Thursday, January 26, 2023

Keeping me in Stitches

This morning I made an unplanned visit to the plastic surgeon. The smaller of the two basal cell surgical spots in my scalp had begun to bleed. As I am 8 weeks post surgery, this is really surprising. The wounds had been healing nicely, and I even colored my hair with no problem a couple weeks ago. The only thing that had been bothering me was the dissolvable stitches that were popping up through my scalp.

I called the office when I noticed the discharge, and they told me to come right in. The technician clipped the stitches, and then took a scraping of the head wound. It will be sent to the lab to check for signs of infection. When the doctor was able to see me, he cleaned the wound up but didn't seem overly concerned. He said that because of my hair, it's likely that one of the hair follicles formed a pustule due to the dissolvable stitches and that it has erupted. He gave me a prescription for a topical antibiotic to put on the wound, but didn't want to start me on an oral antibiotic until the lab results come back. That might not be until next week, so I'm sure that's why he went ahead with a topical in the meantime.

By the time I got home, the wound was bleeding quite a bit. I know that head wounds have a tendency to do that. So I put a cold compress on it until it slowed, and then put an over the counter ointment on it to help stop the bleeding until my prescription is ready. This is the first time in the 15 skin cancers that I've had removed that there has been an issue, so I guess I can't complain. Hopefully the lab result is negative, and the topical ointment does the trick. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Dissolvable Stitches?

Who would have thought that the term dissolvable stitches is actually an oxymoron? Before the plastic surgeon stapled my head wounds closed following Mohs surgery for basal cell carcinoma, he stitched them with "dissolvable" thread. Supposedly your body gradually absorbs the sutures so you don't have to return to the doctor to have them removed.

When I went in two weeks post surgery to have the staples removed, I was told that the other sutures should dissolve on their own. If not, I am supposed to go back in and have them removed in the office. I wasn't too concerned about it, but now that all the scabs have come off, the other sutures are poking through my scalp. They feel like fishing line. While no one can see them due to my hair, I know that they are there and I pick at them.

While I do know some people who have removed their own stitches, mine seem pretty attached to my scalp. I'm going to try to leave them alone for now. I see the dermatologist again the end of February, so if they are not gone by then I'll just have her take them out at that point. I may have to at least trim a couple of them in the meantime though. I don't want my comb or brush to catch on them. Dissolvable? I don't think so.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

What will we see in 2023?

A new year has begun, and I can't help but wonder what it will bring. We started January 1st with a nice breakfast, followed by a hike in a new (to us) destination. The Anne Springs Close Greenway, located in Fort Mill, South Carolina, is a 2,100 acre natural preserve that opened in 1995. It is more than twice the size of Central Park in New York, and contains lakes, hiking, biking & equestrian trails, educational centers, historical buildings and meadows.

We took a 4 mile hike through the woods, and passed one of the lakes, a creek and a meadow as we meandered through the trees. It was a little muddy from earlier rains, but wasn't too bad. It was great to start 2023 with some outside exercise, and we will definitely come back to explore all the site has to offer. I'd love to see the meadows in the spring, in particular.

Anne Springs Close Greenway