After three weeks, things shrank up a bit, and this is what the Pedicle Flap looked like before beginning Stage 2. Notice how nice and pink the sutured part on my earlobe is. This is a good thing! Also note the lack of sideburns, as explained on the previous page.
Now, once again they clean and numb the area so the doctor can complete the Pedicle Flap. The sutures are removed from the front of the earlobe and the flap is cut loose from the rest of my skin and sutured to the back side of my earlobe, leaving a gaping hole in my skin where the flap used to be that will heal on its own. This will also need to be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide and covered with petroleum jelly, as will the stitches on the back of the earlobe. In this picture they have rolled my ear forward so you can see the stitches and the skin wound.
Bandaging this wound is a bit more of a problem, having to cover the hole in my skin with one piece of gauze and covering the back of the earlobe with another. I finally ended up by taping the rear of the bandage over the hole and putting another over the front of the earlobe, pushing the back down on to the top of the other piece of gauze. I knew I had a free earlobe now, but I felt no need to show it off just yet.
Two weeks later they took the stitches out of the back side and told me I was healing well. They didn't take any pictures, but as soon as I can convince someone (i. e., my wife) to do it, or else do it myself, I'll post it. The skin graft (which is what this is, in essence) is so pink that one of my brothers said it looks like I have a piece of bubble-gum attached to my earlobe.
And that's all for now. Only one problem: I can't give blood or platelets to the Red Cross for 5 years now. I donated platelets just about every two weeks from November of 2004 through the end of May 2006, with only a few weeks off. Now someone else has to pick up the slack for me. Giving platelets takes more time, but they set you up with a portable DVD player on your lap so you can watch a movie (it takes that long). You also get a real good feeling the first time they tell you that your donation is already matched to someone in the hospital, so it goes right to a needy patient instead of into the bank. That happened several times, and it was a real good feeling. Try it sometime.