I saw three different doctors in the trauma room Saturday evening. Monday afternoon there were two other doctors in the first plastic surgery clinic. Yesterday, Tuesday, there was a new plastic surgeon, a resident, and a medical student. I’m going to count that as two more. Today we met doctor number eight, another plastic surgeon at a different clinic, to get a second opinion. I choose doctor number eight.
Perhaps you are wondering why. The other doctors were pleasant, knowledgeable, and patient. He showed similar skill in evaluating and explaining the images of my head. He confirmed all the previous diagnoses that had been made. His hospital is a solid 10 minutes further away. So I’ll give you the factors in his favor.
This doctor did a more thorough exam, both checking eye function and gently palpating my face. He showed more concern about and disposition to follow through if the pains in my abdomen don’t get better. He speaks English a bit more confidently and freely, so he is easier for Greg and I to communicate with. He is cheerful and at ease with both us and his nurses. He draws nice pictures of my skull…
to show me where my face is broken. ( the stick like object coming in from the side is the lever that will lift my bone back into place from an incision at the temple.) He signs his art work with flair upon request. (See title picture.) In summary, he is someone that engenders confidence that he knows what he is doing and he actually thinks of us as people in a genuine way.
This doctor will not put metal in my face. He says that there are enough points of the bone still in contact, as well as enough matching zagged edges, to hold it in place. The result will enable me to move my jaw again. However, I am not supposed to do that for a week after surgery. Then I will be applying heat and have physical therapy type exercises to do. He will only make one incision. He judges that repositioning the bone will release the nerve that is being pinched. I should, however, expect it to take quite a few months for the nerve to heal. He anticipates restoring the natural curves of my face.
I will be admitted to the hospital a week from tomorrow for surgery on the following day, Friday, November 7. He thinks I’ll be able to leave on Sunday or Monday, but will be on a soft diet for 6 weeks. I should be able to participate in non-jarring activities after a couple of weeks. I wonder what that means about riding in taxis?
The stay in the hospital should be interesting. I’m told that I will want to have someone there with me the whole time because the nursing staff here does not do things we would consider normal, like bringing water or helping if I need to get up. I also need to bring all of my own towels and toiletries. They do provide bedding. My roomies and their help will likely all speak only Mandarin.
Just in case any of you were wondering about the colors in my face, here’s a picture –
The yellow-green is not because of bad lighting. Nothing too scary, though. The plan is for the incision to be about a centimeter into the hairline.
I have been worn out by everything the last couple of days, thinking about decisions, figuring things out, but I feel much better after meeting this doctor. I may be weak just from getting smashed, so I’m sleeping extra and moving slowly. The injury and swelling make it hard to smile. Sometimes it hurts when I do, so I tell Greg to just assume I’m smiling unless I’m really glaring at him. hee hee. I know there are always risks to surgery, but I am feeling relaxed about it at the moment.
story continues here