Earning a Medical Degree One Illness at a Time

You know, as soon as this whole business with my melanoma has blown over, I can’t help but wonder what other crap bit of luck is going to drop in my lap. Maybe I shouldn’t wonder too hard, hmmm? Especially since Sparring Partner’s dad has been feeling under the weather; or since my dad is recovering from a crushed vertebra; or since two year olds are prone to all kinds of accidents…

My second follow up with the plastic surgeon was a couple of days ago. I was looking forward to this one because it meant getting the stitches out of my foot. I had no idea that the stitches were causing me so much discomfort until they came out. My foot had healed up so well that they were ripping my skin back up again with every step. In fact I think they were in too long since the resident had to open a third set of pick-ups when the first two he tried were too dull to remove a piece of blue nylon that had become embedded under the skin.

Oh, you’re shuddering at the thought?? Trust me, I had a death grip on the exam table, nails dug in deep, and my head averted to keep myself from kicking him in the face as part of an automatic reflex to watching some one picking at the sole of my foot with a foot long pair of sharp tweezers.

The tagaderm (a transparent film dressing) is still in place over the donor site. I was told that eventually it’ll come off on its own and the site will still be red and raw. Funny isn’t it, how long it’ll end up taking to heal, huh? Another fact I wasn’t made aware of by the oncologist or surgeon. These were the EASY wounds.

As for the MM site? It’s still ugly, but getting better. It’s sore, especially in the morning, but at least the swelling in my ankle goes down by then. Oh, I didn’t mention that earlier, did I? Yes, my right ankle swells and gets painful by the end of the day. Apparently there was significant damage to the vessels and my lymphatic system needs to figure out a new way to move fluid around the site.

As for the good news, at least 80% of the graft took. I didn’t ask what will happen with the area that didn’t. I’d ask in two weeks when they asked I return, but I didn’t schedule that appointment. I walked past the desk without a second look. Sparring Partner suggested I go back in a month instead.

You’ll have to check out my “Cost of Healthcare” page. I’ll have that updated soon. Here I was just thinking a month ago that overall, our out-of-pocket expenses were way less than an annual insurance premium plus copays and deductibles. Alas…the kids didn’t need to go to college anyway. Look where it got me.

7 thoughts on “Earning a Medical Degree One Illness at a Time”

  1. Hey, I will send you some Emu oil; it works wonders on ugly wounds…
    I need to post pix of a dog we treated, who was dragged behind a pickup & lost most of the hide on her LR leg.

  2. Fucking cost of healthcare. We just got the bill for the last 6 months — even with great insurance, we’ll be paying thousands and thousands of dollars out of pocket for deductibles and uncovered procedures.

    Hang in there. Healing is GOOD.

  3. DD,
    The areas that didn’t take will heal in and you won’t be able to tell the difference.
    There is definitely a 90 day global for the surgery you had. Meaning that any visits to the surgeon regarding the surgery should cost you no more money.
    The area under the Tegaderm is healing. All the “fluid” under there helps it to heal.
    Hope it all feels better soon.

  4. Glad everything is healing well. The cost? Well, it’s money well spent. Over the course of years you still might see that you end up spending less overall.

  5. You can’t be charged for post-op visits for 90 days after surgery so make that appointment for follow up. Just check that it’s not a California law but I think it’s nationwide. Glad you are on the mend.

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