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2013-05-08 Staples Out



I was pretty apprehensive about, and quite honestly dreading this date since day one. I had heard that the staples were uncomfortable, and make no mistake, they are, but what I also heard was the pain in removal. I'm not going to sugar coat it, they are every bit as painful as I imagined...

Let me back up a moment. I was told by the technician after my surgery to sandbag one of the Percocets and take it 30 minutes before the removal. I was also told to soak my head in warm/hot water to soften it up. Since then, I was able to acquire a Dilaudid -- which is basically synthetic Morphine -- and the strongest pain killer pill you can get. Don't ask how. Anyways I was told to take 1/4 of it given it's strength. I did. Then when I got to the office, I took another 1/4. I know it was working because I felt the "loopy" effects of it. I went to the local Hasson & Wong office here in Seattle and saw my buddy Mike Ferko (as mentioned in the first blog post). After "shooting the shit" as they say, and hearing how great my hair looks currently and is going to look in the future, I felt calm enough to begin.

He started on the right side by my temple and was systematically working his way around my head. After about 15-20 of them, I had to stop for a moment as the pain of each one was a bit more than I anticipated, despite the pain pill. I am thinking that no amount of pain medicine (sans a Lidocaine shot to the dome) would have any effect. Pain meds are more for an "achey" pain, not a "sharp, poking, stabbing, OH JESUS ARE YOU DONE YET MAKE IT STOP WHEN WILL IT END" sensation like this. I'm not trying to freak you out, but seriously, this is the worst part of the entire process hands down. I thought the initial lidocaine shots for the donor area were bad, then I thought the 4 shots to the forehead were bad (although a Godsend considering the alternative of dozens of shots to the top of my head), but this is like the donor shots, but 109 times! (yes, I counted them when done. I had 109 staples. Pretty close to the 100 I was told originally). Now, don't get me wrong, some of them came out without any pain at all, so maybe I had to endure 90 or so that stung like a mother! We ended up breaking it down into four "quadrants" basically, with rests in between.

It's just one of those things you have to man-up and do it quick as you can, because the sooner they're out, the better your noggin is going to feel later. And THAT is a huge motivating factor I'll tell you. By this point in the game, you are so ready for those staples to be out, even the pain of them coming out is dwarfed and inspires you to press onwards.

I don't know what sleeping will be like tonight. It may still be uncomfortable, but already I can tell my head feels better and more "natural". I'm sure by the weekend, I'll feel even better.

The scar looks way better as well. I don't feel like Frankenstein's monster as much (with the staples gone, it's a big mental relief). You can see in the photos how it even looks thinner already without those big metal lines distorting it.


2013-05-09 Thursday

Yes, sleep, oh God, precious sleep! There was some tossing and turning to adjust, but NOTHING as uncomfortable as it has been the past couple of weeks. There is nothing else to say on this topic because there are no words to describe the relief of having those damn staples out. Hallelujah!


2013-05-10 Friday

I decided to start using (Nioxin) conditioner in addition to the shampoo they issued me. What a huge difference it makes on my hair as far as softness and combing. I'm also noticing some dry flakes again in the front so I've made the vibrating facial scrubber part of my routine and gently exfoliating the transplant area. I figure this will help with shedding and flakes together, and so far seems to be working.


2013-05-13 Monday

The back of my head is feeling pretty normal today for the first time. There is still some parts that are numb and some parts that "hurt" (in a kinked hair way), but that's only when I lay on it. I slept really well last night for the first time without much adjusting. Washing my hair didn't really have any moments I noticed it "hurt" either. I'm noticing about 10 hairs per day on average shedding which means I have a long way to go considering 3,262 grafts. My scalp is still pretty reddish/pink but definitely getting better every day. I was hoping this would shed faster and my scalp lighten up by now as I 'd heard 2 weeks, but now I'm thinking it might not be till month's end before the transplants have shedded and my scalp looks normal again.



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Thanks for the updates!


Blake (Future_HT_Doc)

Forum Co-Moderator and Editorial Assistant

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