Saturday, June 13, 2015

Surgery Day up to Day 2

I'm alive! Here's what I've been up to since Wednesday night. It's going to be long.

Anthony picked me up in Sarnia and we were off to London for my last night of normalcy. We had dinner at Moxie's and then had a beer at Toboggan Brewery. It was a really nice night.

I literally set 6 alarms that night and I lied in bed absolutely petrified I was going to sleep through them. I only got maybe 2-3 hours of restless sleep.

Finally an alarm went off around 5:10am. We got up and walked over the hospital (I had gotten us a hotel nearby to avoid double parking fees). From there, everything went pretty quickly. I got called into the pre-surgery area within minutes and hooked up to an IV. Anthony and I had some time to sit there and chill out before they brought me away around 7:45am. Before SARPE, I lied on my stretcher in the OR hallway for an hour, so I expected that again. Not so...I wasn't even in the hallway for 5 minutes before I found myself hoisting myself onto the operating table. The assisting resident surgeon was so young, oh man. He looked like he was my age (29). They put the oxygen mask on me and off to sleep I went.

The next thing I knew, I was being wheeled out and I was SO HOT. I was totally out of it but I was ripping my blankets off me and struggling to break free of my fiery bed covers. I could hear the nurses say, "I think she's hot, get the blankets off her. Oh wow, she's drenched, poor thing." My gown was soaked in sweat!

The first few hours after surgery were absolute hell, I can't even sugarcoat it. The surgeon had told me he was going to pump me full of freezing before taking me off anesthesia. I was so frozen I couldn't feel my tongue or any part of my mouth. My mouth was so dry and I needed to swallow, but I couldn't feel anything. I also felt like I couldn't breathe. All I did for about 2 hours was stare at the clock and tell myself I must be breathing because I could see the clock ticking. I felt like I was going to die at any moment.

Because of the angle I was lying at, blood kept trickling into my lungs. Along with staring at the clock, I spent the 2 hours wheezing and coughing up blood, but it was going nowhere because I couldn't swallow. Every time a nurse came to check on me, I complained I couldn't breathe or swallow. Eventually they brought my surgeon over who said he wasn't concerned about it.

They asked me a few times if I was in pain which I was not, so they decided to wheel me up to my room around 1 or 2pm. I really wanted to see Anthony. As the nurse was getting me settled in, Anthony showed up. At that point, I got emotional and had a panic attack while struggling to breathe. :( I don't know why, but the nurse seemed unconvinced by my whining and pretty much ignored my pained wheezing. I decided to try and be more positive after that when she came in the room, and she got much friendlier with me from then on.

My nurse didn't want to give me water until I could prove I could swallow, but I needed to moisten my mouth before I even tried. I poured a bit of water in my mouth and was able to swallow. You can't even imagine how happy I was. I'm not sure what time that was...maybe 3pm?

The rest of the day was spent lying in bed. The hospital no longer offers in-room TVs so I watched Netflix on my phone (couldn't reach my iPad). I watched The Intouchables, one of my favourite movies. They brought me dinner and I was able to drink the apple juice and tomato soup, with a spoon even. I didn't have any elastics in which is unusual compared to all the blogs I've read.

Anthony came and went a few times. I was doing okay with just the nurse's assistance so I wanted to him to go out and enjoy himself in London while he had the chance.

I was able to get up a few times for a walk and to use the restroom.

I slept on and off from 8:30pm-7am. I brought earplugs and wish I had put them in, as it was pretty noisy in the hallway. My surgeon came to see me in the morning. He showed me how I've spent 29 years of my life holding my jaw to my side to compensate for my asymmetry, so I'm going to have to learn to hold my jaw over to the right from now on. He put on 3 elastics on my brackets and said it would help. He told me to take them out to eat and brush my teeth, but my lips are so huge and I am managing fine leaving them in. I also forgot to bring the spare elastics with me to Ann Arbor, oops. I see my midline has already improved since yesterday.

I didn't anticipate I would have to consciously hold my jaw in the proper place and it sucks. I would probably rather have the splint and/or surgical hooks to hold it in place for me.

The surgeon told me the surgery went really well and that it actually went faster than planned. I think it was about 3.5 hours but I'm not totally sure (he booked the OR for 4 hours). Everything went according to plan: Lefort I, bilateral sagittal split osteotomy, and sliding genioplasty.

Now that I'm in Ann Arbor, I've been staying in bed watching Netflix. It's pretty boring and my back is hurting from being propped up for 2 days straight. Really wishing I owned an Ultramatic bed right about now!

So far, everything I've bought has come in handy except for the large syringe and the pure Lanolin. They gave me ointment at the hospital for my lips so I've been using that instead.

Swelling seems to have levelled off as of yesterday and surprisingly, I haven't bruised yet. It's been weird looking in the mirror and seeing a different person! My profile looks totally different. I am excited to see the final product.

As far as my bite, I really can't feel it right now so no comment on that yet. I am worried I'll bite down on my swollen cheeks so I haven't been too keen to practice biting.

Feeling is coming back a little bit. I can feel my upper lip now and my lower lip is about 50% feeling. Chin area is at 0%, cheeks are about 80%ish, lower eyelids are 0%.

Here are some photos and a video!

I am so excited to see what my face is going to look like and to get back to normal life and normal eating.

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