teal's Blog

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parotidectomy


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life continued, as did adjustments - ot decided i didn't need them because i used my hand a lot, even though i was still fighting what i call "the brain damage wobble" and was unable to do much fine motor activities, the lack of sensation and proprioception still bothered me;but they seemed to think there was nothing i could do about that... pt was on ho;d waiting for a new afo, pool t waiting for the "rash" to clear, i was all moved in; but still not unpacked - had figured out how do deal with most things on my own - couldn't manage to clean the floor or change the sheets;but i was a whiz at doing my own laundry - discovered that the main prey of wheelchairs is doorway molding... although, when pieces break off they can be used to reach light switches that are over the table and too far to reach, can be used to push switch both up and down... also discovered that wheelchairs are no fun in the rain... it was just about 6 months since my stroke, so was time to meet with the ent surgeon again - she walked in, and said "this is a fun surgery" i replied "i assume you mean fun for you, not me" she laughed, liked her immediately - gave me the list of things that could go wrong, including "since the parotid gland surrounds the facial nerve, you could come out looking like you had a stroke" i said "well, thats ok, i did have one" - she said people usually stay 1-3 nights after the surgery, depending;but that shed probably keep me 3-5 due to my other medical stuff and living alone, etc... the pre-op appointment was a trip, all i can say is i'm glad i brought the power chair, cause i was exhausted by the end of the day, id never have made it with the manual - the or nurse was a bit freaked by how low my pulse was, until she realized i was on metoprolol, which evidently causes a lower pulse - i was told to stay on the coumadin until two nights before surgery, and the day before to take a vit k pill, instead - did i mention that the surgery was scheduled for april fools day ? the day dawned, i took paratransit to the hospital, got a final inr test (for some reason they didn't want me unable to clot after surgery, go figure) - i brought the manual chair, figuring it would be easier for them to move while i was out, and to get home if a friend was able to drive me home - they took me into the prep room, did it never occur to these people that people in chairs cant climb up onto guerneys ? i'm guessing not.... they went to put the iv in and after she tried four times without luck, i said "if it doesn't need to be on that side, ill show you the secret of my one good vein, she laughed;but followed my advice, next thing i knew i was on my way to my room - no idea how long it took - they offered me morphine;but since the surgery had been on the weak/numb side, i never felt the need to ask for any - the next day, i got to sample the wonderful cuisine of "clear liquids" - breakfast: chicken broth, cranberry juice, lime jello.... lunch: beef broth, apple juice, orange jello - lol - right after lunch the dr came bye, took out the drain, said i could eat what i wanted, could go home anytime (so much for 3-5 days...) it was a 6cm tumor, but came out in one piece and it appeared like i had no nerve damage, not even the common temporary bruising - i had been concerned about the recovery period;but i did fine, was back on the coumadin, healing from surgery and able to do all the stuff id been worried about after surgery - went back a week later to have the stitches out, she said the path report said it was a pleomorphic adenoma, not surprising since 80% of parotid tumors are benign, and 80% of those are pleomorphic adenomas - she also said that i had healed better than any patient shed ever had - so much for my other medical problems causing problems, lol - that was a year ago, the scars virtually invisible unless you know where to look - still have the unopened bottle of pain meds they'd sent me home with - next: how to light a furnace one handed from a wheelchair....

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