Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Back to Running

Stitches came out last Thursday and for a few days I had a pretty sweet Frankenstein scar.  The first two pictures below are from the day the stitches were removed.  In the second picture you can also see where my deck drains were.  Also you can notice what looked like a double/triple chin as after the neck drains came out the swelling increased by a lot.  The line goes up to being level with my ear line and as can be seen by the photo taken today in a few months it shouldn't be very noticeable at all.

8 days post surgery
8 days post surgery
2 weeks after surgery

  Unfortunately it's hard to take a picture of my tongue but I can now answer how much of it they took out since I have a copy of my pathology report which states the sample "is an oriented elliptical portion of tissue, 2.5cm anterior to posterior, 1.8cm medial to lateral, and 1.2cm in thickness."  So from front to back that's about 1" front to back, .7" left to right, and about .5" thick.  In a different section it mentioned that the depth of invasion was 4mm and that all surgical margins were negative for carcinoma and clear by at least 5mm.  The swelling has gone down a lot on my neck and tongue and I am to a point where most people can't notice anything about my speech.  My tongue is still healing and feels strange/numb but I'm getting used to it.

Well it's been exactly 2 weeks since surgery so I was able to go for my first run today.  This past weekend I really got the itch to run as the weather was sunny and warm.  I made the most of it by going for a hike and a mountain bike ride in Sedona.  I had asked if I was allowed to bike after surgery and they said once I was home from the hospital that would be fine, but I'm pretty sure they probably didn't mean mountain biking in Sedona, oh well.  Due to the fact that I haven't ridden my mountain bike in about 5 months and that I just came out of the hospital I was more weenie than normal on the ride.  Sedona also has some pretty technical trails so on the one I ended up doing a lot of hike a biking.  Tight turns were also an issue as I still can't completely turn my head from right to left so that was also interesting.

Running went pretty well, I went for a total of 22 minutes my legs felt a bit uncoordinated.  I felt a lot of tightness in my neck and left shoulder where it was hard to really keep my upper body relaxed but no real pain to speak of just discomfort.  I think with some more stretching of my neck and a bit more time for the remaining swelling to go away that the tightness shouldn't be an issue anymore.  All in all I'm glad that everything seems to be returning to normal.  The strangest part is still the numbness on my neck and ear from the dissection and more and more it's the strange feelings/spasms that shoot up and down that side of my neck as the nerve endings reconnect.

The start of a good weekend starts tomorrow night with some St.Patty's day celebrating and will be followed with a trip to Moab that should be filled with lots of mountain biking, running, and napping on the red rocks.


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