Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Few Days After Jaw Surgery...

     My surgery went well.  I went in early on December 13th for all the prep stuff and the last thing I remember before waking up was the nurse helping me with my bra because I had left it on. I'm like that... they're heavy. I didn't think it would be a problem haha

Part of my hospital wardrobe... I laughed at my "happy feet."

    Anyway... When I woke up it didn't really seem that traumatic... My husband gave me my phone and set up my iPad on the little cart so I could type into the Speak It! app.  You see, I anticipated being unable to speak clearly and I have this thing about being misunderstood.  So when I received the iPad last year for Christmas, Speak It! was one of the first apps I installed, knowing it would come in handy after surgery. Of course, at that time, I hadn't realized I'd be waiting a whole year before surgery.... but, it's done.

     There was a blood clot in my lower jaw or something so when I first woke up I had this tube coming out of my mouth. That's what that was for. 

I tried to put the video here but it seems to not work all the time. Here's a link to the video I made after surgery while sitting in the hospital overnight.

    I had to stay overnight, and yes, one night is common unless there are problems. I was so thirsty it was absolutely ridiculous!  I had a great nurse staff that helped me all night, though, and they sort of got a kick out of me because I was so "self-sufficient".

    Wednesday, my husband came to get me. First I had to see my surgeon again for x-rays and to have the blood clot tube thing removed. They gave me stitches for that spot so.... I don't actually even know how bad it looks. With my lips swollen, I'm not motivated enough to push them open to peak at my mouth and honestly, I'm probably better off not looking until it's healed some. After my x-rays they gave me the run-down on my medicine regimen and a whole ton of other things. They were all quite impressed with the Speak It! app, as well, and that was fun. When you remove the frustration of not being able to talk clearly (or at all) and the surgical team's frustration of not understanding you, things run a lot smoother. 

    I found it quite funny that the thing on my head is called a "jaw bra" and the surgical team was tasked with stuffing it full of gauze. (Haha! Seriously!? A stuffed jaw bra?!) Primarily, the gauze was to catch drool and all since my lips were swollen and my mouth was still kinda "eewww"... I started laughing but it hurt so bad haha so I typed in the Speak It! app so they could laugh about it too. It's a training hospital too so a lot of the doctors are getting their hands-on experience and I try to be understanding and keep the mood lighter...

    I must have been complimented a dozen times, though, on how it's so great I can still be so funny and positive even when I feel like crap. Honestly, I FEEL my body is working harder to recover, but I don't feel like "crap" completely. This is considerably easier to deal with than a cold or the flu, albeit longer. But things could have been worse. And.... if I can't keep my sense of humor at times when I need it most, I might as well just throw in the towel.

   Anyway... the swelling got worse on Thursday and probably Friday too, but that's common. Today, Saturday, it feels as if some of the swelling is going down, although slowly. There's no real "pain" but the tingling from the nerve trauma is a bit uncomfortable, especially when coupled with the swelling. I'm tired... but that's probably common too.  But I feel okay, with all things considered. It's actually a pleasant surprise because I expected to feel much worse.

Of all things I did in prep for surgery, I believe that cleaning out my kitchen was probably the smartest. When you can't talk and you can't eat, there's a lot of comfort in at least knowing you won't struggle to find stuff when you go to the kitchen to prepare your liquid meals...

My medicine regimen.
Honestly, though, I'm only really taking the Ibuprofen for inflammation, sudafed to prevent sinus trouble, a saline and medicated nose spray (also to prevent sinus trouble), and an antibiotic. They gave me medicine for nausea, medicine for constipation, medicine for pain, and even additional medicine for swelling... but most of that seemed unnecessary because I wasn't nauseous and I'm not constipated (i.e. from the diet change or from the medication) and the pain isn't enough to warrant taking something stronger than the Ibuprofen....

Oh, there's a Rx mouth wash too because it's difficult to brush at the moment. I'm supposed to still brush the parts of my teeth I can reach but I can't really reach much so I rinse with the mouth wash using a little angled syringe to do my best... 

And my syringe... I have several, but this one is my favorite. One of the night nurses made this for me using a different tube on the end. I believe this is a nose tube haha, but it is firmer than the other tubes the surgeon gave me and shorter so I feel there's more control.

For the record, I am NOT a Redskins fan, The cup is from a football game we went to last year but it's stable and convenient at 32oz. so I can keep track of how much water I'm drinking...

Thursday December 15th -

Friday December 16th -

This was moments before the pouch exploded and the contents flew up and plopped right in my lap!
Personally, I find the syringe easier but a lot of people like the pouches better so I gave it a try.

Saturday December 17th - without the jaw bra on, after washing up. It's really not as bad as it looks, I think.

A lot of the swelling makes it difficult to see what happened to the bones. I'm getting the photos and x-rays and all from my surgeon later and going to add them to one of my larger sites. But for now, there is a difference. I can see it and feel it and it was nice that my husband made several comments about it too... Guys aren't always to most observant but, if he can see a difference and know it'll be an improvement then I trust something was done right :-) 

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