Day 6: Rock Bottom . . .

I am really hoping that today can be considered rock-bottom and that tomorrow the corner is turned!

You know, truthfully I hesitate to write anything too pessimistic as quite honestly, who is going to find that interesting to read but today was a tough day. It is interesting that because although you read about and prepare for this surgery and what to expect, especially in the first week, nothing really prepares you for actually living through it and especially when all of the consequences of surgery seem to collide in a perfect storm.

I always knew that there would be significant swelling, potential bruising down the throat, a splint in my mouth which is incredibly inconvenient, rubber bands limiting any movement of my jaws, constant bloody noses, throat sores due to the non-normal swallowing, breathing issues, etc., and I have talked about a few these issues in previous posts.

However, it seemed as if each of these issues occurred in isolation as it were. What I mean is that I could focus on, for example, the breathing issues and ways in which to alleviate the pain and inconvenience. Or, for example, I could pay attention to the swelling because the other issues were not high enough on the pain scale as that area I was focusing on. Make sense? Hopefully it does . . .

Note written today describing how I felt
Today it seemed like every issue scored a perfect 10 on either the pain or inconvenience scale. Because I am not allowed to talk (rather difficult anyway as a result of the bands!), I write down questions, responses, etc that my wife and I ask one another. I wrote this afternoon that I presently always want to cry (see photo on right). I am not writing this for sympathy, not at all. I am just trying to describe my thoughts presently.

Last night before before bed (all 3 hours of it) a few of my rubber bands broke on the left side of my mouth. I really have tried not to talk (which stretch the bands) but perhaps that is what did it. Could be the food somehow reduces the elasticity, I am not sure. Either way, they were brittle and broke. I wasn't too worried about it (gross though it is to fish out the hooks with a pair of tweezers) as I think I have enough rubber bands in my mouth to keep an office supply store in business! However, when I woke up this morning many more had apparently snapped during the night and I only had a few left on the right side of my face. My right side was fine but I could move my jaws (if so inclined) open wide on the left side. Given that my jaw had not slept in the correct position, my whole mouth was not a happy bunny and I was feeling miserable!

We called my surgeon to find out if the bands needed to be reinserted or whether they could wait for our next visit on Wednesday. My surgeon was actually away this weekend so his partner called back and said that they definitely need to be put back in but that he was presently about an hours drive away. Driving that far was not something anyone wanted but he said that my orthodontist, if he could be contacted, would be able to add more bands. Thankfully, after a few hours wait, we were able to contact him and arranged to visit his office. I felt pretty horrible by this time as it seemed my jaw, throat, lips, head, and everything else all conspired to throb, ache, and be in pain simultaneously.

It was so good of my Orthodontist to take time of his weekend to help me out; he took care of me and added numerous bands to replace those that had snapped so once again I was locked shut :(
After looking me over and commiserating he told me something I completely agree with:

If you were to ask people who had double-jaw surgery at the end of the first week was it worth it, 99% of them would tell you absolutely not. 

If you were to ask those people after a year was it worth it, 99% of them would tell you that it was absolutely worth it!

I know this is true, and knew it before the surgery, so let's hope today is the worst that I will experience!

Some friends called and came around this evening to drop off something (Sprite!) and stayed an hour or so. We all had a great time talking and laughing or should I say, they all had a great time talking or laughing whilst I tried not to laugh as it hurt too much! It was good medicine and much needed - cheered me up no end so thanks Nick and Danielle!

You can see additional photographs under the ‘Photo Journal’ section above

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7 Responses to “Day 6: Rock Bottom . . .”

  1. You're a good writer, dude. Love reading this blog. Considering this surgery myself. You're helping me decide.

  2. Thanks! Hopefully you will not make the decision based off this entry as it was a tad depressing! Today was already a much better day than yesterday. Hopefully, I will get a new post uploaded shortly!

    Thanks for reading the blog - I wondered if anyone other than friends and family even read it! :)

  3. I'm reading it! :)

    We are so much alike! 40, married with two kids and could seriously be reading my own blog if I had one! Am having double jaw in less than a month and am a nurse so I may have even more fears than you did. This is super helpful and even reading some of it out loud to my husband
    Thanks so much!

  4. @Alyssa - Thanks for your comments! Hope that your surgery goes well and especially your recovery! :) Start a blog, it helps pass the time! :)

  5. Am re-reading your blog tonight after having my big surgeon's appt today as well as a two hour class given by the hospital's maxillofacial clinc RN.

    I have all supplies stockpiled and am showing my kids, ages 6&8, pictures of you so they won't be so shocked when i come home with my huge head. They seem to be amused, little buggers. :)

    Thanks again for blogging. My surgery is Tuesday so I'm sure i'll be checking in again after that.

  6. Alyssa,

    I laugh at my photographs also, my face was huge! :)

    Good luck on Tuesday, I hope everything goes well and keep me posted on your recovery!

  7. Well, I survived. Spent one night in hospital and came home this afternoon. Swelling is really kickin in now and I feel pretty bad. But I made it through and will post more when I'm feeling better. Thanks again for your support. Will be retracing your blog as I recover.