Friday, June 25, 2010

One month to go.....

It's hard to believe that in just a month I will have just had surgery, and will be in my first few days of recovery. I can't wait! Well, recovery will suck but it's hard to believe that this is happening. This year has gone by so fast. I had my last cleaning with my dentist yesterday and I meet with my surgeon next week to go over pre op stuff. Time to get my questions ready! What questions do you have? What questions do you wish you had asked?
Here are some of mine:
Will I vomit up blood after the surgery? If so, how much? Will this put strain on my jaw?....because it seems like it would.
How much pain can I expect in the first week, level 1-10?
What are my chances of never getting feeling back in parts of my face?
How long will it take to get feeling back throughout my face?
What can I do to help myself recover faster? Any tips anyone? What helped you get through your first few weeks?
How long before I can eat steak and stuff like that?.....I heard this story about a guy who bit into a steak a little too early and he had to get the surgery again!
What will they use to extend my lower jaw forward?
What will my recovery time look like? 2 weeks? 4 weeks? 6 weeks? .....mostly, when will I be able to go back to work?! I will have to wear a splint....
What will my emotional state be like?
Can I shower right after?
What are the signs of infection?

That's all I got so far!

1 comment:

  1. Good questions! I wish that I had asked more before surgery... I was really underestimating what a huge deal it was going to be. It was a bit of a shock after the first few days when I realized wow, this really DOES suck!

    I had no problems with throwing up blood after surgery, but I do have a really strong stomach. Now, that being said, I also have really strong gag reaction to gross things, the liquid pain meds they gave me falling into that category. I threw up from those once, and surprisingly, it didn't hurt my jaw at all. So I don't think you have too much to worry about with straining the jaw, but it is by no means comfortable to throw up with all that plastic and metal in your mouth!

    The pain is not as bad as one might expect... I got behind on my pain meds because I was having so much trouble taking them and it wasn't excruciating. It definitely hurt, but not as much as I would think.

    I still don't have feeling back throughout my face, and surgery was 8 months ago. It took about a month to get back anything under my nose. Right now just my bottom lip and chin are still numb, but I'm still hoping they come back!

    I don't know about steak, but I can tell you I still can't eat crusty bread or bagels, which I really, really miss!

    From my understanding, I don't think they use anything to move your jaw forward- they just cut it out and patch it in its new place.

    I didn't go back to work for 6 weeks. I couldn't close my lips, and the splint took up so much room in my mouth that I was afraid to go back to work and find myself drooling, which happened a LOT.

    As for emotional state, I found that the time in the hospital was tough. You feel like you're suffocating, and you're so hideously swollen you don't even feel human. After that, you make such rapid progress that you feel pretty good for a few weeks. But by the end of the time in the splint, boredom, loneliness, and frustration at not being able to talk, eat, and keep all my saliva in my mouth, haha, really set in. The last 2 weeks were the hardest.

    I wasn't told I had any restrictions on showering, but I really didn't have enough energy until day 3. One overenthusiastic high school age male hospital volunteer offered to give me a sponge bath, but I quickly declined that. It was very brave of him, considering what a wreck my face was at that point!

    I don't think my doctors ever mentioned signs of infection- they had a lot of (disgusting bubble gum flavored) antibiotics that I had to take to prevent that, though.

    Enjoy your last month, and eat ALL your favorite foods! If you skip one, you're going to be thinking about it for 6 long weeks! Let me know if you have any more questions!