Doing Their Thing

January 16, 2020

Good news: I left my surgeon’s office with blood and swelling on my forehead, cheek, jaw, lips and chin this afternoon — yes, every part of half of my face has been impacted by the accident and recovery. How is that good news? Because with my masterful surgeon and high-tech tools over time, I am finally beginning to look like the woman I recognized in my reflection four and a half months ago, and in the twenty-eight years that preceded. The surgeries, lasers, injections, treatments, all the things in all the places seem to be adding up to a familiar, long-missed and much-desired picture!

I was a ball of nerves yesterday, this morning and during my appointment today, discouraged by a perceived lack of substantive progress after this long and the lengthy list of pressing superficial and functional concerns I have drafted to date. Since our first meeting in October and through the major operations and follow up procedures, my surgeon always said that we would assess and address any outstanding needs in mid January. Well, today was that day — and he did just that, with a conservative yet confident approach. As we literally went over each item on my list, he never made me feel silly or stupid for a single question, observation, point of stress or wish. He gave me his unfiltered honest opinions, provided nuanced medical expertise, and always reminded me of just how far I've come, ongoing healing ahead and the unshakable beauty in the canvas that is me. He neither judged nor exploited my complaints about the sagging, lack of pigment or deformed shape of my scarred, puckered upper lip, rather offering up specific ways to address the issues I personally outlined as negatively impacting my health or happiness. And when we together decided on appropriate next steps, he got to work — on my lip, then uneven textured forehead, missing brow, caved cheeks, impacted jaw, shifted chin, remaining scar tissue masses — each minor, yet all meaningful.

It is difficult to explain the precise course of action he took around a vast number of issues we sought to remedy, as the root causes vary widely (impact of the accident, of course, as well as known and unforeseen results of additional surgeries, dental procedures and such) and the needs differ greatly (high-powered laser, fraxel laser, who-knows-what laser, injections of steroids and liquids and firmer substances, needles of different sizes and shapes, medical creams and more). But my surgeon did almost everything, except what he wisely advised me against and the outstanding ones left for next Tuesday, as he wants to see how my body responds to today’s treatments and allow me time to adequately prepare before the next, more intense round.

I am still in pain, still bloody, still swollen, still trepidatious and still a ball of nerves, but now about a major decisive dental appointment tomorrow, rather than the state of my face — which I am happy to report improved dramatically in a matter of hours today. Skilled doctors and modern medicine, alongside the good graces of time and blessings of the human body seem to be doing their thing at long last!

Read more of my journey here. 

© 2020 Erin Schrode. About Erin. Contact.

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