12 Mar, 11

What’s with the hole?  The doc said last Thursday, ten days ago, that with his new taping method, it would be closed within a week.  It’s still leaking.  Actually, last Thursday, one full week after “it will be closed within a week,” I had to chair a rather large meeting.  So, went into the nurse to see whether I could speak without holding fingers over my throat hole.  After she delicately pulled off the bandage and shined a flashlight through the outer hole, she said that the inside looked closed.  I talked without fingers and she could hear nothing.  She proclaimed that I could talk without finger pressure because there was no “communication” between the internal airway and the outside, even though there is still a visible hole at the skin.

But then, I held my breath and tightened my stomach muscles and we both heard it.  Like the high pitch sound of air coming out of a bicycle tube pinhole, it was enough for her to change her mind.  Sorry, looks like you still need to talk with finger pressure, she says.  Bummer.  The weirdness is just getting too weird.  But perhaps it’s all my talking and coughing, or throat clearing, that is keeping the damn hole from closing.

LIke any other body cut that would do well with stitches, once the cut, or in this case hole, is open for a while, like days, then you can’t stitch it closed.  It’s got to heal or close on its own.

Anyway, I preempted any weirdness by telling the audience that I had lost a bet and my penalty was holding my hand in the pledge of allegiance position every time I talk, for one week.  They seemed to buy it, some even thinking it was honorable of me.

And as I’ve been counting the days, today is the last day of the two week period that I should be feeling the radiation effects.  I seriously don’t think all the mouth hurt will turn itself off tomorrow.  Back of the throat still hurting.  The left side of the tongue seriously numb, but not too numb where I can’t feel the knot in it.  It’s just plain difficult to eat.  By now the hole should have been closed and I should be relieved of the radiation soreness.  Neither has happened yet.  It’s getting tiresome but I’ve got to keep looking at the bright side.

The neck is also fat, which I also hear is normal.  Fluids normally drain from the mouth/head down through our lymphatic system.  My lymphatic system in the neck has been screwed with.  The fluids don’t know where to go.  Over the next few months, they’ve got to find new pathways.  Until then, I’ve also got to deal with fatness under the chin.  More like tightly  swollen.

To give the process a boost, I’ve decided to get on an international flight and see if the air pressure will help.  So writing this somewhere close to 40,000 feet and not feeling the hole closing yet.  But I’ve got boatloads of patience.  Right.

In the meantime, a light scarf has become a semi-permanent accessory.  Along with the seven inch scar that still looks rather rough, the patch at the neck hole, and the thick neck, somehow makes having the scarf feel like a little protection.  But that’s vanity tapping me on the shoulder.  Really, what’s it matter?  It doesn’t, except that I’d rather not explain the story behind the scars to every dick and harry.  And no need to use my v-neck tees for a while.

3 thoughts on “12 Mar, 11

  1. Mother

    When it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…………

    If you think it is weird and it feels like it is weird and you have tangible evidence that it is weird then, it is. Most persons are passive. Be not. Albeit you have used all you energy coping. Dman!

  2. Stryker Warren jr.

    Fred: You have been a patient patient or a patient with great patience. I admire your sense of humor and I attempt to model your resolve and optimism daily as you have so dramatically decribed and illustrated what we otherwise take for granted. It is also a clear message that healthcare providers should be more cognizant of the true patient experience and the impact of their dogma of circumstance, timelines, outcomes. Respectful of their busy days laden with hypochondriacs and mountains of forms and other paperwork, but still amazed at the discovery work you’ve been responsible for and the apparent surprise upon surprise of the care givers whom you must convince things are not on schedule. I continue to hope and pray the landscape is soon strewn with nuggets and that your comfort is dramatically improved. . . SOON. Tonight we leap forward an hour; I wish for you that you leap forward more than that and land well down the recovery timeline. You have more than paid your dues. You are due. And you are the warrior.

  3. JA

    Freddie – very good to hear from you. Hope your time out of NYC is well spent and healing is furthered a lil faster. Miss you. I think it’s incredible that during this time (of healing) you are working so much and doing these meetings. Perhaps the time line the docs give are for folks that lay at home and rest (not work). You (the warrior, as Stryker phrased) are doing it all. Amazing. Love you much. Hugs/Kisses to you both.


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