Sorry, no flying updates for a little while…

As many of you have gathered, I’ve been rather quiet of late on the blogging front and there’s a pretty good reason this time (as opposed to the usual reason that I’m on holiday!). I’m currently back in the UK recovering from two operations to remove a stone from one of my salivary glands (bet you didn’t know that can happen; nor did I!).

Post op with random tube sticking out my neck!

It all started in September last year when I was diagnosed via an ultrasound with a blocked salivary duct/gland caused by a stone (just like kidney stones apparently). I’d been getting discomfort occasionally on the right side of my jawline towards the back, mainly whilst eating. It came and went but never fully went away, so I took the chance whilst I was on holiday in the UK last year to get it checked out.

The diagnosis was something I’d never heard of before but made sense when I considered the discomfort only happened whilst eating. Although not a life-threatening problem, it was something I would have to get sorted eventually and the longer I left it, the more chance there would be for an infection to set in if the gland got really blocked; not something you want whilst working in the jungles of Papua.

So a few weeks ago I came back to the UK to have the stone removed surgically. This involved a minor procedure, under general anaesthetic, inside my mouth to make a small cut into the duct and remove the stone. Sadly, the stone was too far back in the duct and pretty much embedded in the gland itself and so could not be removed safely without risking damage to the gland or lingual nerve.

This meant I had little choice but to have whole right side submandibular gland and duct removed. This was a more lengthy operation involving an incision under the jawline to provide the surgeon access to remove the whole gland and duct. Apparently we have six major salivary glands and lots of smaller ones all over the mouth, so having one removed does not cause dry mouth thankfully.

Who said hospital food was bad?

I was actually pretty nervous about having this second operation, as there were a few risks involved including damaging a nerve that controls the lower side of the lip. I really didn’t fancy a wonky smile for the rest of my life! It’s also a strange feeling putting your total faith in someone you barely know to do a job you cannot do. I guess that’s probably how many of my pax feel before a flight with me in Papua!

Thankfully the operation was a complete success and after a night in hospital I was discharged the following morning with a bunch of painkillers and instructions to take it easy for a couple of weeks or so. Now I’ve never been one to enjoy taking it easy, so it’s been hard work this past week. Still I’ve been keeping busy on an aviation related project:

Can you guess what it is yet?
Matt Dearden

Matt Dearden

English born professional pilot, writer, blogger and columnist. Currently flying the Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter in Papua, Indonesia.

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19 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    yes it will be a pilatur porter 😉 hoppe you are fit again soon and make a “film” of your life!!! best greats from luxemburg Roy…

  2. Jon Grace says:

    Hey Matt, hope you get better soon dude. As good as models are they just never compare to the real thing. Hope you get up in sky again soon.

  3. Get better mate.
    All the best

  4. Gera Souza says:

    Wow … I really did not know that it happens ..
    Well, anyway, I wish your recuparação is as
    possible soon and hurry back in perfect health!
    Cheers to you!

  5. Get well soon mate! Looks like a model plane or a rc plane?

  6. Hope you will be able to fly again very soon!

  7. Get well soon, because I am looking forward to your diary entries. Bear up:–jbVeJ8M

  8. Harald says:

    Hope you recover soon and that you get back into the Porter to gather up some more nice stories for us! And finish your RC Porter!

  9. Have a speedy recovery

  10. Get well soon Matt….

  11. kachius says:

    I had a tube sticking out of my arm twice, when installing and when removing a fancy piece of… titanium.
    Wish you a painless and quick recovery Matt!

  12. AV8RKUSH says:

    A quick recovery and all the best…


  13. Emily says:

    Speedy recovery!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Get well soon Matt. Missing your stories, but please stay there until you are complitely recovered. I will be waiting with that drink at Halim.

  15. Pagar BRC says:

    Get Well Soon Matt.....

  16. pilot4life says:

    Its my first comment on your blog, mate!
    Get well soon, I always enjoyed reading your blog about flying! specially that I’m thinking about doing what you do at the moment..
    We wanna see you fly again soon..

  17. Craig Bailey says:

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.Nice little Porter, what kind of powerplant are you gonna hang on it?

  18. Please take a good rest and enjoy hospital meal.

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