Friday, March 24, 2006

Let The Healing Begin!

day before The day before.
30 hours post-op 30 Hours post-op.

I've always thought I was quite a swell guy, hardy har har. Here is me the day before and 30 hours post-op. I look more like Mr Potatohead more than ever! The swelling is pretty bad right now in my opinion though others have told me they think it just looks like my top lip is swollen, but really it's my whole nose area and some of my cheeks. Also a bit of brusing beginning on the right side. I can't feel very much from my eyes down in the center of my face and my top lip is almost totally numb to the touch. I can't smile enough to show you my teeth but there is a small space between my incisors, maybe 0.5-1.0mm.

There isn't a whole lot of pain in the traditional sense but the discomfort from the swelling is quite bad. I have liquid codeine to help with it. I took some earlier and it didn't seem to do very much, but I think I only took 5ml instead of 10ml. The part that bothers me most is that every time I swallow or bite down I feel the bones shifting around, which is very unsettling. And if I talk to vigorously it hurts then too and I have to immediately stop. I've taken to almost whispering now so I don't over do it, and really I'm just not talking much at all unless I have to. I also can't open my mouth very wide to due to the swelling, which will make tomorrow's visit to the OD a fun trip. My sinuses are partially blocked too, so I'm doing a lot of mouth breathing and almost drooling due to excess saliva. Oh, and I just noticed that I can't hear quite as normally as I usually can right now, again likely due to the swelling.

Eating is going to be a challenge, at least until the swelling is down. I think I'll be blenderizing a lot and having to use a feeding syringe. While I was in hospital the only thing I ate, or rather drank, was some pineapple juice from the syringe. I was hooked up to an IV the whole time so I didn't even feel hungry.

My dear friend Michelle agreed to get up at the ungodly hour of 5am to drive me to the hospital for 6:30am. We were there with time to spare and chatted about U2 stuff before I got called in. The nurse took my blood pressure, weight, and heart rate and then instructed me to change into the hospital coutour. No ass hanging out, oh well. Then not 10 seconds after meeting Michelle in the waiting room my name was called. Michelle would wait for me and call my mom and my friend Chris when it was over. I was brought to a gurney in the hallway and laid there for quite a while with a nice warm blanket that had just come from the dryer waiting for my medical team to arrive. I talked with a nurse, then the anaesthesiologist, and then my OS before being walked in the OR. Really cool looking there I must say, felt like a space ship or something; and they had the radio playing too, as if surgery was like doing desk work! I laid down on the table and they put the IV in my left hand. They didn't tell me when they were going to put the drug in but I remember looking at the ceiling and thinking "oh, there it is" as I realized I couldn't focus my eyes. Next thing I knew I was in the recovery room with two nurses beside me, asking me if I wanted more morphine. I kept saying yes but it didn't seem to be doing much until they had almost given me the maximum dose. I had a tube going from my nose to my stomach though and once that was removed I felt somewhat better, though that was the beginning of a pretty sore throat for the rest of the day. I guess I was feeling good enough to chat with another couple of nurses that traded with the other ones. We talked about American Idol and my friend Jessica's travels to Afghanistan as a nurse practitioner helping the earthquake victims.

There was a delay in getting my bed ready upstairs, so I was actually in the recovery room something like an hour longer than usual but I didn't mind the attention. Once I did finally get wheeled up I remember not liking the sensation of moving while lying down. Kinda dizzying like they were going too fast. Turns out I got a private room right beside the nursing station. I hadn't asked for a private room so I hope I don't have to pay extra, but I guess if I do then it was kinda nicer that way. I kept trying to move my feet around like I was supposed to but it wasn't until later in the night when I decided to raise my knees that I really understood why they wanted me to do those exercises. The anaesthesia really does do a number on you. I also found when I sat up that I was really weak and had to cough up some crap in my lungs, also from the anaesthesia. Wasn't expecting that at all. I even became dizzy and buzzed the nurse and told her I felt like I was going to pass out. She said that was typical when you first sit up, so she put some oxygen on me and that seemed to help. I also asked for a shot of codeine, but probably should have waited until after coughing because I think the two of them made me feel ill. Anyway, the rest of my time there consisted of nurses coming in to take my vitals every so often. I think my favourite was Pat, a Jamaican woman who was both pushy and extremely helpful. I think that made a good combination for me. I dozed on and off all day and night and then finally at about 6:20am my OS appeared to tell me everything looked good and I could be sent home later in the morning.

Chris and Rosie came to pick me up. Chris was just trying his hardest not to make me laugh. I know it's his natural instinct and I value it highly but I had to law down the law today. Sorry bud! :o) We got back here and then they did a trip to the pharmacy for me to get my codeine and antibiotics and a couple of other miscellaneous items, which was nice seeing as I wasn't too keen on going out in public like this. Tomorrow will be another story though when I go to the OD.

Anyway, I made it. Now I just pray this swelling and discomfort will disappear quickly.


At 7:25 PM, Blogger Brandyleigh35 said...

Hey Graham! You made it! Woo Hoo! The swelling will be worst on day three, then will start to subside pretty rapidly. Use lots of ice for the next 24 hours, all day long. It will make a huge difference, then switch to warm moist heat after about 48 hours. That will help speed up your circulation! Good Luck, and I don't think you look bad at all! I can see your puffy lip, and a bit through you cheek bones, but I'm sure it is much more noticible to you than it is to others! It's all down hill from here!


At 10:21 PM, Blogger Amy said...

Hi Graham,

Glad to see your surgery went well and your on the other side! Brandy has some great advice. I found that standing in the steam of a really hot shower also helped my face feel so much better.

Can you feel your gums or teeth, are they numb too? My top teeth and gums were totally numb, they felt like wood. I also was numb in my chin and nose, but feeling does come back.

The swelling will disappear, give yourself some time to heal and congrats on making it this far!

Take care, Amy

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Mrs. Shanton said...

I just love reading about the surgeries. Thanks for your update! Steph

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Mrs. Shanton said...

Brandy--so glad to see that someone understands about heat! It seems that a number of people are confused about the benefits of heat, after the risk of post-op swelling goes away. Ice is only good for the first few days, ant then HEAT will help to clear the congestion!

At 7:14 PM, Blogger Graham said...

Thanks for the suppport everyone. I'm going to try the heat tonight.

And no, I can't really feel my upper teeth or gums, nor my upper lip. My nose has some sensation but not a lot. Chin is normal. Still swollen in the cheeks though.

At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Roxanne said...

Hey Graham,
Glad to hear everything went ok! I was thinking about you over the weekend wondering how it went! I figured you'd definately need to keep the talking to a minimum...hopefully that stiffness and sensations of the bones moving will ease up. Sounds like you had some great support during your surgery via good friends and helpful nurses so i'm really glad to hear that! Speedy healing!


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