Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Surgery & race delayed

This story goes back to 2009 and since I have blogged about it before, here is a recap:

HISTORY
(September 21, 2010 original blog post here.)
I'm having minor surgery next month. I've had a lump in my cheek since May 2009. I was going to get it removed last summer but I got pregnant. (That's actually what led to me taking a pregnancy test. I had to know if my suspicions were correct before having general anesthesia.) Once Colin was born I just kept putting it off but it's been painful lately. I saw the doctor yesterday and we have it on the calendar.... Oct.19th. That means I need to get my exclusively breastfed, almost 5 month old baby to take milk from a bottle or sippy cup. I left a message for his doctor to see how long I need to avoid nursing afterwards and what pain meds I can take. I also have to fast beforehand with NO WATER which is stressful as a nursing mom. I know he won't starve especially since he's going to be starting rice cereal soon. But I won't be able to comfort my baby. :o(
Just posting this to share with hopes to get prayer for my health and my baby's transition. (We don't think it's cancerous because it fluctuates in size and appears fluid filled, but the doc doesn't know what it is and we'll find out next month.)
Appreciate the prayers.

I had the surgery and posted the following.  (Oct.20,2010. original blog post here.)
Thank you for your prayers! Surgery went well and Colin did great. Although he didn't take the bottle too well, he had some baby food and survived just fine the 4.5 hrs we were apart. Jay was smart enough to drive around with him so he had a good nap in the van! 10am was a good time of day for me to go in!

After that surgery the doctor still didn't know what it was.  He said that he was calling it a blocked salivary glad within my cheek.  The pressure was released when they cut me open.  He sewed me up and although the original issue was resolved, I had a permanent lump from scar tissue.  No big deal because it didn't hurt.

ANNOYING
Fast forward a bit and the scar tissue changed.  I noticed it fluctuating in size again.  Annoying but not painful, I ignore it.  Just didn't seem too urgent.  But last year it started to really annoy me.  Different from the first time around; it filled up as soon as I bent over.  Tying shoes, changing diapers, stretching after running, cleaning the toilet... all caused the lump to get larger.  Then it slowly went back to it's minimum size.

MRI
I visited the ENT again and he ordered an MRI.  Had to find out what this thing was!  On Oct 2012, I had the MRI (not fun) and results were inconclusive, even though it was about the size of a small grape.  The pics gave a visual of where it was and what it was attached to, but not WHAT it was.  Doc told me it was a mass in my cheek acting like a dam.  Fluid was trapped and drained slowly - hence the change in size.  But exactly what it was... still unknown.

SURGERY
I finally had another surgery rescheduled but it got cancelled because of Super Storm Sandy.  The holidays happened too and I don't know where January or the first part of February went.  I finally had my surgery last week, Feb.19th.

AH HA HA
Yay answers!  This time we learned what it was!  Rather nauseating to hear but it was like a varicose vein in my cheek!  The mass was a pool of old blood that was just sitting there.  So each time I bent forward, the vein would get filled with more blood then slowly drain when I stood back up, but never emptied fully.  The doctor believes that the vein just collapsed on itself during the first surgery but this time the mass of old blood simply had nowhere to go so he saw it clearly.

RECOVERY
The doctor cut my vein, did some repair work and stitched me up well.  I am sore and eating is a chore!  I can't open my mouth wide nevermind chewing.  I also have some numbness on my tongue from where he held it back and out of the way during surgery.  This part has been very annoying!  It feels like I burned it on hot coffee and it's been like that for a week.  But I am very grateful that this was just an annoyance and not something more serious.  One week down and out is hard enough.  (My husband returned to work the next day and I homeschool so haven't had a break.  My kids have watched MUCH TV and I'm trying to not feel too guilty about that!)

LESSON LEARNED
I have been uncomfortable for years because of this and it wasn't until the mass was removed that I realized how painful it really was.  I am just reminded how temporary these earthly bodies really are and they are doomed to break down and get old.  I never ever want to take good health for granted!

NO 5K
Unfortunately before my surgery I had a bad cold/cough and stopped running and training for the 5K that I wanted to do in March.  Because of that and my surgery, I decided to NOT run that race and wait til the summer to do one.  I'll have to set new goals once I get back on track.

That is the latest around here.
Thanks for swinging by!


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