My first surgery which removed the cancer took place in March 2012, which seems like a lifetime ago now so much has happened since then. During this surgery all of my teeth were removed, a plate was fixed into place with a huge amount of packing behind and in my nose. I was put on an oral feed through a nasal gastric feed, which I learnt to do for myself.
A week late the plate was removed and most but not all of the packing was also removed. The plate was made more comfortable and fixed into place using Fixadent. By the time I was back on the ward my plate had come away this I think was one of the most traumatic times I’ve had. I suddenly realised how big a hole I had at the front of my mouth.
Eventually my team of Dr’s decided to take me back to theatre to screw the plate into place as I didn’t have enough bone left to hold the plate in place.
After this surgery I developed Clostridium difficile (C diff) which is a bug that attacks the stomach, causing severe diarrhoea.
My plate stayed in place for a couple of days then fell again. It was then decided to fix the plate to my cheek bones so that it wouldn’t move, although this could only be a temporary measure-surgery three.
They put thirteen screws in my plate no chance of it moving now.
April was surgery number four to remove the plate and have impressions taken for a new plate to be made. After this my plate wasn’t screwed back in and came out a few hours after the surgery.
I received my new plate in May although it was lighter only stayed in for about four to five hours unless I ate something in which case it would come out straight away. So it was decided to do my reconstruction sooner rather than later.
Just before surgery number five they discovered I had MRSA on my skin I believe this was due to my nasal tube coming out of my stomach and left hanging out of my mouth because the district nurse refused to remove it even after speaking to my medical team over the phone and being told what to do. I was sent to my local A&E where I had to wait for five hours before a Dr would remove it.
Surgery number five was my most extensive surgery which took place in June. I had bone, tissue and skin removed from my left leg and placed in my mouth held in place by a plate and more screws, plus a tracheotomy to enable me to breathe and a wound on the right side of my neck so that cells and tissues could be all connected.
Following this I developed MRSA in the leg wound, and I had to return to hospital for IV antibiotics.
My leg wound took until August to close up and finally heal.
Two weeks ago I had shingles in my left shoulder just above the scar from my lymph node removal surgery.
My surgeon is now convinced I have a loose screw and an infection so am currently awaiting surgery number six.
The count is now:
- Surgeries 5
- Infections 3