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Back To The Surgeon

November 26th, 2019

I am on my way back to my surgeon — because my facial situation has not only stopped healing, it is somehow actually worsening. Devastated doesn’t even begin to encapsulate how I feel right now, emotional turmoil layered atop acute pain and the terrifying stress of having no clue what lies ahead from a medical standpoint. After not sleeping a wink, I had to catch a crack of dawn plane from San Francisco to Los Angeles for this emergency appointment that the surgeon squeezed in when I finally (and somewhat desperately) reached out yesterday afternoon, forced to come to terms with the downward spiraling of my condition and undeniable medical necessity.

The large mass above my upper lip has been growing increasingly painful and hard since my reconstructive facial surgeries nearly four weeks ago, deteriorating significantly this past weekend. Its jagged shape scrapes abrasively at my raw gums, causing near constant bleeding in my mouth. The heavy weight and sharp pain of my lip makes speaking all but impossible and eating even liquids severely uncomfortable, while the pressure that the sizable mass places upon my teeth pushes my jaw further out of alignment, exacerbating widespread omnipresent headaches. The surgeon thought we could (should?) wait until the new year to operate again, to allow for adequate healing time, try other therapies, and prepare for the more invasive procedures into my mouth muscles, but my traumatized body is clearly on its own timeline.

I was supposed to be in Silicon Valley today for a long-awaited appointment with one of the world’s foremost brain specialists at a comprehensive treatment center, completing new tests, reviewing neurological results, diving deeper in diagnoses and developing a recovery plan. But no. My mouth, my lip, my complex physical injuries from the accident continue to wreak havoc and once again prevent much-needed progress on the multitude of other pressing ailments, especially those related to brain trauma.

As if I didn’t have enough trials and tribulations in my life right now, the aircraft had mechanical issues, we were all forced to deplane, the gate agent begrudgingly rebooked me on the sole flight that offers any chance of making it to the surgeon during his sole opening before the holiday and wheeled my weak body to the distant new gate, where I boarded with a throbbing lip, bloody mouth and splitting headache and promptly fell asleep. After navigating the mess that is the new LAX rideshare pickup shuttle/lot system via wheelchair, further crumbling with pre-Thanksgiving traveler madness, I’m now anxiously sitting in the back of a Lyft to the surgery center in Beverly Hills, watching time slip away amid omnipresent Southern California traffic.

Nervous, exhausted and afraid, I am praying for the universe to offer me some relief from this agony, some answers, some headway, or at the very least a reprieve from compounding layers of pain, treachery, frustration. I find myself at a loss — lacking strength, will, hope, even words. This regression is just devastating.

Read more of my journey here.