The tubes-a, they're-a gone-a. From what we'd heard, this was to be the one part of the process that might really hurt. He might cry, flail, squirm, kick me in the nads and yell "why did you do this to me?"-- just like his mom did on the way to delivery.
Know what? He didn't even flinch. It was like taking off a sock. And we felt like asses for being so nervous about the whole thing.
So that's the good news. The bad news is that little man had been getting a bit ... aromatic, especially around the headular area. No worries, we visited Dr. Lewin's office this afternoon and got the sponge removed from behind his left ear (skin graft area number 2). We also got the dressings changed and he got his hair washed for the first time since surgery day. Seriously, his hair is usually really silky and fine. Even when he's been sweating he smells wonderful. But apparently they put some kind of goop into his hair during surgery and between that and the skull cap, his hair looked like the fur of a long-lost runaway Irish Setter. Matted and about 3 shades darker than normal. Like you wouldn't be surprised to find popsicle sticks in there if you dared poke around.
Anyway, while Dr. Lewin had him there, exposed for the warshin' an all, we got to view the new ear up close and personal-like for the first time. Holy fucking shit. It's truly magnificent. Yeah, we all know I'm a big fat woman, so my reaction should come as no surprise. But the biggest lift of the whole trip came when Eth saw his own new ear in the mirror for the first time. The photo above is a kind of after shock of that first smile, which grew slowly but steadily, kinda like the Grinch's. This photo is within moments of the first time we all looked at Ethan head on and, for the first time ever, saw two ears smiling back at us.
His left ear is still a bit swollen, since Dr. Lewin needed to take skin from behind it to complete the skin graft. Plus, his cheek just before his new ear is swollen, so the symmetry isn't where it ultimately will be, but fuck sake, LOOK AT THAT! I don't care who you are, that's god damn amazing right there.
Know what? That makes me realize that I should probably talk a bit about Dr. Lewin here. Again, I don't think I watch much TV at all, but apparently what I do watch is all wrong. Because if you described a person as "one of the world's prominent plastic surgeons, practicing in Beverly Hills ..." the last image that would come to mind is Dr. Lewin. She is a wonderfully real person. Or, as Sandi would describe her, a mother. You know what she's like? She's like if you had this really good friend who did nothing but listen to you talk about your own problems and was always amazingly supportive and helped you at every turn, so you always knew they were nice. But then one day they showed up on Jeopardy! and won a bazillion dollars and you learned that they were, like, WICKED smart, too. And the more you got to know them, the more you realized that there's not only this tremendous depth there, but also a peace/confidence that keeps them from rubbing their superiority in your feeble face. Ethan adores her. Probably because she tells him how beautiful his blue eyes are. He's such a pushover.
By the way, I apologize if these recent posts lack the usual panache. We are, the four of us, living in a tiny, crappy hotel room together and I have not been able to hear a single thought of my own for a solid week now. It's like having a flock of wild parrots duct taped to your head. Tomorrow we are leaving for a few days in San Diego where, supposedly, our hotel room is right on the beach. I don't expect the audibility of my own thoughts to increase, but I can certainly imagine the surf drowning out some of the background noise. Oh, that I could detach my own ears some days.
"It's called Sex Panther by Odeon. It's illegal in nine countries... Yep, it's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good." -- Brian Fantana