Tuesday, 25 February 2014

As if by magic...

...and then t'was gone!  Strangely that unexplained swelling did go down 24hrs later.  I somehow sensed that it would.  I contacted Dr. Umar who is closely observing the behaviour and he suggested the optional use of hydrocortisone 1% applied twice daily.  Before I could get to that email and purchase the hydrocortisone, I had already applied a light amount of Videne (as a one off) to keep it clean and by the morning all seemed well.  There appears to be a slight red scab as if it had been grazed, but absolutely no swelling.  Overall, consistent progress.

See below for the pictures taken - The slight tannish colour above and below the scar is the Videne:

Talk soon.


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Four Months Later...


I trust all is well with you and yours.  I hope for good health, abundant wealth and limitless prosperity for you and all that are dear to you. As for me, all is well, new job going good, family spent a week with me over here and we are very soon to completely emigrate.  I'm just sitting in some ambient lighting listening to some really smooth jazz music as I type.  In case you too love jazz, the tune I'm listening to right now is (click link below - if it doesn't launch, then try holding down 'CTRL' key and click the link again):

I Got Lost in his Arms - Mosaic Project (by Terri Lyne Carrington)

This month's catch-up shows my scar maturing.  By maturing, I mean, it seems to be somehow finding itself.  It is a little more raised than it was and the cutline has darkened in colour (Yep, I spell colour with a 'U' as the good Lord intended and make no apologies for using a 'U' in colour - This is the correct spelling and our American cousins who have chosen to omit the all important letter 'U' have been spelling it wrong for almost 200 years!) hehe ;-)  Joking aside, I think my scar is fuller than it was and I think it's also a little wider.  I was advised that this might happen so no issues.  One other observation is that I seemed to have a slight swelling on the lower, left-most corner or my scar.  I am not sure how this occurred, perhaps I inadvertently grazed it, or ate something that caused a reaction and become swollen, but honestly not sure.  It seemed tender on Friday, became swollen on Saturday night, but by the time I got to a camera (today Sunday afternoon), the swelling had mostly gone down.  If you look carefully at the pictures you will still just about see it.  I have an awful cold at present, so not sure if that may have something to do with it e.g. my immune system might be down.  I suspect the remainder of the swelling will go down by tomorrow, if not I will contact Dr. Umar for further advice.

See below for picture updates:

Notice the swelling in the above picture on the far left, lower portion of my scar

 And also note the visible swelling in this picture above

And this shot also captures the said swelling in the far left of the scar.  This angle also shows the general maturing of the scar that I mentioned in the initial paragraph.

Right side still seems OK

Overall, it is good and this long shot shows my improved neck-line, a vast and tremendous improvement to what I had this time last year and no flaking, or bleeding on my pillows!

Regarding my scar revision, I still have not confirmed a date.  I am thinking of doing it sooner rather than later as I read an article suggesting the best time is in the first few months after initial wound closure.  I expect to confirm this prior to the next blog update.

Aaaaaaanyways, that's it for this update, short but hopefully sweetishly informative (I have no idea of that's even a real word) lol.  Take care and if you need to know anything, just post to my blog and I will get to it sometime before the next millennium :-D



Sunday, 2 February 2014

Three Months Later...

Firstly... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  I trust this post finds you all in good health, wealth and prosperity for you and your loved ones!

I recently got some fabulous news from Dr. Umar, apparently my blog is being read by other AKN sufferers.  I can see from the blog stats that it's often read, but one individual who previously visited some of the same clinics as me, has since visited Dr. Umar and also had the operation as a result of seeing my own progress.  That one act has made the effort and time worthwhile as my goal is to let other sufferers know of this option.  What they then do with that information is of course their decision, but I wanted to be sure they knew it existed, see it's genuine (from my own photos etc.) and then they can make their own informed decisions.  I would have loved to have known of this operation years earlier!  Whoever he or she is, I hope their healing will be swift, comprehensive and cosmetically pleasing to them.

Sooo, for me things have been really busy but in a good way.  Settling in nicely to my new role and somehow walking with a renewed air of confidence.  This is largely due to the dramatic aesthetic improvement to the back of my head.  It is now very settled, stable and silky smooth to the touch. 

My daily regime is to wash the scar each morning in the show by letting warm water run onto it for a few minutes.  I then wash my hair as I always did, but I never let shampoo reach the scar.  I am sure it would be OK now as the scar has closed, but I am staying very much on the safe side of caution.  I rinse my hair by leaning forwards so the rinse water never reaches the scar.  Once clean, I then dry my hair with a towel.  Next I dab the scar with a fresh towel, then once out of the shower I may rub some pure petroleum jelly into it to keep it supple, but not everyday.  So far so good and I am pleased with the results.  I am now getting regular comments on the rate of improvement from co-workers... and of course my barber! :-)

See below for the progress after 3 months:

Whilst my scar is still not 100% finished healing, I am so thankful to be free of the AKN condition after 24years of suffering.  I am pleased with the cosmetic improvements and few things delight me more than the kind words my 5 year old daughter tells me "Daddy, your scar looks so much nicer now and it gets better all the time".  My 3 year old son copies her and adds his own contribution "Daddy, your scar looks lovely"... hehe, kids, don't you just 'em?  Makes me smile!

I have been overwhelming happy with the results so far from Dr. Umar and his team at FineTouch Dermatolgy that I have very recently made a big decision concerning my scar.  I have decided to further improve the aesthetics by having a scar revision operation.  This is by no means compulsory and is very much my own decision.  The initial operation was (forgive me if I get the medical terms wrong) "Removal of Acne Keloidalis Nuchae by excision with healing by secondary intention.  In plain English, this means that after the AKN has been removed, the scar is intentionally left open to heal naturally.  You hear many guys on the FineTouch Youtube videos say "I had a hole at the back of my head after the operation".  It is true, as per my earlier pictures, there is hole.  This is an unconventional approach and contradicts most other approaches, but it works.  The scar revision will further close the scar, so that the final result will be a very thin lateral scar line.  Apparently there is no need for the dressing ritual that I went through last time as this operation will just have regular stiches which will be removed after 2 weeks, then I'm all done... WOOHOO!!! :-D  I am so excited, but... as previously mentioned I recently started a new job, so it will most likely be May before I can get the time off to return to Redondo Beach for the second operation.  That will be something I look forward to covering in detail on this blog. lol

Anyways, the time here now is gone silly O'clock, so I need to get some sleep.  Take care and stay tune for next month's update as I will most likely have a date for my 2nd and final operation by that stage.  Until then, have fun.