Thursday, June 28, 2012

The HBO Miniseries Continues

It has been a while since I have written in the present tense and updated readers on what's going on today. A long slog of daily hyperbaric treatments just does not inspire in the same way as strokes and false alarms of clivus cancer do.

Here's what's up:

1. First, the surgeons have come to consensus. Dr. Treebeard, Famous ENT, agrees with everyone else that surgery is not a good idea in the absence of a doomsday head infection, which I do not have. You may recall that he had been discussing possible surgery for late this month. It is not as though things have changed that much, so why is he singing a new tune?

Reading him charitably (which I should), last time I saw him, he was responding to me. I was terrified after a small stroke and with an infection, and I had an open bone next to my brain that I wanted covered right away. He did not say that surgery was inevitable. He just said that he could do surgery if conservative treatments (meaning hyperbaric oxygen and nasal antibiotics) do not work. I wanted surgery, because I was afraid of what would happen without it. In any case. . .

2. Second, the HBO, the antibiotics, or the combo, is working. My formerly-naked clivus has become far more modest. After  less than three out of six weeks of treatment, the area was mostly covered. Through the pharyngoscope, the area that had been bare bone has now taken on the appearance of Kobe beef. The red granulation tissue (or scar) is growing over healthy bone with no sign of infection. Hygeia, the Greco-Roman goddess of Otolaryngology, has promised that the next time she looks at it, she'll take a picture I can hang on my fridge.

3. I have nine more hyperbaric treatments to go followed by one more week of nasal antibiotics. Thus, the crisis that began with everyone thinking I was in for the battle of my life will resolve with the healing of a deep wound I didn't even know was there.


  1. Kobe beef, good. Bare clivus, bad. Glad the HBO is working.

  2. "...healing of s deep wound I didn't even know was there."
    1. Prophetic, inciteful, metaphorical, literal.....BRILLIANT!
    2. Who is the Greek God/Goddess of Schnoogies?

  3. Response to Leo, whose comment has mysterious disappeared (Homeland Security, stop tampering with my blog!):
    Hygeia, Goddess of Otolaryngology (or, as some may call it, schnoogies), is K. Holly Gallivan, an excellent Ear, Nose, and Throat surgeon from my own hospital. I first met her when I had an explosive, pulsatile nosebleed at work. (I have a habit of freaking out my staff.) Ever since, I have gone to her for advice about my patients and about my own nasal predicaments.