Thursday, May 6, 2010

I made it!

I'm sorry for not posting sooner. But yeah, I made it to the other side!

I had surgery on Tuesday at 8am. I got to the hospital at 6am and got in my hospital attire, got weighed, etc and got iv in. The nurse that put my iv in asked me what type of surgery I'm having and when I told her, she said her daughter had her jaw operated on by my OS and his team some time ago. She had a tumor removed or something like that. She said my OS is top notch and I have nothing to worry about, which made me feel even more confidant in doing this. I wasnt really nervous and was trying to visualize a good experience during surgery (little bleeding, calmness) like my naturopath suggested.

Before I knew it another nurse was taking me to the operating room. In front of the OR, I was greeted by all these different doctors, residents, nurses, etc - at least 10. It felt reassuring that so many people would be participating and looking after me. They had me lay down on the table and covered me with a warm blanket. Then the anesthesiologist said he will soon start the anesthesia and i said "So i will soon be asleep?" and he said "yeah" and the next thing i know it was over.

Waking up was no problem - no pain in my jaw - just in my arm i guess from the position it was laying in - the nurses gave me a warm compress for it. I also received a shot in my behind for the swelling - i Think they called it the 'depo' shot but I could be getting it wrong - it was a bit uncomfortable. Anyway, surgery lasted 4 hours and everything went well. I was in the recovery room till 8pm because they didnt have a room available. I was having visitors and feeling pretty good - using my notepad the entire time. I didnt want to look at myself though because i didnt want to start getting negative thoughts in case i looked bad.

After they took me to a patient room, i started getting more uncomfortable. The catheter they put in my wrist during surgery was hurting. I told the nurse and after speaking with one of the doctors, they took it out which was a relief. At midnight they took out my foley catheter which wasnt nearly as bad as I thought it would be - i was really afraid of getting it out. Had a lot of trouble with congestion and breathing that first night and didnt sleep at all, but I had the most wonderful nurse that night and she tried to make me as comfortable as one can be after this type of surgery.

Felt a little better in the morning. They took me up to the oral surgery unit for x-rays and they also took out my cheek drains and all the head dressings. Cleaned me out a little so i felt a bit better/could breathe a little better at least for awhile. After that the nurse gave me some chicken broth to eat - I ate all of it with a plastic spoon. I made a terrible mess but the important thing is I ate it and it made me feel good/gave me energy.

Shortly after that they told me I can go home and i left the hospital at about 12pm. When I got home, things progressively got worse i think as i was coming off the drugs, liquids they had going into my IV. I had really bad congestion, blood started coming out from my right nostril which really scared me but it soon stopped. Swelling got worse. At night I didnt sleep -- maybe 1 hour - mostly because of the upright position and congestion it was very hard to breathe. I did take the decongestant they prescribed and also used the nasal spray but it was still hard to breathe anyway.

This morning, the swelling got even worse but congestion did improve a little as i cleaned out my nostrils with wet q-tips. I also took a shower/bath which made me feel better.

Right now, I am extremely swollen, even on my neck - and it is very hard to swallow. Took me 1 hour to get down 1 cup of protein shake. My face feels tight and tingles from time to time in certain spots. I get some pain, mostly in my teeth and pressure type pain in my face, but its not too bad. I took some Codeine so hopefully it helps.

I am worrying about weight loss as I was only about 98lbs going into the surgery. Weighing myself a few hours ago, I was down to about 95lbs =(
All I had today was 2 protein shakes (350 cal each) and some juice (about 150cal). I will probably have some chicken broth later. I am hoping I won't lose much more..

As far as numbness goes, I am completely numb on my chin and lower lip. My lips are very swollen and corners of mouth are very irritated/broken skin - i guess they really stretched my mouth out!

I have a splint wired to my top jaw and it feels really annoying and it's probably contributing to why its so hard to swallow. I have 2 rubber bands on now but they arent that tight because i can open my mouth a little and stick the tip of my tongue out a tiny bit. I was actually expecting to have my mouth completely shut after surgery but I could open it pretty much right after I woke up. It feels really disgusting and helpless to have all this mucus, blood, god knows what else in my mouth and not be able to swallow or spit all of it out. So it oozes down my numb chin a lot, which I am not aware of and looks very sexy! Lol... i had to change my shirt a few times.

I am really looking forward to things getting better - the swelling going down and being able to swallow better.

All in all, it has been up and down and like my oral surgeon said, I do feel like "dog meat" alot, but I imagined it to be much worse than what it actually was/is. I was expecting to throw up and be in pain and not be able to open my mouth at all, or not be able to breathe at all. I actually thought I won't be able to walk around and just lay in bed but laying in bed is the last thing I want to do right now. Walking around makes me feel better. Anyway, even though it's no picnic it's not as bad as I thought and I'm really glad I did this and it's finally behind me.

Here are some pics from the last 3 days:

Day 1 - out of surgery in recovery:

Day 1



  1. You look like you're doing well! The first week is seriously the worst..then it gets better :)

    What is your reaction overall of the whole experience?

    Glad to hear from you!


  2. Hang in there! The first week is by far the worst, and then it's downhill from there. You are bound to lose some weight after this surgery - concentrate on getting as many calories as you can, but you can't stress too much. I would make sure everything you drink has calories in it - while water is great, you'll still get hydrated from juice.

    On that swollen part of your lip, have you tried aquaphor? It's sold in the lotion aisle, and it will really help with the chapping.

    For the mucous, I tried drinking water that was carbonated, and that seemed to cut it a bit.

    I swelled until the 5th day, and then it went down after that. Some people say the 3rd or 4th day was the best, but mine peaked at day 5.

    For pain, I also got infant tylenol and ibuprofen - much better than the children's versions because you have to take much less volume. Also, the coedine might help you sleep - maybe take it in the evening?

    Anyway, that was a novel - but hang in there! The next few days will be rough, but you'll get past it.

  3. wow you look good you don't even look that swollen! Good Luck on your recovery It may be hard now but it will get better! trust me!

  4. YOU MADE IT!!!! You look pretty good for Day 2! WHOA! and you know what? I can see your fabulous bite emerging! How exciting. OMGOSH! I can't wait for my surgery. :)

    I can't wait to feel my top teeth in front of my bottom. :)


    keep us posted!