Saturday, March 19, 2011

Closer to the Heart, Pt. 2: Pictures

I thought I'd make the pictures a separate post, so that those people who are a bit squeamish could choose not to look. Really though, they're not that bad. The first picture was taken on March 18, 2010...2 days after my VNS surgery. And just so you know exactly what you're looking at: the shiny stuff over both incisions is surgical glue, the purple around it is the pen the surgeon used to mark my skin (which I found funny, since purple/lavender is the color for epilepsy awareness!), there is bruising on my chest & neck near/below both incisions, but the dark coloring at the sides of my neck is just shadowing. At the time, and for a few months afterwards, Hubs & I really thought the scar from my neck incision would be the more noticeable of the two.

The picture below was taken today, March 19, 2011...1 year and 3 days after my surgery. As you can clearly see, the neck incision is barely noticeable. You really have to be thisclose to be able to see it, and you probably have to know it's there. The chest incision is more noticeable because one end of the scar is hypertrophic (raised, red & lumpy, but within the incision line) which is common with people as uber-pale as I am. It can fade down more, and I'm using 2 really AWESOME products to help: Palmer's Scar Serum and ScarAway (silicone scar sheets). BTW-The shirt I'm wearing in the pic pretty much says it all as to whether I feel embarrassed or ashamed of my scars.

Just for shiggles, here's a pic of me from 6 weeks after my surgery, getting my attitude (or ya' know, my VNS settings) adjusted. It's really cool that all I have to do is hold a wand over the generator:

The wand plugs into a PDA-type device that my epileptologist (fancy-schmancy neurologist who specializes in epilepsy) programs with my new settings.

In case you were wondering, this is what the generator & wire look like, and a size comparison to a cookie & spaghetti noodles. (Picture taken from

“Gentlemen, We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better...stronger...faster.”