My appointment was the following morning. We usually try to make appointments for a morning so that way one of my parents, whoever is going to drive me, can work half a day in the morning and then we drive over that afternoon, stay the night and go to my appointment the next morning, come home. My appointment this time was at 10:00 AM. My dad was with me. We woke up early so the morning seemed to drag on so slow as we waited to go to breakfast before the appointment. Finally we checked out and headed to the restaurant to have breakfast before the appointment. We had some time but we ordered our food and seriously about 10 minutes later our food arrived. So, we were an hour early to the doctor. But, it worked out for the best because we got in about 40 minutes early. Hot dog.
My appointment started out with fun teasing between Steve and I. Then he (sort of) got down to business taking out the stitches that held the bolster on top of my graft. I say sort of because he was still saying things that made me laugh and visa versa even though we should have been a bit more serious as he was dealing with a delicate matter in getting that bolster off. But that's just the type of relationship we have.
Even through all of our giggling, Steve got the bolster off and man it felt good to have that thing off. He looked at my neck and said, "Looks great! Wanna have a look?" Yeah, of course. I sat up and my dad first came over to look at it and then I walked over to the mirror behind the door and had a look. Looked fantastic. I moved my neck in different directions to see where it still pulled and there were some places but there always are. The point, though, is that it wasn't pulling too bad in all the regular places so I felt good about that. I was a little worried earlier in the week cause it still felt like it was pulling in the contractions so I feared he didn't get at the problem. But the fear quickly diminished when the bolster came off and the contractions relaxed. The graft looked good, looked healthy and...it was a 100% take!! I've never had a 100% take in all the surgeries I've had so this was very exciting!
(My latest neck graft from surgery #40 - full thickness, 100% take)
Steve left to get Dr. Kim who came in shortly after. He had a look at the graft and began explaining what he did by drawing on a paper towel. This was pretty cool cause I've never had it explained to me before how exactly they do the release and then the graft. So, that was very interesting. He also had a look at my donor site and said the stitches needed to stay in for another week cause the donor site was under a stressing pull because of it's location. He's going to let my mother take them out since she has experience in taking out stitches when we were with G. G often worried about us making the drive so my mother learned a lot of different things to take care of donor sites and grafts and taking out stitches was one of them. So, Dr. Kim said it would be fine for us to take them out ourselves and not worry about driving back over.
I then asked about my lip. I told him it has been a major problem for these past 5.5 years, ever since I was burned. I have trouble eating, it can be difficult to talk sometimes and I often have a drooling problem. He was very sympathetic to all of these things and basically said that he wanted to give my neck time to heal and then we would tackle my lip! I was SO EXCITED at the prospect of FINALLY getting my lip worked on!!! G always said we had to get my neck under control before we could even look at my lip but he also never knew what to do to attempt fixing my lip so it was like pulling teeth with him when it came to the reconstruction of my lip. So to hear Kim was ready and willing to tackle the lip situation without hesitation was so exciting and promising. I was hoping to get it worked on before the year was up but I understand he wants my neck to heal first. I go back in January for an appointment to really have a look over on my lip and make plans for surgery!!! FINALLY!!! I can't describe to you the kind of relief and excitement I feel at the thought of finally getting my lip worked on!! Oh, this is so GOOD!!