It's hard to believe it's been two weeks since Patrick had his surgery. Just two weeks ago, I said, 'I love you' and he was off to the operating room. Just two weeks ago I saw him in the ICU post operation engulfed in wires and tubes. Now, here we are two weeks into recovery and things are going fairly well.
Patrick is no longer taking any pain medication be it narcotics or over-the-counter. He hasn't for several days now. He is still taking the recommended aspirin to help with blood pressure and to prevent blood clots.
There are several main obstacles Patrick deals with on a daily basis. Not being able to use his left arm is one of them. He has limited mobility due to tight tendons and sharp pains, or 'fireworks' as he refers to them, shooting up his arm. The scar trailing up his arm will drastically decrease over the next few weeks. The flap removal site, now covered by the skin graft will start to thicken so the tendons won't be visible. The skin will always be discolored. Just a few more days, and Patrick can take the wrapping off. He is planning on purchasing some sort of sleeve or wrist guard to wear to protect his arm while at work.
The hole where the trach was is still slightly open. It seemed to be closing and had no air passing through, then the two stitches were removed and Patrick can hear some gurgling, bubble noises. We are hoping it continues to close and heal as he does not want anymore stitching. Once healed, Dr.V. offered to fix it if the trach scar is bothersome when turning his head or talking.
As I've mentioned before the scar on Patrick's neck continues to heal nicely. I've noticed a big difference since the stitches were removed a week ago. It has and will continue to lay down and over the next year will become part of the crease in his neck and rather unnoticeable to strangers. It's difficult for Patrick to hold his head straight and level. He said it feels like they detached the muscles in his neck and reattached them as they are tighter which makes it difficult to not tilt his head to the left bit. I'm sure that coupled with the tightness of the incision are what bother him. He jokingly calls himself Quasimodo.
Eating is still a slow and steady race. Patrick regretfully tried a cheeseburger several days ago. It went down fine, but seemed to irritate his throat. After several more days of consuming soft foods, he tried pizza. It took a half hour to eat, left some concern about the stitches in his tongue, but made it down the chute. He's down 11 pounds, but as he continues to be more brave with eating, we hope he's hit the bottom of weight loss.
Patrick is experiencing a lot of numbness in his face, neck, ear, tongue and thumb. Although, it is completely normal, it is rather annoying and can be bothersome when doing things like shaving.
The flap attached to Patrick's tongue is doing well. A few of the stitches have come out leaving a bit a crevasse is some places. There is a spot on the bottom of his tongue that has grown a few hairs. We'll be looking into permanent hair removal in the future, but for now it's just part of the journey.
Have I left anything out? Any questions?
Stay tuned, the next post will contain the pictures of our journey thus far.