What started out feeling like one of those nasty in-grown zits that never come to a nice squeezable head turned into a pair of (benign) tumors on my parotid gland. While the largest one showed as benign after the biopsy, these puppies have a reputation for becoming suddenly malignant, so I didn’t waste much time having them mined out.
This kind of old age stuff is really starting to make itself known as I head into my mid-50’s with all manner of lumps and minor ailments cropping up on a pretty regular basis. Those of you my age know what I’m talking about – and for those of you readers still basking in the innocence of youth: “You kids! Get of my Goddam lawn!”
After a bunch of tests and delightful pre-surgery activities, I went in for the procedure last Monday with a fair bit of trepidation. These tumors have a habit of growing on top of the main branch of the network of nerves that control facial muscles, so the challenge is to scrape the tumor off the nerve without leaving the patient looking like they had a stroke. They use a bunch of sophisticated gear to pull this off, but still – eternal pessimist that I am – I wasn’t optimistic. Aside from partial facial paralysis, there are other complications that crop up; like Frey’s syndrome – which causes heavy facial sweating when certain foods are eaten.
Dr. Thomas Winkler, MD performed the procedure with his partner Dr. Norman Lester and they set the expectation for a 4 to 5 hour job and about 3 days recovery. But I stopped breathing when they disconnected me from all the apparatus and had to do an emergency intubation, so hear I am on Day 5 weaning myself down from Percocet to Tylenol 3s and finally feeling somewhat human. Not much of a voice yet though. Mind you, I can do a fabulous imitation of Marlon Brando as Don Corleone.
Kudos to Dr’s Winkler and Lester though – for peeling two tumors directly off the main nerve branches without any surgical complications.
On the bike side of things, I’ve been able to get a couple of good runs in on both of the machines and finally got the fenders back From Nate at Frosty’s Finishes. Excellent quality and an impressive color match to a 9 year old paint job!
The Grand Canyon pretty much done although I continue to fool around with the amount of sound absorption material in the exhaust cans and dick around with fine tuning on the EFI. (See hi-rez pics HERE). The Hypermotard on the other hand; is driving me around the bend as I try to get some compliance into the suspension. When I’m well enough, I’ll change the fork oil for the third time – this round will see 480ml of 3wt per leg with 40mm of rider sag. Honestly, it’s so harsh now that it’s just no fun to ride…
I’m still a few weeks away from being able to wear a helmet, so I’ll continue to pray for cool, damp, miserable weather…