Friday, 14 November 2014

Jaw Surgery + Genioplasty - Days 1 - 4

  Not a fun post by any means, but here's a little update of my surgery journey so far - including three days in hospital and today, my first full day at home! I just wanted to thank those of you that have left messages wishing me well - I'm really sorry I haven't replied, I genuinely just haven't had the energy.

Day One
  Day one was kind of annoying because I'd had to get to hospital at 6am and stop eating or drinking from midnight - but I didn't actually get seen until about 3pm. I wasn't really kept up to date on it and then when it was finally my turn it was literally a case of, "here are some paper knickers, a gown, and some leggings. Put them on!" and then off we went. I got wheeled down in my bed which I found very strange because at that point I was obviously completely fine and I felt like a little kid pretending to be a pirate or something.

  When I went down to go under anaesthetic I started crying as I didn't know what to expect and I was afraid of the needle. The two doctors doing it were being as nice as they could but I was freaked out as I was surrounded by people staring at me, and they were being as light hearted as they could and trying to get me to co-operate but in the end just stabbed me with it and got it over and done with - to be fair they didn't have much choice. I immediately started getting this horrible feeling in the back of my throat like I was choking and I couldn't breathe properly. This made me panic more and I started trying to tell the doctors that it had gone wrong and that I was dying, it kept happening and I tried to resist it by continually trying to sit up to tell them it had gone wrong and I was about to die but they just continued working around me. And then of course, that was that.

  I woke up in the recovery room and was again pretty alarmed. My mouth felt enormous as my jaws didn't want to stay together so it was just sort of flailing open. I tried to get up a couple of times but didn't have the energy and just fell back down. I later heard them say something about how I was on five doses of morphine so I guess that was something to do with it.

  Eventually I got wheeled back to my room where I promptly threw up blood all over the place and then I got given this machine that was to be my lifesaver. Simply a mask which is kept cold all the time. That machine is what kept me sane.

  Obviously my energy was low and I was being monitored every thirty minutes. I had to press a button every time I wanted to go to the toilet so that someone could walk with me, and then the idea was that when I was finished I'd ring the buzzer again from the toilet and I'd be returned. However in the middle of the night I just crashed, went to the toilet, pressed the buzzer, woke up on the floor after having passed out and then had to wait for a wheelchair to take me to my room, which I didn't have the energy to get into. Once I was back in my bed it was okay and I was given a drip which I then had to drag around with me everywhere I went.

Day Two
  In the morning the surgeon came to visit me and told me he'd been happy with the surgery. However, the fact that my mouth wasn't closing properly was a concern, so he put two elastic bands on each side and said they would check the following morning, so I was definitely staying an extra day. In the morning I needed to go and get an X-Ray done, and I was wheelchaired down to the X-Ray area. I started feeling really hot so asked if I could be moved just out of the way of the waiting room (I should also mention here that my face was (and is) fucking enormous. I look like a hippo. I was very hyper aware of the fact that I looked like a hippo, and that my teeth were stuck together but my lips didn't shut. Yeah, not a good look. Anyway, I was left on my own for about ten seconds when I started feeling really faint. I started sinking down into my wheelchair and I started trying to shout for help, but doing that when your mouth is stuck together is not at all easy. So I was just desparately saying, "help me" as loudly as I could. Eventually a member of the public heard me and came round, we made eye contact and I said "help" again, and then he ran to get a member of staff. The staff member tried to keep me in the wheelchair but I was passing out and couldn't keep up, so he called for more staff. Next thing I know I was in an A&E crash trolley being wheeled back to my ward. After this point I was no longer allowed to go anywhere without a nurse staying with me - and it took two more attempts to actually get my X-Rays done.

  I was told I wasn't allowed to eat again as they may want to operate on me in the morning, so back to the drip, but I was glad about that.

  In the evening I got wheeled over to my orthodontist who said he hoped that he'd be able to use the elastic bands to mould my jaw into place, so he left them on. I was told that afternoon that I'd be back in next week so I could start eating - only of course, it's not that easy. I had to eat with a syringe, and my teeth wouldn't open at all. I essentially just shot strawberry yoghurt directly at my front teeth slurping them as I could but it hurt so much. I managed about half and then went to bed early.

Day Three
  I mostly felt okay today. Still in a lot of pain but moving around fine, reading for the first time, not bothering to call the nurses when I needed the toilet. My orthodontist came over in the morning and proceeded to perform torture on me by adding more elastic bands. He told me that he was going to try to completely elastic band my mouth but that I was to come in again on the following tuesday - if the elastic bands had worked, fine, if not I'd have more surgery on the Wednesday. So he put two elastic bands on each side of my mouth and then four in the middle. It's seriously painful. I managed another yogurt by again just sort of shooting it at my face and I was discharged in the middle of the day with boxes of pain killers and antibiotics and mouthwash. The problem is, that doing things by syringe takes a long time so it is also extremely painful. My joints hurt, my face is enormous and swollen, my jaw feels so heavy. Sucking the syringe hurts but if I don't then it just dribbles all over my face. I know I'm not eating as much as I should because it's just so time consuming and painful that I don't want to do it. I'm being consistent with the antibiotics but the painkillers are horrible and I have to take eight syringe fulls a day - I manage about three. I managed about a quarter of a tin of soup over the day.

Day Four
  Woke up in agony, still look like a hippo. Didn't get out of bed until about eleven because it was just so much effort to go downstairs so I decided not to, plus I knew there were ten million bottles of medicine waiting for me. Finally went and managed a yogurt and my antibiotics. I also tried to use the mouthwash for the first time, which was a bit of an ordeal. Essentially, I just sprayed it all into my mouth over the bathtub and held my mouth shut for as long as I could, which was just under twenty seconds. I then just had to sit there over the bathtub and let it slowly dribble out. Yeah, it was really classy. My housemate bought me some meal replacement drinks and I managed half of a chocolate one at lunch time, followed by more antibiotics and half a dose of the painkiller. I attempted to brush my teeth with a baby toothbrush but it was just so painful as my lower lip is absolutely enormous and doesn't move properly.

  All of this and guess what? I got shortlisted for essentially my dream job. Which, obviously I was very optimistic about because I can't attend an interview in this state :( Now I'm just going to keep trying to actually stay alive and then see what happens when I go into hospital again next week. Right now my face is hippo shaped, my chin is partially numb, my lips are partially numb, my lower jaw is heavy, it just hurts everywhere. From the side it actually doesn't look so bad but please, this hippo face needs to sort itself out.


  1. I am sorry to hear that you are in so much pain, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, may you heal well and fast so you can go back to your normal daily life. Stay strong, soon enough it will be over !

    Charlie xx

  2. Hope you feel much better soon, and big congrats on being short listed for your dream job well done


  3. Thanks! Just hoping I'll actually be able to attend the interview :(


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