One more op

This is from Facebook. I’ll update with more detail when I’m inclined:

I was back in hospital on Wednesday for a minor procedure and back home by that evening.

There were a few things done. The main reason I was there was to repair the hearing in my right ear. Since chemo and radiotherapy, I’ve been profoundly deaf in my right ear, which has been quite a challenge. I’ve had to switch on the subtitles on TV to watch, and any conversations with background noise or with more than just another person involved have been lost to me – very off-putting for someone as opinionated as me.

I hoped that some hearing would return as I recovered, but wasn’t certain of it. It turns out though that there wasn’t anything wrong with my ear – rather, the canal leading from my ear to my brain was full of fluid that wouldn’t drain. The solution, familiar perhaps to anyone with young children, was to insert a grommet into my eardrum so that the canal could drain and my hearing return. The good news is that it’s worked. I reckon I’ve had about 60-70% of my hearing return, and hoping to get to 100%.

I’ve also had problems with my mouth, highlighted by the screw that fell from it a few weeks ago and the shifting plate in my cheek, causing a lot of pain. There was a concern that a lurking cancer, invisible to the scans, might have led to this problem.

While I was under, they took a biopsy to check for that and examined my mouth to plan for a fix to it.

The good news is that the biopsy was clear, which just about guarantees there’s no cancer remaining. They discovered that bone was exposed in my mouth and nose. It feels like I have sandpaper in the roof of my mouth, which is quite unpleasant and problematic when I eat.

This afternoon they called to advise of the surgical plan going forward. In early May probably I’ll be admitted to hospital so that they can remove the plate altogether and patch up the exposed bone.

It won’t be great fun, but I’m glad to have an outcome. This was my preferred solution. I was uncomfortable having a foreign body in my face, particularly when it has come loose as in this instance. Apparently, the bones have healed sufficiently that a plate is no longer required.

I’ll also need a skin graft, which means another operation. I’m not so keen about that, but it has to be done. I’ll be in hospital for 2-3 days, and back on soft foods for another few weeks after that. But then, I should be right.

No more pain, no more swelling, my speech should return to normal, I’ll be able to open my mouth further and eat whatever I want, and my face should begin resembling what it was before, handsome devil that I was.

There’s a bit of work to be done, but I’m very happy now that I can see a solution – and end – in sight.

One thing I’ll add now is that I’m not quite as sanguine as I show myself to be here. I try to remain positive for my Facebook audience.

Overall, I’m very happy that we have a plan, though it’s unfortunate it has come to this. I’m glad they’ve decided to remove the plate. I’m a little wary of what the surgery will mean for me.

I’m hoping that they can complete the surgery within my mouth, without needing to open up my cheek again. I expect that will be the case, but can’t be certain. It won’t be comfortable, but it’s better than risking more nerve damage, and the potential of more scarring and degradation of my not so good looks.

I’m not thrilled about needing to donate another patch of skin. I’m still limping from the last op on my hip, though on that occasion they took bone as well. It should be much simpler this time.

No complaints. As I wrote that I’m happy a resolution is at hand. Hopefully.

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