Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Flesh Wounds

My husband will be quite the wound care expert after this week! He now has two patients to take care of.

The melanoma excision procedure went well. The doctor took an additional 1cm all the way around the original 1cm-ish biopsy site. She also took some extra on two sides of the excision, forming a football shape, to make closing it up easier. I now have 8 internal stitches and 11 external ones. You can see a picture here if you want (it's clean and not icky, I promise, but it is still a stitched cut). The picture includes a US dime for scale. Per Wikipedia, a dime has a diameter of about 1.8 cm. The pad I'm using to cover it is 3 inches wide, so the incision itself is a bit over 2 inches long. I have to clean it and change the dressing twice a day. It is too long even for the extra large bandaids I stocked up on, so I'm using telfa pads and tape. I go back next Thursday to have the stitches taken out and to review the pathology report.

I'm doing okay. I knew it would hurt when I move my arm, but it also burns and stings when I'm not moving it at all. I've never had stitches before (staples yes, but not stitches), so I just have to assume that is normal. I'm managing okay during the day with over the counter pain relievers, but I do take the prescription she gave me at night. Laying down is not comfortable at all; any position tugs painfully on my shoulder in some form or fashion. I'm sleeping in the recliner instead. Thanks to my father's shoulder surgery a few years ago, I learned how to support the arm with pillows and blankets so that it is in a neutral position, which helps a lot. I have one blanket sort of wedge shaped under my back/shoulder to keep it forward, and another supporting my elbow to raise it up just a little and take the downward pressure off the cut.

But as you may have noticed, the title of this post is "wounds," as in plural. With highs expected in the 90s (33C) on Tuesday, I let Luke wear shorts to school. And knowing my son as I do, I even thought to myself, "watch, the first time he wears shorts to school since the fall, and he'll come home with a scraped knee." So it was not all that much of a surprise when the phone rang around 1PM and caller ID indicated it was Luke's elementary school. "Luke fell and scraped his knee pretty good. He also scraped his elbow and his face." Is the knee scrape major enough that I need to take him to the doctor? "I don't think so. I mainly called to make sure that his front teeth are baby teeth and that they were already loose." Yes and yes. Whew! She let me talk to him for a moment, and he sounded fine. His elbow is still hurting, more from the bruising than the actual scrape, which is very minor. He is still limping due to the knee scrape. Picture here, with a penny (1.9 cm) for scale. (Again the picture is clean and not actively bleeding, but it is still a wound.) So all those extra large bandaids I bought for me are being put to good use on my son. Joy.

Currently feeling: in pain


  1. I am so behind on blog reading that I missed the posts leading up to this one (and now I am kinda glad I did, so I only get good news!) So happy that they were able to excise it. I will send up prayers that your pathology report is good/normal!

    And yes, I do need to go to the dermatologist.... =)

  2. Glad to hear that the excision went well, hope it continues to heal well for you.

    Luke has company- I let Josh wear shorts to daycare for the first time since fall last week and he too came home with a scraped up knee and nose. Just in time for the social worker's visit too.


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