27 Feb, 11

What a difference one week makes — at least from a mobility perspective.  Last weekend I didn’t leave the apartment and was hobbling around not walking well.  This weekend gave me the opportunity to get some errands done which involved several miles of walking with no problem whatsoever.  GV made the necessary corrections and it feels great having that mobility.

From a throat swallowing perspective, one week made no difference.  Besides the trachea hole still not being closed, the pain and numbness in the mouth is not one iota better than the day I left the hospital.  No complaint, just statement of fact for blog post reference.

The doctors told me prior to this that the trachea hole closes in a “couple of days.”  Yesterday I wrote an email to the surgeon saying that on day nine the hole still is not closed, should I be concerned.  His response was “have patience, it will close, just keep pressure on your hole when you talk or cough.”

Have patience?  I guess the healthy diet of patience I’ve been force-feeding myself hasn’t been enough. I had planned business meetings based on the estimates of the throat hole being closed by now.  To continue business meetings holding my fingers to my throat was not part of the plan.  It all goes back to doctors many times so easily dishing out “best case” scenarios for potential reality.

A friend of mine, whenever he quoted the time it took to get from one place to another, always gave his best record as the time it took.  How long does it take to drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles?  “Four hours,” he would say (in all seriousness), because that was the time it took him, once.  Four hours at night, no traffic, perfect weather and road conditions, in his porsche turbo, with a great radar system.  Forget that it normally takes about eight hours for the drive.  For him the time was four hours.  If one didn’t know and planned for a four hour drive, arrival appointments based on the plan would be off.

So the surgeon tells me 2-3 days for the trachea hole to close.  Today is day number 10 and I’ve got to have (more) patience.  Wouldn’t have been so bad had I known going into this that, because of radiation to that area, the hole may take considerably longer to close.  I would have planned accordingly.   But so much for all that.  Nothing gained by looking back.  The belief in the information of others is our own decision.

Anyhow, the next couple of weeks will be dealing with the turmoil going on in the mouth and throat.  And it is turmoil.  One part is the radiation effects which will continue for about two weeks. One part is the physical trauma of where all the wires entered the mouth and wrapped around the tongue.  One part is the trachea hole in conjunction with the other parts.

Point of post?  Everything is going relatively well.  Can’t wait for the mouth to start feeling better.  Looking very much forward to the nugget of being able to eat whole food again.  In other words, I’m lucky to have something to look forward to.

8 thoughts on “27 Feb, 11

  1. Susan Forney

    Freddie: Great to hear you’ve been liberated from the debilitating swelling and are up and about. Sorry about the slow progress with the trachea opening, throat and mouth. The problem with expectations is having them.
    Sending you lots of good Chi.
    With love,

  2. Mary

    I echo Susan’s sentiments and am sitting here contemplating your statement “The belief in the information of others is our own decision.” What a liberating statement…thanks!

    As always, lots of love your way.

  3. Sister Lynda

    I am also thrilled about your walking. Way to go Gladys. Tongue, throat, mouth? I will be thrilled again when you see healing and lack of pain. Love Lynda

  4. Mother

    Doctor is an expert in his field but not in psychology. Expectations are important in the rhythm of our lives. You have an absolute right to know the best scenario and the worst scenario and the attending percentages. What is the percentage of persons whose trac closes quickly and/or slowly and most importantly , why. After the why: what can one do to enhance that healing.

    You have probably asked all these questions but I am Mama Bear who expects the best from the medical community for he cub(s). It may be time for me to hibernate but not before the cubs are okay.

  5. Sarah

    I’m glad to hear you that you are up and mobile! That must make a huge difference in your outlook.
    Sorry that the trachea is not closing as expected. I hope you can take heart in the fact that (in time) it WILL heal itself. It’s amazing that our bodies have the capacity to heal wounds. It’s like we are all superman!
    Until then, I hope you have some good things to listen to! Got any audiobooks?

  6. Stryker Warren jr.

    Fred: Thanks for sharing your daily challenges, activities and objectives. Vivid reminders of life iteself. While redundant–in fact horribly so–your resolve is beyond description and I hope and pray the nuggets shall be evident in the days ahead. U R a remarkable warrior, philosopher, and comedian. Your blog is a jem. We all had hoped this was at worst a middle distance race; it has developed into a marathon. . . thankfully your were as prepared as any patient could be–physically, mentally, spiritually. The “bounce back” shall come albeit unclear whether the mouth swelling and soreness, the trach, or the inability to chew and swallow shall be the first to resolve. Looking forward to shopping for chocolate for your coming out party. Until tomorrow, best regards and best wishes for a night’s restorative slumber.

  7. JA

    How art thou Freddie? – – I keep checking back. I’m gettin’ ancy here…hope things are going well. Love you.


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