Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Double Jaw Surgery- The first 14 days

Day 1/9 January: Spent the night in the hospital. The pain was minimal, but Dad says I kept insisting that my nose is crooked. It is. Doctor gave me the option of staying the day and being checked out at 4p, or leaving as soon as Dad could come get me. I went with option #2- I want to go home and be on my couch with my puppy.
Day 3/11 January:  First post-op appointment. Doctor says I am a rockstar! Swelling is no where near as bad as most people have, and everything looks good. Look at the picture below- rockstar? I do not think that word means what you think it means. Dear God, terrifying.

On the plus side, I am obviously now the Bionic Woman. Holy cow that’s a lot of  metal!

Day 4/13 January:  I am sleeping a lot. I am using ice packs constantly, trying to get the swelling to go down. I’m mostly sleeping on the couch, as this keeps me in an upright position, which is also supposed to help with the swelling. I am forcing myself to walk Nehi, as getting up and moving around is recommended. So far, I’m not having any problems with this.

Day 5/14 January:  I have to eat with a mirror. Because I can’t feel my face. And this means you miss your mouth when trying to eat. So I eat with a mirror so I can direct my spoon. I’m still a complete mess though, making me think that I’ve regressed 36 years.

Day 7/16 January: Second post-op appointment. Doctor says I'm still looking good. I have some abscesses on the inside of my mouth from the hooks on my braces/wires that were installed for the surgery. Seems that they are rubbing against the inside of my mouth. Doctor suggested wax for it, and Peroxyl mouthwash to help with the sores.
I also apparently set of anti-theft detectors. Dad and I stopped at CVS on the way home to refill prescriptions and I set off the anti-theft thing at the door. We stopped somewhere else before heading home, and I set off THEIR anti-theft thingie at the door. I’m starting to worry that I will now set off the metal detector at the airport.
I’m still on antibiotics, but I’ve stopped taking the pain medicine. I know sleeping is good for healing, but I don’t like taking pain meds, and I’m not in pain, just discomfort. So I’ve switched to children’s/liquid ibuprofen to help with the pain and swelling.
Day 8/17 January: Jello. Beef broth. Mashed potatoes. This is my diet. I still cannot drink without dribbling everywhere. Nehi is taking great delight in stealing the paper towels I use for clean up off the coffee table. Straws are out because I can’t feel my lips, or put them together, or create the suction needed, so I guess I’ll be dribbling for a while.
Also, turns out I suck at making smoothies. They all taste like poop. I’ve regressing to just drinking a lot of Ovaltine. Everything else comes out as a complete disaster. I don’t know who said making smoothies was the way to get through this surgery, but I’m pretty sure they lied to me.

Day 9/18 January:  Nehi has a new command- “Clean that up”. She seems to have no problem eating everything I’m dropping on the floor. I also think I somehow dropped Jello on her earlier in the week, because she has a sticky spot on her fur that smells suspiciously like cherry Jello.
However, I can now remove my rubber bands to eat, and brush my teeth. Which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but is. I can only open my mouth one finger width, so it’s not a complete deal- I can barely fit my lightsaber kid’s toothbrush in my mouth, but it’s nice to feel like I have a clean mouth. Between the lightsaber toothbursh, the cleaning syringe they gave me, and the peroxyl mouthwash, I seem to be doing okay.

Day 11/20 January: Most of what I've read, and what my doctor told me, was that most people lose 5-10% of their body weight due to the liquid diet. I want my 10%. A lot of blogs I’ve read of people who went through this surgery states that people lost 20lbs! It’s like that line from The Devil Wears Prada- “I’m just one stomach flu from my ideal weight”. I thought I was just one jaw surgery from my ideal weight. Guess that’s not going to happen. Seems mean. I can’t have my favorite thing- food and I get nothing out of it. Damnit.
On the plus side, I seem to have been able to master the skill of drinking out of a cup again without dribbling all over the place.
Day 12/21 January: I have, perhaps mistakenly, been watching episodes of 30 Rock on Roku to fill my time. I say mistakenly because it’s not actually a comedy show, it’s a show all about food. There’s food everywhere. And when you can’t eat, watching tv about food is just torture. I’ve created a list of all the things I want to eat as soon as possible.

On the good/bad side, I’m regaining feeling in my cheek- the left more than the right. Good, because that’s a healing thing. Bad because it hurts. Seems swollen, and keeps getting caught on my rubber bands, which I can feel now.

A friend called me today to see how I was. Ten minutes on the phone and I was exhausted. And the inside of my cheek hurt, which I can now feel. How am I going to handle a full day of teaching? Another friend said I should just take the rest of this week off, giving myself five more days of healing before returning to work on Monday. I always feel so guilty about taking time off though. I think I’ll wait to see what the doctor says tomorrow.
Worked on classes this morning, prepping for the new semester. By lunch I was exhausted. Becoming more and more nervous about returning to work. My friend said that the students would be nicer than I think, but I still worry they will make fun of me not being able to talk. Especially my new students this semester. My yearlong classes all knew about the surgery, so I’m not worried as much about them.
Was able to take a full length walk with Nehi today. We were both exhausted.
Day 13/22 January: Have my next post-op appointment today. I have a list of things I need to ask him:
  • The last few days I’ve had a constant dripping, bloody nose. What’s up with this?
  • What’s the solution to the abscesses caused my the braces hooks rubbing against the inside of my mouth?
  • Food? What’s the timeline for moving to mushy/soft things (i.e- off just liquid)
  • When does the retainer thing come out? Is it 14 February when I go to the orthodontist to get my wires replaced?
  • My nose is still crooked
  • I take dance class. When can I go back to that?
  • Seriously, is the metal in my mouth setting off the anti-theft stuff at stores?
Plus side for today- I seem to be gaining some ability to express emotion as I gain feeling over my face again. It seems to be a little thing, but it's amazing how  all these little things become so important when you lose them and regain them.

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