Thursday, 5 August 2010

Day 1 - Airhead syndrome

We had an assessment with Dr Danial and Dr Capitan today and it was agreed without question that Angela should stay in for one more night. If she had become dizzy and fallen I would not have been strong enough to hold her - she was just not well enough to be moved.

Yesterday was a worrying day, A had noticed that her forehead felt like a freezer bag filled with slush. We assumed this was just post-op swelling.
We had not realised that all the swelling on her temple was trapped air, from the operation and not just oedema. Her brow was very "soft and squishy". The air was creating pressure, and therefore, Dr Danial, got a long thick hypodermic needle and made several holes in the top of Angela's scalp and proceeded to apply pressure to her forehead and push out the air. We could hear the air escaping. Hissing like a burst football. It was far worse for A as she got internal noise as well. It was explained that the air would have been naturally absorbed over a couple of weeks if left, but this procedure just accelerated the healing process. We were told it would not hurt as her scalp did not have a lot of sensation, but after the fifth hole was made and he was soaking up the blood with some gauze, her feet told a different story entirely as her toes started furiously wiggling.

It did hurt and I maneovred myself around the bed and held her hand she squeezed it tightly. She bled a Little from the puncture wounds and I am hoping soon to get her hair washed as the last thing she needs is an infection in those wounds. Her long hair is matted with blood, sweat and literally tears, it's going to be awkward to get it clean. I can't wait to get her all scrubbed up and sparkling again.

It was not nice for A to have the air pushed out of the wounds in the top of her head but it did reduce the swelling noticeably and Dr Danial applied strips of surgical tape to keep the forehead flat.

Dr Danial on his round did reassure us that, it was not a cause of concern and we managed to all make light of it.

Today though after her first shower the blood clots from her nose work were loosened and she tried to gently blow her nose and suddenly gasped in horror as she realised her head was noticeably inflating.
Angela was scared and as we had not had any prior knowledge of this phenomenon we were a trifle alarmed to say the least. The doctor's I think are so accustomed to this happening it did not occur to them or anyone else on the staff to tell us. It was bizarre and a real shock for Angela, as we thought something major was wrong. I on the plus side said she always was an airhead and would never need a snorkle ever again.

It was explained today when we sought advice from Dr Danial, that this was normal for any patient who has had their brow and nose bridge adjusted as an air-pocket under the forehead is a normal outcome when the sinus wall has been removed and altered so drastically. The reason for this is that the cutting of the bone to allow it to be extracted means there will not be an airtight fit when replaced into the forehead. and sitting upright whilst sleeping and the cold mask for the rest of the day would help. Anglela was instructed to NOT blow her nose but suck it up and swallow it..... yuck! If this had been properly explained yesterday A would not have got such a fright when she blew her nose.

I need to add here that we have entirely pleased so far with all the treatment and some of the smaller problems like this were well dealt with as they happened. The nursing staff were diligent and all requests, urgent or otherwise were dealt with kindly and promptly. The clinic was superb. I have shared this experience so as to give a clear picture to other transsexual women what they can expect if they are planning FFS..

As soon as the Dr's left, Angela fell into a deep sleep. The tiniest effort is utterly draining.

We will now wait for the nurse and get further blood tests, to check her haemoglobin levels and also, to get her mouth cleaned and her teeth brushed. This could be sore but something that will reduce the chance of infections in her mouth and also make her feel fresher. The catheter is coming out in the next hour and we plan to get her in the chair and enjoy a delicious ice cold orange juice.

I am so relieved that we are staying until late tomorrow and Dr Danial has prescribed extra pain medication!


No comments:

Post a Comment