When we last left the story, our plucky (that one’s for you, book club gals) heroine had just been turned into a cyclops by the very entertaining Dr. Crush.
I turned to the spousal unit. “Todd, what did he do?” And he confirmed my suspicions. And added that the good doctor had also sewn a giant piece of foam to my face. I am Not. Kidding. It looked like a kindergartner had cut a rectangle out of a styrofoam meat tray and then stitched it to my cheek.
Dear Dr. Crush,
Is there some sort of “Let’s See Which Surgeon Can Make Their Patient Look Funniest” contest that I wasn’t aware of? Because I’m pretty sure that you won.
Actually, he later explained the medical reasons for the giant piece of foam (technical term is bolster, helps protect the skin graft, increases blood flow, yada yada), but I still think that he was mostly just messing with me.
After another 30 minutes or so in the recovery area, during which time I repeated “Six weeks! Are you serious? This sucks!” about a zillion times, I was released back into the wild. The nurse told me I might want to put on some sunglasses. Ya think? And by the way, I will be *forever* grateful that ginormous sunglasses are back in style.
I got home and checked myself out in a mirror. I looked roughly like a cross between Frankenstein and Quasimodo. Only not as cute and with a giant piece of foam stuck to my face. Did I mention giant foam? I had 64 stitches in my right eye. No, I didn’t count them all. Dr. Crush told me. Plus, I had another 30ish (didn’t count) in my left eyelid. For those of you who aren’t squeamish, this is what the doctor did (slides 28 and 29). Really, I find the whole thing fascinating, but most people would probably just find it…icky.
So for the next week I:
Looked like I enjoyed using very strange shades of eyeshadow.
Tried unsuccessfully to be a good patient and do nothing.
Ran into trees when I went running in the evenings.
Missed my taco when trying to put salsa in it. (Who knew depth perception was so important?)
Learned that I sneeze every morning when I get out of the shower and look into the mirror. Sneezing is no fun when you have a giant piece of foam sewn onto your face.
Learned that I like to sleep on my right side with my head buried in my pillow. Also not fun when you are part human/part foam monster.
Oddly enough, it was never really painful. It *looked* like it should hurt, but it didn’t. Who knew you could slash both eyelids open and not feel anything?
At the end of week one, I got to go back in to see Dr. Crush. But first, he had two emergency surgeries to perform, because he’s just cool that way. I wonder how much foam he used on them. Not that I’m bitter or anything…
Getting the foam off was like opening up a Christmas present. Really. It was very exciting. Once the foam was gone, I didn’t look nearly as bad as I thought I would. Whew! While Dr. Crush was taking out my stitches, he told me that he really wanted one more baby because he had missed so much of his kids’ toddler years while he was in medical school, but he didn’t think his wife was going to go for it. The guy totally wears his heart on his sleeve. How cute is that?
Dear Mrs. Crush,
Please have one more baby for Dr. Crush. Your offspring are adorable. I know. I saw one of them. You do good work. And he’s all kinds of awesome when he isn’t working with foam. Just keep him away from the foam, and it will all be okay.
Once the foam was off, he asked if I wanted to keep it. Seriously? Why?!?!?
The rest of the stitches came out a few days later. I’m pretty sure some of them were connected to my brain. Dr. Crush’s nurse couldn’t even get them all – he had to do it. Which made me happy, because it set him off on another tangent. (I’d already heard him talking about his totally tubular Yukon trip and I think he also said something about how he had gotten thrown 10 feet by something and now has no hearing in his left ear while he was talking with his other patients. He’s a loud talker. And he talks a lot. And he’s unintentionally hilarious. In a totally awesome way, dude.) So, when he started talking about the procedure he’d done on me and then changed his mind and said, “But you’re not interested in that” and I said au contraire, I thought the whole procedure was fascinating (I’d already spent hours googling it) as he was walking out of the room, that was enough to set him off. He spun around and sat down in a chair right in front of me. “I KNOW! I LOVE my job! There’s a moment when I’ve taken off the skin graft and it’s put in a sterile container across the room and it’s like, totally alive, dude, and it’s part of you, but it’s not connected to you, because it’s totally across the room, and it’s like, totally gnarly, dude! I’ve done like thousands of these, dude, and it never gets old. It’s totally rad.” OK, he may not have used that exact wording, but close.
Two thoughts here:
1 – Thousands? There are thousands of people who have had to wander around with their eyes sewn shut for six weeks? What kind of monster is he?!
2 – Dr. Crush suddenly became very sexy. Because there is nothing more sexy than a man who is passionate about his work, even if it involves slicing me up and sending various parts of me to various parts of the room. And then stitching foam to my face. Have I mentioned foam yet?
I have to admit, it really is kind of cool. And he is kind of sexy. But not quite this sexy:
So now here I am. I’m mostly over the insomnia (I didn’t wake up until 4:00 this morning), I look mostly normal, except for the whole not being able to open my eye thing, and I’m mostly over it. On the grand scale of Bad Things That Can Happen, this is just a tiny blip. Besides, we’re leaving on vacation soon and I have planning to do! Lots of planning! I love planning! As long as it doesn’t involve foam.