Sunday, January 28, 2018

Battered and bruised, but (mostly) undefeated

I won't lie. It's been a rough week. The minor surgery I had on Tuesday turned out to be a bigger deal than I thought it would be. The surgeon had to make a larger incision than expected and my face swelled up like a balloon in response to the local anesthetic so I looked decidedly lopsided for a few days. As the week wore on, the swelling subsided but bruises developed around my eye and mouth that added a certain toughness to my demeanour.

Day 2, still swollen but not too bruised yet
I can't share a picture of the scar because it's still covered by surgical tape and, to tell the truth, I'd prefer to keep it that way for another few days since I'm dreading whatever's under there - though I'm hoping it won't be as bad as I imagine. 

There are a couple of things worth observing about the experience. The first is how challenging it was to deal with the surgeons. Upon my arrival at the "Minor Procedures" clinic, I was informed by one of the residents (blithely, I thought) that she would be performing the procedure while the supervising surgeon looked on. Don't get me wrong, the resident seemed completely competent and, if the surgery had been on almost any other part of my body, I'd have gone along with the plan quite happily but, since we were talking about someone cutting into the middle of my face, I asked my original surgeon if he could please do it instead. He agreed, but didn't seem entirely happy about it, which left me wondering if I might pay a price for my "disagreeableness". 

I hasten to add that everyone else in the room was kind and supportive throughout. One of the students in attendance even offered to hold my hand when it became clear how nervous I was, and the nurse on duty did all she could to ensure I was steady on my feet before I made my way outside to meet Husband. So, all in all, the experience could have been far worse. And to be fair, the surgery was a minor, run-of-the-mill sort of thing from the surgeons' point-of-view - certainly nothing to get worked up about. It was only my vanity that made it at all significant.

The other thing that struck me was how little empathy my younger female colleagues demonstrated when I returned to the office on Wednesday. Two of them reacted to my battered face by telling stories about friends who'd had similar procedures that went badly at first but turned out okay in the end (four surgeries and several years later!). Not what I wanted to hear! The third observed that she supposed I wouldn't be very worried about the scar given that I wasn't in my 20s. Seriously?  Fortunately, older colleagues and friends, not to mention my darling Husband, were far more sensitive and encouraging. 

In any case, the fact it had to be done and perhaps the larger incision means the cancer won't be back anytime soon, which would be a good thing. I'd prefer not to have more surgery if I can avoid it. 

In other news, though I haven't run all week (to avoid further bruising), I have been diligent about doing yoga. An appointment with my massage therapist Monday evening convinced me I need to make stretching a priority if I'm ever going to feel comfortable in my skin again. 

And, on the assumption that I'll soon be running regularly again, I've decided to register for the Bluenose 15k in May. It's the only race I haven't completed at Bluenose (because it's new this year) and, given how little I've trained in recent months, 15k will be challenge enough.  If it goes okay, I'll think about registering for a half marathon or two later in the season.

By the way, here's a photo of Jackie yesterday, sleeping by the fire after a big beach walk with her best pal, Jessie. 

The walk happened at Conrad's Beach, just a few kilometres up the road from our city place. I'm not sure why we'd never been there before because the beach is truly spectacular - the perfect spot for a long walk and romp with the puppies. The icing on the cake is that Jamieson's Irish pub is conveniently located on the route home. In fact, we stopped there for a yummy lunch after our walk. Jamieson's is always a treat - especially in the company of old, dear friends.

Before wrapping up, I want to recommend an article I read on Becoming Minimalist this weekend. It outlines 15 great reasons to blog and reminded me of how and why I starting blogging in the first place. Here's hoping it also inspires me to write more often in the weeks and months ahead. 

Until next time, happy running and writing friends! If you're a blogger, be sure to share a link to your blog so I can check it out!


  1. I'm so glad the surgery went well. Now you know more about the people who commented on your appearance than perhaps they realize. One photographer buddy was raving about shooting some sweet young model, and I was yawning. If I'm going to shoot people, I want to see faces that have some life in them, that have a story to tell. Laugh lines, worry lines, scars, wrinkles, freckles, it's all good. I read over the 15 reasons to blog, and was not impressed. It reads exactly like a paint by numbers painting blog post written according to the how to blog rules. Maybe I'm getting old and cynical and cranky. From my point of view, getting into something, anything, to make money is the kiss of death.

    1. I agree with you about the money, Keith. (Is it really possible to make money from blogging? I dunno. Haven't tried and don't intend to.) But I liked the first 5 or 6 reasons in particular. In the early years, blogging really helped me live more intentionally, and writing felt a lot easier when I did it regularly. Hoping to get back to that place one day.