Back To The Cheese Slicer

Looks like I have to go back to the place with the gas and knives…

Last December I had an operation to excise a lesion from the roof of my mouth. It had been spotted by my dentist during a regular checkup and cleaning, she had sent me to the surgeon, they’d done a biopsy, and decided to operate. Xmas was pretty mellow as a result.┬áThe tissue removed had shown “mild to moderate dysplasia”, which is just cells misbehaving. It’s on the far end of the “cells misbehaving” spectrum, so nothing to worry about really (apart from them taking a cheese┬áslicer┬áto the roof of my mouth).

I went back for checkups after four months, and after eight months. At the┬ásecond┬ávisit the doc said it looked a bit red, so we waited a month and checked again. It was back. Despite the previous operation being a success, with the tissue removed containing all the problem bits, it looks like the tissue in my palate just won’t behave.

The doc I went to before is a┬ámaxillofacial┬ásurgeon – he mainly does wisdom teeth and the like. He’s also out of my insurance network, and if that wasn’t enough he’s across town in the Richmond area of San Francisco. Last time it took me 45 minutes to get a cab from outside the hotel opposite my office. Seriously.

So, he referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat guy in the fantastic neo-Mayan 450 Sutter, which is just a bit of a walk from my office. This guy is also in my network, which is good, because if this thing came back once, there’s a┬ápossibility┬áit will just keep on coming. I might have to keep doing this.

I went along there today, and came away with a checklist of things to do before my surgery. The surgery isn’t scheduled yet, but they will call me in the next couple of days, and it won’t be┬ávery┬álong before I’m back on the bye-bye juice.

What’s causing this? They can’t say. The ENT and my PCP don’t think it’s the asthma medication I suck down morning and night. Smoking isn’t an issue. But one thing he did say was that alcohol has been known to cause tissue damage in the mouth. I really don’t drink much – sometimes weeks will go by without me touching a drop. When I do let go, I usually manage about 5 beers before falling asleep. I’m not slamming hard liquor every day.┬áDespite this light usage of the bottle, the doctor said I should quit all alcohol, including mouthwash, moonshine and mead, for now – at least until after the surgery.

I’ll keep you posted when the surgery date is decided. Maybe I’ll get Cassie to bring the Zoom so I can record my post-op anaesthetized┬ápronouncements┬áabout the … woah … size of my hands.