Day 7: Improvement!

Well, I am glad to say that today was a much better day (I am even trying to smile in my photo to show you - scary I know) and I feel much improved over yesterday! A lot, I am sure, has to do with ensuring that I am taking the medicines at the regular intervals (see earlier post) but the swelling is noticeably going down as is the size of my A.J. lips! I actually think I detected this afternoon a semblance of a jaw line though this could be a mirage as I am not sure I detected a jaw line before my surgery! Perhaps the surgeon took pity on me and decided to give me a jaw line?

The morning is the definitely the worst when I wake up as I obviously haven't applied any heat or ice and the medicine cycle is at the end so I quickly take my medicines and apply the ice / heat and this makes a difference in the pain level. I then decided to take a walk to get my energy levels up again and it was a beautiful day so it felt good just walking.

I thought I would provide an update in terms of a few physical improvements as well as respond to a few questions I have been asked. Some of them I will add to the FAQ section later this week.
  • Swelling: The left side of my face is going down considerably quicker than my right side.

  • My A.J. lips:  Decreasing in size, at least the top lip. Bottom lip less so but I smother then both with Vaseline throughout the day to keep them shedding any more skin. Always cracked, but improving.Vaseline is good. I purchased a million different types of chap-stick before the surgery but they are all useless as they all require pressure on the lips when applying. Think about it; pressure + cracked, bleeding lips + lips with shedding skin = Pain. Vaseline you just smother on super gently in globs. Not pretty but I am soooo far past caring about how I look. Vaseline works and whatever works is great for me.

  • Jaws: Cannot move them. Period.

  • Overall numbness and feeling: I am more numb on the right side of my face than on my left. Actually, this evening, my chin was completely tingly and felt like it was on fire if that make sense? I would touch it and although I couldn't feel the touch, the burning sensation increased so I am very confident that full feeling will return. 

  • Bruising: Continues to turn yellow, especially on my throat so hopefully will disappear completely by the end of the week.

  • Throat: Still hurts when swallowing but feels considerably more at ease when eating (syringing) hot food. This evening for dinner we liquefied ham and bean soup. Sounds gross to liquefy foods but believe me, yoghurt drinks, carnation instant breakfast, etc. sure get tiresome pretty quickly plus, for me at least, these foods hurt my throat when swallowing way more than hot foods hurt. The soup tasted great going down and so I think I need to improve my diet if my throat is to get better. A nurse friend told my wife today that you could try pepto bismol as a remedy for the sore throat as apparently it 'coats' the throat. Haven't tried it. Yet. Already on a lot of medicines already and pepto bisnol tastes super gross if I remember correctly!

  • Bands: Not one has broken today! 

  • Brushing Teeth: I love my baby toothbrush! I can only brush the outside of my teeth obviously and I have to do so very delicately as it means moving my swollen and cracked lips but it gets the job done. Swilling the medicated mouthwash is not a pretty picture however as imagine having your mouth closed with liquid in it. How do you (a) swill it around and more importantly, (b) spit it out if you cannot open you mouth!? See my point. You basically just let it drip out between your teeth. Long, laborious, and definitely not pretty. 

  • Icing and Heat packs. The hospital provided the Jaw Bra where they would place ziploc bags of ice but it was a pain having to crush the ice small enough to fit the bags plus the fact that they did not stay cold for long. My Father-in-law gave me some ice/heat packs which have been amazing in terms of how they work, how they fit, how long they stay cold and hot, etc. Check them out here.  Doctors and hospitals should provide these as an essential item quite frankly and no, before you ask, I do not receive commission for advertising these!

  • Pain Meds:
All of them are in oral suspension (liquid) form and I squirt them down my throat via a syringe. Sounds gross? It is because it is! I prepare the syringes and then when I have taken the meds, I quickly squirt a more palatable and flavourable drink down my throat to eliminate the flavour of the meds. In terms of what I take, I take a few different types and for reasons already described, continue to take them unless you want to feel horrible. Remember to always follow the prescription advice, dosage amount, and the doctors guidelines in terms of frequency. You are not a doctor and even if you are a Doc then you are still under the direction and care of a doctor. Pain management is critical to your recovery so do not deviate from your doc’s orders!
  • Ibuprofen: This stuff tastes just ok  going down. Apparently it is orange flavour. Whomever thought it was orange didn’t bother to squirt it down their own throats to see if they were telling the truth.
  • Lortab: I did have another type but it made me nauseous. Vomiting is not an option if you have a wired mouth. The doc prescribed anti-nausea medicine also but if you feel remotely nauseous, ask for a different prescription. Just not worth it. Lortab is 100% certifiably disgusting and vile going down the throat. They don’t even pretend to flavour it because they know it would be useless. I am convinced the rawness in the my throat is caused by the burning sensation of this medicine going down my throat. It has now reached that psychological phase because just thinking about this stuff causes anxiety and I dread taking it! That said, take it just make sure you are ready to squirt another liquid down immediately after. Gross. Gross. Gross. Did I mentioned it tastes gross?
  • Antibiotic: This actually does taste like orange and I don’t mind it one bit.
  • Nasal spray every two hours (at least for me): An absolute must. You are not allowed to blow your nose for various reasons and your nose constantly is dripping and running blood. Gross again but gross is something you’re getting to have to get used to. The nasal spray works great and helps you breathe easier which is always advantageous. I swear though its efficacy expires after 1 hour 40 minutes and for the last twenty minutes I am constantly wiping my nose until I can take it again at the 2 hour mark.

Enough of the bullet-points, let's talk about the day! My In-laws came around for most of the day to help out which was great of them. A lot of jokes are made about In-Laws but I scored in that apartment, they are fabulous! Before you ask, yes, they do read this blog :) They also made dinner for the family, kept us company, talked to me, pretended to understand me when I attempted to talk,  played games, etc.. We all had a great time and I appreciate them giving up their entire day to spend with us, thanks!

Funny thing at dinner; as I mentioned, my wife liquefied the ham and bean soup so I could join the rest of the family in eating the same dinner. Think of the scene; everyone around the dinner table, very well mannered, and I there I am with a syringe in the air with a rubber tube leading in to my mouth. I was sitting next to my wife as usual and had just sucked up the contents of the liquefied soup in to my syringe. I was 'eating' it as usual (slurping and burping as my family say, another consequence of syringing your food!) when something stuck in the rubber tube. This typically happens and I just gently squeeze the syringe until flow is resumed but in this instance when I pressed on the syringe, the whole tubing came apart from the actual syringe and the soup went flying, all over my wife! It went all over her clothes, face, hair, everywhere! Now I recognise that I shouldn't laugh but we all kinda' did :) It was not a pretty sight. Tip: perhaps another minute in the blender is not a bad choice to make, just in case . . .

As you can no doubt tell, I am feeling much better today. Tomorrow marks my one week mark so I will add a lessons learned post tomorrow now that I am officially so wise and knowledgeable. Haha, right.

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

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2 Responses to “Day 7: Improvement!”

  1. Great to hear that things are better. Thoughts and Prayers with you, my friend!

  2. Your face looks a lot less swollen. Really curious to see how this turns out. You should create a jaw surgery diet list, too. I'd be interested to hear about the liquid diet and what you can eat.