The stitches they put in my mouth have finally dissolved just over two weeks after the operation. All I have now is a small white patch in my mouth where the lump was with white lines across it where the stitches used to be.
Today, I went to hospital to be operated on — something I haven’t had done for over 35 years.
The operation was, quote, “An excisional biopsy” of a lump in my mouth – a lump I have been carry for several years.
The lump has been growing very slowly and I am now biting it more frequently than before, causing a lot of pain.
My dentist referred me into the Maxillofacial department of my local hospital.
I visited there last week to get a preliminary examination. The doctors there agreed it could be removed and scheduled me into a biopsy today.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit nervous. Nonetheless, the doctors helped reassure me and the operation started. They offered me a pair of sunglasses to go over my own glasses as the light from the operating theatre’s light is very bright. I chose to use them.
Settling in, the process started with three anaesthetic injections. I felt the first two and they didn’t feel bad. The third one hurt, and the fourth one was tolerable.
Couple of minutes later, the doctor poked around inside the mouth to check if the anaesthetic had taken effect (I didn’t feel anything). They started stuffing gauze in my mouth, and it felt a bit like one of those prisoner scenes in the movies when they did that.
The nurse kept my lip open while the doctor operated on it. I felt nothing at all. This was so weird, I could see them doing stuff, but they were out of my field of vision and I had no idea what was going on down there.
I started to see blood on the gauze. LOTS of it. They swapped out gauze a few times and then I started seeing small thin wafts of smoke coming from there. However, still no pain.
The doctor then started stitching me up. They used 3 stitches and still felt nothing.
I asked for a mirror at the end of the operation to see how bad it was. I had a puffy upper lip on one side and normal on the other. Expected though.
The doctor ran through some after care instructions. I’m supposed to be on a soft diet for 3 days, no hot food or drink for 24 hours, no smoking, vaping or alcohol for at least 3 days, no strenuous exercise for 3 days, no spitting or rinsing the mouth for 24 hours, salt water rinse after meals from 24 hours onwards, and painkiller use when needed to help reduce pain and swelling.
It’s been around 5 hours since the operation and I’m feeling rumblings of pain. Not intense, but I suspect the anaesthetic might be beginning to wear off.
I started this post over a year ago, then abandoned it and though perhaps its high time I actually finished it.
You may recall I lost my uncle to cancer in October 2017 and felt I should write down the phases of dealing with the death
Stage 0 — Normality
This is the normal day-to-day life no indication of any problems in the future
Stage 1 — Terminal
This is where you or your loved one is diagnosed with an illness that cannot (normally) be recovered from.
Stage 2 — Death & Disbelief
Immediately after death, this starts. You run through a period of “this can’t be happening”, “this has got to be a dream” and keep wanting to wake up from the nightmare, even though it isn’t one.
Stage 3 — Guilt & Denial
After you’ve gotten past the “this can’t be happening”, you get to “this isn’t happening” — you don’t want to believe this is true and refuse to believe this is true. Also, you start second-guessing yourself thinking “did I do everything I could to save them?” “could I have done something differently?” “could they still be alive had I picked up on that symptom just a day earlier?”
This stage lasts the longest, and to some, the guilt consumes their lives
Stage 4 — Acceptance
The hardest stage to reach is acceptance. You accept the death and move on. Some keep a piece of the loved one with them — a piece of jewellery, a photo, a locket, a favourite song — something that lets them remember them going forward or when they want the feeling of warm, loving memories.
Where am I on this list? Stage 4. I have photos of my uncle in Google Photos I can look back on whenever I want to remember him. I have pictures of him playing with my cousin’s children; I have fond memories of playing poker with him (and me losing :-) ); I have memories of having drinks with him — he was an alchoholic, but really was loose when drinking. I remember that I also didn’t know him as well as I thought I did. His drinking buddy took the pedestal at his funeral and told about how he donated food from his KFC-style shop to people at the pub.
I really did not know my uncle as well as I thought I did.
It finally snowed today. And as usual, gritters were not out in time.
The roads turned into slushy, slippery dangerous skidways, but there were no accidents fortunately.
I had to head into Chinatown to pickup my contact lenses from the opticians. While waiting for the bus, two cars got stuck trying to climb the hill (it’s a notorious hill that has caused problems in the past during snowy, icy conditions, even the police got stuck the last time it snowed heavily)
Since the cars were now blocking the road going up, I decided to go and take a different route to Chinatown, and went via the Northern Line instead of the Piccadilly Line like I was originally planning.
The pavements were slushy and there was not even any sign of gritting. The station pavements were gritted, but presumably by the station staff, and not the council.
Even while coming home and trying to climb the hill to my house, my shoes were not gripping well, and had to take small steps to make sure I wouldn’t fall.
Dangerously incompetent, that’s what my local council are.
We got the replacement heater installed today, mostly fine, the heat of the water is now very high, since the plumber had to replace the piping near the heater, and had to mount a plank of wood on the wall to provide additional support for the heater as the bracket where the heater will be mounted would be too high.
This heater requires electricity, compared to the previous one which did not. Meaning without power, we won’t have hot water.
The plumber had to add cement around the exit flue of the heater and a few hours later I could see a crack in the cement, probably from it contracting and cracking while drying.
The plumber also had to remove an entire cupboard from the kitchen where the heater is and we’ll have to remount that some other time.
Google Photos reminded me of some photos I took in 2006, reminding of how incompetent Barnet Council are.
The landlord in the flat above us decided to get plumbing done by people who were likely not qualified and ended up compromising the floor between flats, and causing electricity arcs in our ceiling, we had to pop the breakers manually to prevent any short circuits.
Attempts to communicate with the landlord all went to voice mail, attempts to get entry to the flat to stop the water were ignored, attempts to contact the council to get help were refused.
Eventually the water leaked through OUR floor into the floor below, and the OAP who lived there called us. We told her to call the council since they refused to help us, and lo and behold, 30 minutes later, we had the council banging on our door.
Now, due to the council’s refusal to help, instead of one flat being damaged, you now have TWO.
The following day, the police and fire brigade were called to gain entrance, because the landlord STILL did not answer his phone.
After this incident, we had to redo our bathroom, toilet, and front bedroom.
We had to rip out the carpets, wallpaper and replaster the ceilings.
We had to also rewire the ENTIRE flat.
But that’s not the end part of it. Several years later, the damage caused by the landlord, carried over and the ceiling started leaking again. And again, the council didn’t help. The tenant who lived in the flat above (the original landlord had since sold the flat on) was a construction worker, who knew what he was doing — mostly, I guess.
Over the course of two years we were subject to more ceiling leaks, including leads into our cloakroom where we store our coats, until he finally found the leaking pipe — one which was severed during the time of the previous landlord and was still dripping.
He’s also sound the house on now, and to the council, and now Brent Council and Barnet Council have combined and we now have new tenants who are probably worse than the previous two combined — they sleep all day, talk loudly until around 2am in the morning, smoke pot and guess what, Barnet Council won’t do anything about it.
When I escalated to the counsellors of the area, they passed the query on to the council and the council claimed I never contacted them. Well, that’s BS since I have an email chain AND a case reference.
Barnet Council have done nothing but drag their feet for the past 14 years whenever there’s been any complaints. They like to claim they are listening to people with things like “You Said.. We Did” but that’s only for things that are easy to do.
I know the likelihood of Barnet Council reading this post are low, but I need to vent…
I came across this article on FailBlog, but it was actually something that hit home quite hard. It’s a thread that talks about grief.
In case you didn’t know, I lost my uncle to cancer in 2017 and sat on a blog entry talking about dealing with loss for months, not wanting to publish it (it wasn’t this entry, mind you) — but I knew that writing about it helps deal with it.
The article on FailBlog links to an old thread by Lauren Herschel, an unrolled version is here:
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