a little background info

when i crafted my catch up by photo dump post i didn’t give much – or any – detail about my dad’s leg surgery.  so i’m gonna fill in a few of the blanks.

2013-04-30 14.36.07

my dad was out enjoying his last morning in chiang mai, visiting the market, just taking it easy and minding his own business.  my mom had stayed behind to do a little packing and wait for me to get back from working out.  once i got home the two of us headed out to grab a cup of coffee (or iced chocolate for her) and do a little reading, but before we could get into the coffee shop my mom got a call from my dad.  he was in the emergency room at maharaj nakorn chiang mai hospital.  he’d been hit by a car.  did i mention he was out and about taking it easy and minding his own business on a motorbike?  (a slightly sketchy motorbike at that.)  he told us he was certain his leg was broken.  my mom and i headed over to the hospital and after finding a parking spot – no small feat – we located the er and then located my dad.  he was right about his leg.  he had a spiral fracture of the tibia. it was his left leg – he has a history of injuries on that leg.

the orthopaedic resident informed us that surgery was necessary, but that it would take a week or two for them to get around to operating at this hospital.  this is a public hospital and the worst cases get seen first.  the resident suggested we move my dad to a private hospital.  thanks to some quick replies from friends here in chiang mai we were able to connect with an orthopaedic surgeon and get my dad moved to ram hospital just a few minutes down the road from maharaj nakorn chiang mai hospital.

we eventually met with the orthopaedic surgeon.  he was hoping to operate that night, but because of my dad’s prior injury and some blood clotting issues in that leg he needed to consult an internal medicine doctor first.  my mom and i left our phone numbers at the nurses station and headed home so she could take care of cancelling their flight home, check with traveler’s insurance requirements, and find out the date their visa’s expired.   it was 7:30 or so when we made it back to the hospital and my dad was in surgery – they’d wheeled him on down to the internal medicine doctor so she could give her yay or nay.  the surgeon came out to speak to us about 10.  he said the surgery had gone well and that my dad should be out of recovery in a few hours.  he answered my mom’s questions and then we waited for my dad to be rolled out of recovery.   they rolled my dad out about midnight and we all headed up to his hospital room.  we made sure he was situated and we headed home for some sleep.  i was a little alarmed that they hadn’t put a cast on his leg and that they had no intention of casting it at all, but i’ve been told that’s they way the do it now.

my dad was out of the hospital on saturday and they began figuring out when they could go home.  due to some constraints from their traveler’s insurance they needed to fly sooner rather than later and managed to book a flight that wednesday (or maybe it was thursday).  my dad went to see his doctor this week.  i haven’t heard how that appointment went, but i’m assuming no news is good news on that front.

another month

went to the doctor today for a follow up appointment. i am now 2 months into this 6 week treatment with at least another 4 weeks to go. I know, the math doesn’t quite work on that – unless you just go with the numbers and not how they are classified. 2+4=6 instead of (2×4)+4doesnot=6.  that might only make sense to me.

the vertigo is pretty constant along with the headache (still) and i feel like someone has taken cotton balls and stuck them in every available nook and cranny that can be found in my brain. and then jammed in 200 more just because. and then there is the feeling that someone has filled my tank with water instead of premium gasoline. but – hopefully – only one more month of this.

20121106-111349.jpgthat’s my good side, we’ve got our fingers crossed that it gets a lot worse.

20121106-111530.jpgthat’s my getting better side. at least it was. i thought i was done treating it. i thought wrong.

cotton-headed ninnymuggins

tonight makes 6 weeks of treatment done!  which means i’m done treating the original spots.  the one under my eye looks fantastic and my cheek is a mix of new spots and old spots and i’m not really sure which is which.  all i am sure of is it looks a lot worse than it did in the last picture.
20121029-214440.jpgi guess that means i’m done treating under my eye.  except there’s two new spots – one on the outside of the area i already treated and one on my nose.  so i’ll keep treating those.  and the rest of my face for  another week.  and then i’ll treat the active spots for another two weeks and then i think i’ll be done.  next week i go see the doctor again, i’m hoping she’s able to give me more concrete instructions so i’m not stuck guessing and thinking.

the nauseousness has been pretty much absent as of late, but it’s been replaced by vertigo.  the headache is still here and my head feels a bit like i’ve got cotton tucked in all around my brain.

wonder if that makes me a cotton-headed ninnymuggins?

ending week four and a new beginning

i’ve completed four weeks and will be taking a week off before completing my last two weeks of treatment. it’s working and it’s working so well that instead of not using the cream for a week i will begin using it on the rest of my face. so that means six more weeks to go. which means i am further from finished than i was this morning before i went to the doctor.


week three

week three is underway. the lesion under my eye is improving, the one on my forehead is no better and no worse, and the ones on my jaw are getting more pronounced and itchy. so all seems to be good. except that the nauseousness has returned. bummer.

and i’ve got another spot on my scalp. you might recall that i had one removed about 2 years ago. the dermatologist treated this one, but it doesn’t seem to have made it go away. i will have it looked at when i return to the doctor in a few weeks.

some threading might be in order

i’ve completed three of 18 treatments and am having pretty good response in two of the three areas i am spot treating and i have a new lesion coming up in the third area. so it seems the lotion is doing its job. go aldara! i am not as nauseous as i was – it comes and goes. the headache is pretty constant, but it isn’t too bad.

look at that eyebrow

turns out the sky is not falling

at least not right now.

today is day 6. i will do another treatment tonight, but as of now all the horrid things google shared with me have not come to fruition.

my skin is reacting, but it’s not yet as bad as i was sure it would be (i know, there is still plenty of time for that to happen). and, besides, scaling and icky-ness are what we want to happen. i am still nauseous and i still have a headache, but those are annoying, not debilitating. the nauseousness is probably more troublesome – it makes it difficult to eat.

and there are good things… i am wearing sunscreen and applying it several times a day. i am also wearing a hat. i have been okay about hat wearing in the past, but now am quite good about it (i know it’s only been six days, but doesn’t that put me 15 away from it becoming a habit?).

20120917-123623.jpgtoday’s hat. so sporty.

i have even created a pinterest board just for hats – and if that doesn’t ooze life change then i don’t know what does.

thanks for all the good wishes, kind words and prayers. you guys keep those coming and i’ll keep updating – just with less doom and gloom.

day 4 – subtle changes

michael has suggested that I try for a less police line up approach to my pictures.  so, for at least today, i’m going to humor him.

it think maybe this one has a bit more of a game show host feel to it.

anyway, the spot on my forehead is definitely reacting the strongest.  it’s discolored and raised and it’s tender.  the other circled places are turning pink – the spot on my jaw that’s turning pink isn’t wear the AK is, but not surprising that I have more than what we could see.  I’m still nauseous and I still have a headache.  I’m also now itchy, but no horrid discomfort.  I know it’s still early days, but so far so good.


Nothing to see here…

Day 3 and no big changes. I’ve only done one treatment, so that’s not surprising. The spot on my forehead is a bit pinker than it was, but other than that I can’t tell any difference. I did wake up Thursday morning with a mild headache and some nauseousness. Both of those have lingered. I figure either it is a side effect or I’ve conveniently managed to catch some bug – time will tell.

Here’s a pic of the nothing that’s going on right now

Paying the piper

If only I’d listened to my father…

Tomorrow I start a treatment of Aldara – for the collection of basal cell carcinomas and actinic keratosis I have on my face. I’ve had all of these frozen off at least once and they just keep coming back. So now for the next step.  And since Michael heads out of country tomorrow I figure I’ll try to blog updates so he can see how it’s going.  I’m trying not to worry about the side effects (even though I’m certain I will have every single one that anyone has mentioned and posted to the internet – it’s times like this that google is not your friend.)

Redness, swelling, itching, burning, pain/tenderness, thickening/hardening of the skin, peeling/flaking/scabbing/crusting, or leaking a clear fluid, changes in skin color may occur and may not go away. If the skin reaction is severe (bleeding, formation of sores/blisters/ulcers), imiquimod may need to be temporarily stopped so that the skin can heal.  Flu-like symptoms (such as fever, tiredness, muscle aches), runny/stuffy nose, cough, diarrhea, nausea, and back pain may also occur.

These symptoms aren’t from google, they’re from the drug company.  Googles are worse.

So here’s the before pic – the circle-ish shapes are where I’ll be using the cream.

Seeing as how it’s all happening on one side of my face I’m thinking perhaps I could become a not so mean version of Two Face from Batman.  I’m going to try to record the experience here – pictures and all.  I told Michael I’d try to do it daily, we’ll see about that.

Here’s hoping that reading about the symptoms is the worst of it for me.