Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thursday, April 26, 2007

My Husband Looks Like Quasimodo

I’ve now spent two days in a waiting room of a hospital. Yesterday was my friend’s cardiac surgery; today it was my husband’s surgery turn. Hubby has had bouts of skin cancer for several years (thanks to his years as a long distance runner) and today was a scheduled surgery to remove yet another lesion from his face…on the side of his nose this time.

We got there at 8:30AM , checked-in and sat in the Dermatology waiting room until he was called in…just about the time my sister Lynn arrived to keep me company. The MOHS surgery involves digging out the lesion, looking at the layers under a microscope to determine if the bottom layer is free of cancer cells and, if not, going back in and continuing to dig until all affected layers of skin are removed. The entire procedure took approximately two hours and Lynn and I could hear everything that went on since we were across the hall and they had the door to the surgical room wide open. I even took a couple of quick glances in just to see what was going on. Fascinating…

When the surgery was done, I got a lesson from the nurse on how to change the dressing which will need to remain covering the wound for two weeks…until Hubby’s post-op appointment. I was given a sheet of paper with the instructions for wound care and both Lynn and I were puzzled. Here is the title of the instructions:

POST SURGERY INSTRUCTIONS (for patients granulating)

OK…we were confused. What the heck does “granulating” mean? Isn’t that something you do to sugar? Huh? As a former librarian, I couldn’t leave this question unanswered so, when I got home, I actually looked up the definition online. Here is the medical definition:

Granulate: intransitive verb, medicine, form healing
tissue: to form granulation tissue over a wound

So now we’ve all learned a new word.

Anyway, Hubby looks like he’s done 10 rounds in a boxing ring. He has this huge dressing covering his nose and cheek; the skin below his left eye is all swollen and discolored and the vision in that eye is hampered by a swollen lower lid. Hopefully all this trauma will disappear quickly and he will return to looking like himself. Until then, his own description of his face is that he looks like Quasimodo…or at least Charles Laughton’s portrayal of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

24 comments:

Renee said...

Unfortunately, I knew what granulating is...but I didn't learn it in human form. Back in the 90's I had a rabbit who would chew on her front paw (always the same one) when she got spooked by fireworks. We had neighbors who liked to shoot off fireworks right behind our house. So I took her to the vet and we got medication for her granulated tissue. The fun part was trying to keep her from continuing to chew her paw long enough for it to heal. I learned that distraction worked.

I hope your hubby heals quickly. My FIL looked like he lost a boxing match when he had his skin cancer leasion removed...that same day my MIL tripped over a speed bump and had a bruise on her face as well so it looked as if they had fought each other.

Lynn said...

How are you feeling about the "wound care" portion of this event? Could they have made it anymore confusing??? Did hubby manage to keep the dressing dry...for the rest of today atleast? Tell hubby that he has to continue to be nice to me, because, I have a picture of him looking like Quasimodo

Toni said...

I hope he recovers quickly!

Pam said...

Dang, I'll bet you're getting sick of waiting rooms...

Having lived in the South Pacific as a little girl (where my nose was perpetually suburned and peeling), I will probably have to have my entire nose removed someday due to skin cancer...

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to your husband!

Patti said...

I hope your husband has a speedy recovery too. Maybe you should rent the Charles Laughton movie while he is recuperating!

Joan said...

Renee: So...were you ever able to get your rabbit to stop chewing her front paw??? And I guess I should stay away from speed bumps for the next few days. :~)

Lynn: I have an even "better" photo of Quasimodo now that his eye is actually swollen shut. Thanks so much for keeping me company yesterday.

Toni: Do men ever recover quickly??? I think not!!!

Pam: Thanks for the well wishes for Hubby. Hopefully your genetic makeup will save you from this. A South Pacific childhood...I'm intrigued.

Patti: Hubby loved your suggestion. Watching the movie would be like looking into a mirror for him right now. :~)

Susie said...

Wishing your hubby a speedy recovery.
Hope it isn't as painful as it sounds!!

Rhea said...

I hope everything's all right. I had a little thing like this on my leg recently that turned out benign. TMI, I know.

only oldest said...

Hope R is fine and his great looks will return soon. He and K both mean a lot to me.

rosemary said...

Glad all went well...they left the surgery suite door open???? Hum, not so sharp those folks. Granulation tissue is what will be the "seed" of the covering skin over the lesion. I am sure the instructions told you all of the things to look for = a problem. Are you wearing white and do you have a cap on your head with a red cross or the caduceus? Must be a professional care giver.

Joan said...

Susie: Thanks! Except for taking two Tylenols when we got home yesterday, Hubby has been pain and pill free. Whew!!!

Rhea: I'm glad that thing on your leg turned out to be benign. With the incidence of skin cancer on the rise, you just never know.

Only oldest: Great looks? Let's not give him a swelled head to go along with that swollen eye.
:~)

Rosemary: I think I'll run out and buy some scrubs...I just love that look and they come in so many different colors and prints.

meno said...

Waa! I want a sister.

I know you are saving those blackmail pictures for future use!

PEA said...

Hi Joan:-) Oh dear, I'm sure you and your hubby are glad that the actual surgery is now over with and here's to wishing him a speedy recovery!! I would have been as confused as you to read "granulating" on the post surgery instructions! Thank you for explaining what it means in medical terms! lol xox

sari said...

I've already started to go to the dermatologist for "suspicious spots"...sunblock, sunblock, sunblock! And I can tell you, the stuff they do hurts like a motherhubbard. Excuse my swearing.

I hope your husband is feeling well and recovers quickly!!

Patti said...

so Joan now I know your husband's name starts with an R - I guess it's not Ralph or you would have told me ;-)

Joan said...

Meno: Yep I'm pretty lucky to have a sister...now tell her to give me those photos!!!

Pea: We're definitely glad it's over...expecially the granulating patient!

Sari: With skin cancer incidents increasing, I really think everyone should see a dermatologist on a regular basis. In fact, I have a spot or two that needs inspecting and I really should make an appointment.

Patti: Yep...it's an "R" and, nope, it's not Ralph!

Patti said...

Okay it's Robert or Richard

Linda said...

As long as you don't catch him sneaking out to ring the bells then I guess he'll just be Quasimodo in appearance only! I hope he has a successful recovery and that the granulating goes well!

Iamthebookworm said...

Hope he feels better soon!

Joan said...

Patti: If you do a little investigative journalism, I bet you can find the answer!

Linda: I've already hidden the bells...don't want to upset the neighbors! If he's Quasimodo, does that make me Esmeralda?

Iamthebookworm: Thanks! His black eye is looking a wee bit better this evening!

Linda said...

Joan I think you might make an excellent Esmeralda! However, you're going to need to get yourself some flowing skirts and a tambourine!

Joan said...

Linda; I've been searching high and low for a flowing skirt but apparently they're not in style right now...darn! And wouldn't you know...I just gave away my tambourine...double darn.

Midlife Mom said...

Hope he heals quickly! As a former sun worshiper who would even do my ironing outside to catch a few more rays I'm probably facing some of the same. Glad I know what granulating means in advance! Thought I knew all of those medical terms, I love the for real surgery shows but guess I missed that one.

Joan said...

Midlife mom: When I was young, I was not a sun worshipper. Yet now I have an ever increasing number of freckles on my body which I'm afraid will turn evil. And here I thought I was safe. I guess it all comes down to genetics.