Friday, June 12, 2015

Daisies In My Hair

This self-portrait was created using a combination of iPhoneography, digital painting and digital mixed media.  This is how I see myself, with crooked nose and all.  I had a difficult time with the nose...the shading and making it crooked, lol.  My grandfather used to tell me that the reason my nostrils were crooked was because I picked one side of my nose more than the other.  Ewwww.  As a young girl, I hated hearing that mostly because I wondered if he was right...if maybe when I was too young to remember I picked my nose more than I should have.  Funny how little conversations will stick with you like that.  Now my crooked nostrils are a defining feature of myself.

I am glad to report that although my surgery lasted twice as long as expected and that it was more complicated than expected (my anatomy threw some surprises at the surgeon when he was in there), it so far has been a success.  My surgeon believes he has cleaned out all of the infection and was successfully able to avoid the main nerve that supplies the right side of my face with feeling, which was lying just millimeters away from the infection sites.  Despite the local anesthetic wearing off in the middle of the procedure because it lasted much longer than anticipated, remarkably I am doing well with pain.  They didn't give me general anesthesia for several reasons, one of which because they needed me to follow directions for head and mouth movement during the surgery and they also wanted to be able to assess the nerve function which they can't do unless I was awake.  So, I was awake during the 2.5 hour long surgery and awake when the numbness wore off (which was a good sign because the pain meant they had not severed the main nerve).  My surgeon did send off a biopsy of the infected tissue to a lab and mentioned that I have chronic Lyme disease to see if they can detect any Lyme or co-infection bacteria in the sample.  It should be interesting to get those results back as I have been reading lately that these tick-born illnesses can cause jaw infections.

Besides being very sore, swollen, slightly bruised, and looking like the hunch-face of Notre Dame (think lopsided jaw), all is well so far.  I go back Wednesday to get all 18 (9 double) stitches removed and have the surgery site assessed for healing.  I am feeling positive about it despite hearing the news that another infection site was found on the other side of my jaw as well which means I will probably have to do this again in the future on the left side.  One step at a time...

I am still on doctor-ordered house arrest (or light bedrest as he called it but feels more like house arrest to me) through the weekend to help reduce pain, swelling, and bleeding.  Apparently I am a bleeder, which also complicated the surgery (I knew there was trouble when he made the first cut and immediately asked if I was on blood thinners!).  So, I don't have many plans for this weekend other than catching up on my DVRed shows, reading, and possibly working on some art.

I do want you to know how flattered I am with everyone's well wishes...they came flooding in the day of surgery and haven't stopped. I've had visitors, offers to bring dinner for the family, texts, calls, private messages and more over the past two days.  You all sure know how to make a girl feel loved! I truly believe the success of the surgery was influenced by all the prayers sent for a good outcome and I can never say thank you enough.  I hope you have a blessed and beautiful weekend and I will see you all on Monday.  xo

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