Friday, 8 August 2014

Day 1 of Recovery

My first day of recovery began at 2:15am when I had to get up for the first loo break of the night thanks to all the IV fluids the nurses were pumping into me. The loo break in itself was a mammoth task as I first had to get a nurse to unhook my drain bottles from their positions tied to the sides of my bed. I then made the slow and arduous journey across the small ward and back and fell back into bed feeling exhausted. At this point I was sleeping in an almost sitting position using the adjustable hospital bed and four pillows; it wasn't the most comfortable position or one that's conducive to getting a lot of sleep but I'm convinced it drastically reduced my swelling as my face was never anywhere near as big as most of the photos of people's faces I've seen from when they were recovering. I've inserted a few photos of my face early that morning to show just how unswollen it was.

I woke again at 4:40am with an aching jaw and when I tried to have a drink of water through my syringe I accidentally squirted it too hard and made my mouth bleed. It was so painful that I nearly cried and I was a LOT more careful with the syringe from that point onwards. I had my next round of drugs at about 6am and had my canula flushed, steroids and antibiotics (which made me cry again). I was then hooked back up to the remaining fluids and a fresh dose of liquid paracetamol, which took about an hour to run through. I managed a little bit of tomato flavoured build up soup and a strawberry Fortisip (kind of a yoghurt drink) and both tasted surprisingly okay.

My day continued in this vein of fitful napping as I woke at 7:43am and then slept from about 9:30 until 11:30am, 1 until 2pm, 2:45 until 4pm and 4:30 until 5:30pm. The worst thing about each nap was waking up with a foul taste in my mouth; I wasn't able to brush my teeth at this point so I did my best to swill my mouth out using the water syringe. It was absolute bliss to have my IV capped in the day as that was one of the things that made it awkward to sleep comfortably. The drains were still tugging on their stitches though and I just couldn't wait to have them removed (but I have noted "I'm so scared it will hurt"). It was really boring being stuck in my hospital bed and it was hurting my back but I wasn't feeling well enough to walk anywhere so I just had to stay put.

My surgeon came at around 8:40am and told me I'd be going for x-rays at some point that day to check my jaw was in the correct position. The x-rays ended up being at 2:10pm so Mom and Nic arrived for visiting hours just in time to come with me to have them done. I had three x-rays done of my head, including one in that rotating x-ray machine and it hurt a fair bit having to rest my chin on the little tray. I had to have the plastic bite piece taken out of the machine as well because obviously having my jaws wired together meant I couldn't put it into my mouth. Even going to have the x-rays done left me feeling worn out and irritable, as the wheelchair journey down to that floor of the hospital had hurt my drains, so when they were finished I went back to bed in the ward.

At 5:15pm my surgeon and another member of the Maxillofacial team came to see me. They said I was doing well but I would have to wait until first thing the next day to have my drains removed. They told me that the constant pulling I could feel on my drains was because they run on a vacuum to draw any blood or fluid out of the face and I just wasn't used to that sensation. My family came back at 6:30pm to visit me and I've included two photos of their visit below.

I managed another tomato build up soup and by 8:45pm I had drunk a whole jug of water. My chin felt almost entirely numb, there was just the slightest sensation to a very firm touch. My bottom lip had almost a normal amount of feeling on the inside of my mouth but the outer part of the lip just felt slightly pins and needley. My jaw ached sort of like after a wire change but nothing too bad so I refused my evening painkillers.

I settled in for another night in hospital and again I slept (or tried to) sitting up to help minimise any swelling.

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