I Warned You: I’m Back.

I’m back.

Yes, that might be bad news if you’ve been rooting for my demise, but very few people who despise me take the time to read this blog.

I took a couple of weeks off from all my vocations to heal up a bit after some surgery. Nothing major, but one of those things that you have to do to keep your eyesight clear and sparkly.

The background is simple: about 7 years ago I had surgery to remove part of my eyelids and pin my eyebrows up a tad. The advancing forehead that comes with age for men in my family had caught up – it was a landslide in favor of the forehead, and as a result it had pushed down into the space reserved for my eyes. I lost quite a bit of peripheral vision, and was constantly tired from holding my eyes wide open. As an experiment, take the next minute to hold your eyes wide open and then when the clock on your screen ticks over to the next minute, multiply that by 60 minutes per hour, 17 hours a day. Yup, gets mighty tiring and contributes to my migrain headaches.

Unfortunately, while the eyelid portion was still working just fine, the eyebrows had continued to migrate toward the tip of my nose. Thus the look below:

If you look closely, other than a fat guy, you will note the eyebrows are basically a straight line, and they are pushing down on the lids. This took away a big chunk of my peripheral vision to the upper part of the eyes.

Last March, during my V.A. physical, we got to the end of the physical and my provider asked if there was anything else we had to do. I mentioned the eyebrows were drooping again. “No problem.”

Now I get to say something you need to hear: God Bless President Donald Trump. My provider has always been good, but the Veterans Choice program has kicked in hard, and combined with an attitude change on the part of many employees, there is a sense of urgency in getting us the care we’ve earned. The new law passed recently codifies it, but I was in under the old law – and the massive attitude change mandated by an angry President Trump.

What’s the big deal? Now, instead of blowing off patients for years, the VA has to get you in to a civilian provider if they can’t handle it in-house within 30 days. I was sent to the Saint Paul Eye Clinic, Dr. Douglas Dworak. Within two weeks. Not six months, not a year, two weeks and they were setting up the appointment at Veterans Choice.

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I love the way the staff, and Doctor Dworak, have treated me. Super clean facilities, extremely friendly, professional, honest, and some great cutting. Every single person I met along the way treated me with great respect and courtesy. Each also provide straight answers and dealt with me as an adult. No lectures, no talking down to me, no condescension. And while it’s early days (less than a month since the surgery) the results look great so far. The key is ice packs the first week, and lots of ointment. I did the ointment, but my beloved spouse kept the pressure on me to use ice packs throughout the first week. My forehead is still thawing.

What does this look like? I’ll let you search the web for videos, but mine was a bit different, in that I had no hairline to hide the scars. Also, most of these surgeries just do the outer third of the brow. Mine was a full browplasty because the whole thing was too low. So Dr. Dworak did the incisions right above the brow, and it looks like my bushy brows will hide the very minimal scarring nicely. Further treatment is planned to take care of any scars, but as long as I keep out of the sun, use sunshade, and avoid any boxing matches I should be an easy fix with just a few injections at most.

Because I know some of you are morbidly curious, click on the “below the …” thingy and you will see pictures from the day of until today. Not pretty, but interesting in a strange sort of way. If you have this problem, it’s a good idea to get checked out. It’s considered medically necessary by most health plans. I abhor plastic surgery for cosmetic purposes, but this is a very useful procedure if you want a quality of life improvement for your vision and fatigue issues.

Before you click the link to look, it ain’t pretty. You’ve been warned.

About three hours post-surgery.

The next day – the swelling has commenced and the black eyes are just starting.

Your very best friend. Pain is minimal and managed with plain Tylenol, but the swelling needs constant icing to keep it down.

Peak ugly, one week post surgery. Stitches came out just after this photo – and Dr. Dworak has a nice touch, no pain.

Today. Still using a moisture ointment for the next few weeks to promote healing. But it’s looking great for less than a month out from surgery.

That ought to do it for now. More pictures once it heals completely.

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Joseph Courtemanche

About Joseph Courtemanche

I'm a conservative Christian author who's been happily married for over 30 years. I am a Veteran of the United States Navy, Naval Security Group. I speak a few languages, I have an absurd sense of humor and I'm proud to be an American.
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One Response to I Warned You: I’m Back.

  1. Nicole says:

    Wow! Looks great and adds some blue to those previously disguised eyes. Impressive.

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