all in one go but the procedure I underwent was a same-day Moh's type -- as a day patient at a good private hospital -- so that inspired confidence.  And, in the event, good margins were apparently achieved.  So the procedure went well and I was in no pain even when the local had worn off.  My surgeon costs thousands but for that he delivers very close joinups of the cut surfaces, which leads to very rapid healing.

My second concern was how well such a long excision would take to heal, considering that I mostly sleep on my left -- so I looked like sleeping upon a fresh incision.  I steeled myself, however, to sleep on my back only that night and achieved it.  I also did not have my usual extensive late-night drinkies so took a sleeping tablet to adjust for that.  I thought I had some Temaz around but could not find it so I took a Stilnox.

Stilnox is a bit notorious for weird effects and I was not spared. I was in a strange state for most of the morning afterward and did not really wake up until about noon.

Anyway, as I write this late on Friday night, I feel back to normal already.  The dreaded cancer is gone and I can't even feel that an excision has taken place.  Paying for first-rate plastic surgery is hugely worth it in my view.

Joe is driving to Canberra in the morning for Christmas at Kate's parents' place so tonight I shouted him a  "bon voyage" dinner of a sort that both of us particularly like -- Japanese MOS burgers.  They are unique in my experience

We had our burgers at Sunnybank, which was greatly crowded, overwhelmingly with East Asians, mostly Han.  Joe and I share great respect for the Han so we were very much at ease with that. An oddity was that the MOS burger joint was one of the few that was not busy.  Do Chinese not eat Japanese?  Rely on it.

A small reflection: As an afficianado of hospital rules, I am aware that  the anaesthetist is supposed to come in before the procedure to explain things to the patient and deal with any questions.  Some time after that the proceduralist comes in too for the same purpose and shortly thereafter you are wheeled in to the operating theatre.

On Thursday, however that protocol gave way to the obviously good rapport between the anaesthetist and the surgeon  They both came in together to see me and we had a brief but jolly discussion about a few points.  They obviously knew that I was someone they could talk to easily.  As I am a retired academic, that is one of my privileges.  I am accepted as someone on their level  -- because I am.  Some people complain that their doctors won't talk to them.  They all talk to me.  All men are NOT equal.

So in the operating theatre, I was in the hands of people who were well disposed towards me.  That has got to be a plus.

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