Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jaw Surgery Recovery - Day 42!

    On 13 December 2011 I had jaw surgery and my initial recovery period lasts about 6 weeks. Today marks day 42, exactly 6 weeks since I was in the hospital.  So... this is sort of a "recap"...

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

Just a little rambling about things, talking a bit about my new website which should be up in a couple weeks, and talking a little about the syringes and using oxygen tubing instead of the brown-ish catheter tube...

Prior to Surgery


     Prior to surgery I began conducting research into the different types of procedures I was having, may have, and similar procedures to those... all in order to get a feel for what to expect. During my researching I discovered countless blogs and forums on the internet, including videos, from patients for the past few years who had all undergone similar surgeries and partially documented their recovery processes.  I imagine, with the easy availability of the internet for almost everyone, this is considerably common nowadays.

     One thing I noticed is that most people do not document their surgery and recovery efficiently. There are scattered videos, an occasional picture, but most people post only their before and after pictures and maybe 2 or 3 videos weeks after their procedure. If they do post pictures and/or videos at the time of surgery or shortly after, they are mostly miserable. The self-report from the blogs and media I came across also reflects an overwhelming sense of misery.  So, NATURALLY, this is what I came to expect.

     In addition to research into other people's experiences with surgery, I conducted massive research into current scientific consensus regarding nutrition, healing, supplements, micronutrients, and so forth. While I didn't necessarily feel supplements and vitamins were the answer, I wanted to make sure that I was prepared to give my body what it needs to heal and I had hoped to prevent (as much as possible) muscle atrophy because I work hard for the muscles I have and I know, from past research in starvation and refeeding, that refeeding after significant calorie changes results in large amounts of newly stored fat to replace the fat and muscle loss during starvation.

    While I did not expect to starve, I do know that not all calories are created equal...

Pre-Surgery Anxiety


      Prior to surgery I started having some mild anxiety. Not enough to debilitate me, but enough to stress me out. I had never had anesthesia before but was inefficiently sedated for another procedure and I was afraid. This is totally normal!
      I did conduct some research into anesthesia, and I discussed my questions with my surgeon and the anesthesiologist (one of them) to get a better understanding of what I should expect.

Facial Changes from Jaw Surgery


     Something I was never concerned about was my appearance. Since posting my videos and in this blog, I have received many questions from others who will undergo similar surgeries. Many questions involve changes to appearance. Honestly, it NEVER crossed my mind.  I had confidence that if my surgeon felt the surgery would alter my facial symmetry to an unattractive degree, he would include additional procedures to counter that to improve my overall satisfaction. I also had confidence that if my surgeon foresaw any major facial changes, they would have been on the top of his list of things to tell me... it's all part of "informed consent" but also something you come to appreciate when you spend enough time working with someone. Since I had confidence in his ability to perform the surgery, I was able to relax despite anxiety and thoughts or concerns of major appearance changes never crossed my mind.

     Has my face changes after jaw surgery? Sure, a little. But here's the thing.... they do NOT do anything to intentionally cause changes that you will be unhappy with!  The whole point of this surgery is "IMPROVED QUALITY OF LIFE" and I have to say that when it comes down to it, I would rather be able to eat and preserve the teeth I have than continue to suffer needlessly with difficulties chewing, biting, talking and sleeping.  The changes to my appearance are subtle... enough to improve the appearance, particularly my profile, but not enough to raise eyebrows.  Let's face it.... I'm not exactly "front page news" like Bristol Palin or Ashlee Simpson haha

The angle of the profile pic in the top is because I wasn't taking a "profile" pic per se, I was trying to show the back of my new haircut which I cut short to make it more manageable after surgery. This pictures were taken about 3 to 4 days before surgery.
The bottom pictures are from this week, so about 6 weeks after surgery, and by that time the daily pictures become a little "old" so that's why I'm making a face haha

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