It was a close call. When the surgeon looked inside my head, he said he groaned. My airway was inflamed leaving precious little room to manoevre surgical instruments. On waking from the anaesthetic, the surgeon remarked “You sure like to give me a challenge!”
I’d arrived on the operating table by the skin of my teeth. For the previous 10 days, I’d been battling a nasty upper respiratory infection and right up to the last minute, I didn’t know if I’d be well enough to make the trip to Nottingham. An antibiotic luckily cleared my head and chest in time but the evidence that a battle had taken place, was left behind.
The intricate endoscopic surgery took over 2 hours to complete. The inflamed area of bone in my forehead was first drilled out to prepare a clean surface for the reconstruction. The surgeon then fashioned a large flap of mucosa taken from the nasal septum and used this to line the exposed bone of the anterior frontal wall. The graft is held in place by a disposable dressing until it heals and my airway has been internally splinted to prevent the formation of adhesions. Photographs were taken throughout the procedure for the benefit of my surgeon in Ireland. He is due to remove the stitches and splints in another 10 days and I’ll return to Nottingham for the verdict in two month’s time. I’ve been warned that the donor site in my head will be sorer than the host site but so far, so good. Exhaustion is the main symptom.
I was discharged from the hospital the following day and returned to the hotel with my husband. On hearing of our circumstances, the hotel staff had kindly facilitated my husband by allowing him to keep his room until it was time for us to leave for the evening flight home. I was delighted to be able to watch the rugby match in peace and quiet. As the final whistle blew, we left Nottingham city centre for the airport. I came home victorious in more ways than one.
Cometh the hour, cometh the woman!
(Picture taken on mobile phone – Nottingham Main Square).