A Rodent Ulcer - Life goes onÖ..
I am writing this account to try and help other
members of Letís Face It (LFI); who possibly like me were surprised
to discover that they had a rodent ulcer.
About ten years ago, my dentist pointed that I could
possibly have a rodent ulcer, this was subsequently excised under a
local anaesthetic at a local hospital. In 2009 my wife, Jennie was
concerned that I had developed another rodent ulcer, (It looks like
a small pimple on your cheek but it does not heal). This after a
consultation with my GP was diagnosed after a biopsy at Hillingdon
Hospital, near Uxbridge in May 2009.
I had surgery in the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead
in the July of the same year. I was on drips for one week and then
was able to enjoy solid food and a hot drink again. The surgery
involved taking a skin graft from the left thigh, transferring this
on to the face and also cutting away part of the roof of my mouth. I
was discharged after twelve days and after about 3 months recovering
at home with Ensure drinks; and regularly having the dressings
changed on the skin graft, I eventually returned to work in
Afterwards I had regular appointments in Hillingdon
Hospital with different registrars from the Reconstructive Facial
Surgery Team at the Royal Free. In December I had a moan at the
registrar asking him how long was the waiting list to have the
facial surgery flattened? He, (bless his heart) could not answer me,
but assured me that the revision would be done on the 1st
So, I did as I was told; starved myself from the
evening before and arrived at the Royal Free Hospital about 8:25 am.
They were very busy, the surgery was actually done at 2:30 pm.
Subsequently, I spent the night on a hospital trolley and went home
by taxi the following morning.
I must admit that in this day and age, when everyone
seems to0 criticise and condemn the NHS, I have nothing but praise
and appreciation for the way that I was cared for. Some of the staff
in Ward 8 of the Royal Free had been transferred from my local
hospital, Mount Vernon so I could not resist asking them what was
the weather like in Northwood that morning! My only criticism of the
system, is that psychologically I had not been prepared adequately
for the change in my appearance (several times people have sat down
adjacent to me in a bus or train, looked round at me - got up and
sat somewhere else!) However, I must not forget to remind everyone
that Christine Piff has trained as a professional counsellor and is
always willing to listen.
As an aside about the recent surgery, the moral is if
you donít ask you donít get i.e. I asked if there was any chance of
me having porridge for breakfast? Not expecting to get it. And one
of the staff made me some - it was delicious!
On the 7th March the sutures were taken
out, apparently within a week it will be okay to go swimming again!
QA final thought if you are someone diagnosed with a medical problem
that requires corrective surgery - you are never alone. The full
resources of the NHS are available to you, sometimes the
psychological ones you have to ask for - remember if I had not asked
for porridge - I would not have had it in the Royal Free! Not
forgetting the help that is on offer from Christine and fellow
members of Letís Face It. Finally, your real friends will stand by
you - surgery doesnít radically alter your character or personality.
Alan R Woodward - Northwood