Since a few (very few!) folks have asked about—or at least feigned interest in—how the latest ^z injury is doing, here's a quick report sans gruesome imagery. In brief, it's mostly healed already.

A month ago I suddenly had a shallow thumbprint-sized pit on the forehead when a basal cell carcinoma was cut out (cf. FurrowedBrow, 18 Aug 2005). That wound was cleaned up and sewn shut by a nice plastic surgeon, leaving me with a couple of internal self-dissolving sutures and one external stitch, removed by the medic a week later. Some nerves to the upper scalp flow through that area, so I have found myself with an area of numbness about the shape covered by a hand with the heel of the palm resting on the left eyebrow and the fingers reaching almost to the crown of the head. That patch should recover sensation gradually over the next few months, I'm told. (Meanwhile, don't get into a head-butting contest with me!)

Interestingly enough from a biomechanical perspective, during the initial fortnight after surgery whenever I squeezed my left eye shut I experienced abrupt stabbing pains, as though somebody were poking me in the top of the head with an ice pick. I speculate that this feeling was displaced from the actual location above the eyebrow where internal stitchwork was binding the layers of skin and muscle.

Unfortunately, an uncountable number of unremarkable activities tend to trigger an unconscious eye-closing episode—coughing, pulling on a t-shirt, laughing, drying the face after a bath, sipping a hot beverage, sneezing, etc.—and whenever one feels a twinge, the natural involuntary reaction is grimace and shut the eye harder. Ouch-a-roonie! This vicious cycle of pain caused some merriment (and occasional expressions of sympathy) among those who observed my suffering. Eventually I learned to hold the eye open, or at least not squinch it shut.

On the morning of Saturday 3 September I semi-felt/semi-heard a couple of tiny pings on my left forehead, as though some wee guitar strings were popping. Presumably at that moment the internal temporary sutures had weakened enough to snap. Since then I feel no pain when I squint, frown, raise or lower an eyebrow, or do a hundred other daily facial expressions. Hooray! And as for appearances, I have no complaints. The scar seems to be healing nicely, and to a fair extent looks like an unusual wrinkle in an unusually smooth brow on the left side. Alas, the affected eyebrow no longer curves upward like a Vulcan from Star Trek.

TopicPersonalHistory - TopicHumor - TopicScience - 2005-09-17

(correlates: NoSweat, FurrowedBrow, HeavySleeper, ...)