Lowering expectations just a titch...Day 6 post op

Today greeted me without nausea!! YAY!  I found that carnation breakfast drink mixed with SO delicious coconut milk, is thick enough to coat the stomach.. and the anti- nausea ear patch is a little dream. A perfect cocktail to keep everything level.. Anyone undergoing  this type of surgery should learn from my mis- haps.
1- take 2 turkey basting syringes home with you...
2- find gel packs that can fit into the jawbra, have extras on hand for rotating. Ice leaks causing soggy face.
3- Create a detailed chart showing what meds need to be taken at what time. Keep meds and chart together   so that others can help without getting confused.  Do not leave hospital without detailed instructions.
4-You will need help at night so find your most reliable freind or family to be in charge of getting you   meds around the clock. My dear friend Sharon set her alarm for every 2 hours to keep pain under control.
5- Drink something thick like carnation drink, creamy soup, before you load your empty stomach up on liquid medicine. Even a few gulps help the medicine go down!! Make sure people in charge write down time and doses or check them off the list. (you don't want to fall behind, it nearly did me in)

Set up the room you will be sleeping in so that it feels relaxing and peaceful. I light candles at night, and have lovely meditation music playing. Use a good room spray to keep things fresh. I love rosemary mint zummist found at whole foods. (delightful), A nice humidifier is key.. I have the air-o-swiss found at Bed bath Beyond. I add several drops of essential oil to the water to diffuse. Peppermint and lavender, help keep those sinus's happy and breathing clear.  Open your blinds in the morning and let that sun shine in! I also found that using a waterpik on the lowest setting, and brushing with a baby toothbrush feels so great.

I have been a little hard on myself for sleeping so much, what I am realizing, is that when your face has been broken and screwed back together again, the body is using all of its reserves to focus healing on the injured face. So sleep is critical. I know that soon enough I will be up and about so i lowered my expectation around the  idea that I needed to be a hero, and just surrender to the sleep!

Swelling is at it's peak today.. (i hope) Im getting some feeling back, really random. Half of my tongue feels numb, and the nose, cheeks, lips, are also numb. I am having that poky nerve pain and itching on the inside.. There are itches that can't be scratched constantly.  Ice helps relieve the sensation.
I bought 2 great creams that help soothe the numb areas.. Traumeel (homeopathic ointment) and Arnicare another homeopathic arnica cream.  For the lips I am using a tin of Burts Bees res-q-ointment.

Abyss days 4 and 5 post op

There was no separation of time between days 4 and 5. They ran together as one long drawn out period of time. The nausea became so profound that I could not take any oral medicine, at the risk of throwing up. With a mouth bound shut by rubber bands, this was a line in the sand i was not willing to cross.  With out the constant dosing of meds, the pain got worse and worse.  The Dr. changed from hydrocodone to Demoral and at a last attempt tylenol with codine. I was in a downward tailspin, pain off the charts and nausea knocking at the door I was feeling defeated.  A brilliant course of events caused an A-HA! moment. My friend Rebecca had 1 prescription nausea patch leftover from a cruise. We slapped that behind my ear and in a short time, the nausea was at bay..... This allowed me to play catchup with pain med. By late that night, I was feeling relief. We also found that the carnation instant breakfast drink mixed with coconut milk and hemp protein powder, coated my stomach enough to tolerate meds. From this point we were able to establish a plan.. I spent alot of these 2 days checked out. The only relief was found when asleep.

I have been sitting deep in the shadows, hanging on in total surrender knowing time and time alone will advance this healing journey. I feel like I have been residing outside of time in a swirl and whirl that has forced me to deep within....

I see the dim light ahead and hope that this is the hump, the worst part almost over..

 This is how my face feels.....

This is how my face looks day 5.  I will post more close ups and show the bite in the next couple of days..

Buyers Remorse day 3 post op

If Hell had a but-crack  I just spent a day in it.  In all of the ruckus coming home and settling in, I was missing my ibuprofen doses, which act as an anti-inflammatory and also assist in managing the breakthrough pain between doses.  I was really struggling with nausea.  The pure fear of throwing up, sent my stress levels off the Richter scale. Not a pretty situation when the mouth is banded shut. I learned that a little bit of broth or fruit smoothie of some kind is critical before medicating. I was given a liquid nausea med that helped .( Just an FYI... to fellow jaw patients, always have a second turkey baster feeder full of water to chase down the nasty liquid meds.)

Swelling in the face is worse today, and in addition to feeling like my head is a cinderblock, the words that first come to mind are "Goodness gracious great balls of FIRE! " Im taking the chill out of an ice pack in under an hour.  

I rinsed with perodix a mouth wash to keep everything clean, and then used my water pick on the lowest setting to rinse out. 

Final thoughts.. Make sure you have someone that can help throughout the night, managing your meds and bringing fresh ice packs.   You should not be left to your own devices at night. I thank my team of help and support!   I slept away most of day 3, just hanging in there. I anticipate that there is a corner just up ahead waiting to be turned!! 

ps. disclaimer... all comments are under the influence of painkillers. please excuse grammatical and typing errors..

The Jaw Bra and other handy devices... Day 2 post op..

Fellow jaw surgery patients. #1 must have in the suit case is the eye patch and earplugs. I managed to sleep through the beeps and whistles and interruptions. I was not aware that this photo had been taken. And a conversation about the Jaw Bra. When I first heard of it I figured it was named "jaw bra" because it rhymes. (dorky) OH how wrong was I.... MY CHEEKS HAVE GROWN 2 CUP SIZES Im certain Im sporting a DD cheek rack!  This device keeps the cheeks nice and cool with ice packs. I would consider ordering the one on line because it comes with gel packs.. I did not and am rotating crushed ice It gets leaky.  Finding independent  gel packs has not been successful. I substituted gel packs with the Bath and bodyworks gel eye patch. Pop those babies in the freezer and they fit like a dream in my Wonder jaw bra. They cost $5.00 but dont stay frozen for long So buy several .. I have hot cheeks just now. I could melt an igloo from afar im sure..
My puree's are no good to me.. Not yet anyway. My teeth are secured with rubber bands and so there is no opening of the mouth. In addition, My face is numb and getting anything but liquid in would be a demonstration of the law of gravity. So hopefully to my upcoming jaw surgery friends, This turkey baster syringe is a pure dream. My diet for at least the next week it total liquid. Vegetable broth.. Odowalla super food fruit drinks (the liquidy ones) and the best of all.... (see next photo)

My dear fried Vali brought me this little jug of VITA CoCo Pure Coconut water. Ingredients.. Coconut water and Vitamin C. Proven to provide more electrolytes than leading sports drinks, and more potassium than 2 bananas. Dont tell the monkeys.. Potassium keeps the body properly hydrated and keeps the body from cramping. (say's so on the box) This stuff is delish and is available by the case at Costco. I encourage all to try even if you are not a surgery patient..

A puffy face and hungry tummy needs a Starbucks. Nothing like a it delivered in a turkey baster.. Seriously though this little rubber hose slides along the cheek and delivers liquid goodness .. If your having this surgery make sure you snag 2 of them.. One for eating and one for Meds.. all of your pain meds and antibiotics are liquid and taste horrible, you would not want to cross contaminate pain killers with coconut water/

My room had a great view of the SLC valley.. I fell asleep to the rain and awoke to the snow. By the time I left to go home, It was melted off...

Heading home with my Jaw Bra.. Flowers from the Surgeon and office staff and the turkey baster in my suitcase.. I hurt more to day especially right now... The IV painkiller are so much stronger than the stuff they send you home with, and night always seems to be a bit worse. My face feels like a cement pad. It's very tight, numb and sore. I hear day 3 can be the worst so I pray that there is sweet relief... I can feel my heart beating in my red hot cheeks...Bum bum thump thump.... OUCHY...  Stay tuned for progress tomorrow. And again 1 million thank you's to all who have followed my blog sent messages on face book, called, visited. I feel such sweet support from across the globe. One great reason to find grace in the internet. we are all connected.... 

Going down the rabbit hole... Day 1 post op

When Alice  (in alice and wonderland) fell down the rabbit hole, she partook of a magic potion that caused her to shrink. At that point  she was sitting in a puddle of fabric.... I fell down that same rabbit hole when the nurse gave me my hospital gown/pants. My body is standing in this one leg. When I asked for a smaller size she kindly informed that the xxl was the smallest size.

Now these are some big pants to fill!!

on the gurney going to the "Pod" where I will meet my Surgeon and anesthesiologist.

Last day in my life that my jaw will have the under/cross bite

Meet Dr. Egbert. he is reviewing my surgical molds and informed that he will not need to split the upper  maxillary jaw just do the Lefort 1 advancement. This means that I will not have to come out of surgery with a bite plate! YAY..

Heading to the OR the man in the suit is my brother in law who by profession is a Mortician. Don't think I will be needing his services today but nice to have him there anyway...

Just out of surgery waking up was misserable. My body itched from the inside out. I think a reaction to pain meds. I was struggling to breathe due to the congestion but cleared that out and felt much better. My face felt like a block of cement. Very tight, stiff and strained.

This breathing device was a dream. It blew much needed oxygen at cryo temps. nice and cold to help with the swelling. I wasn't a fan at fist but learned to love the relief this offered.
Surgeon said that my surgery was a tremendous success. I lost a very small amount of blood compared to the norm. I was drugged and loopy but it was something like 120cc instead of the normal 300cc. He finished in 1hour 20 min. remarkable that I was out for such a short duration. Really great Dr.

A visit from my cute "Littles" Sydnie and Connor. It was so nice to see them so that they could know that I was ok. 

A family photo.. Sydnie brought my Venus of Willendorf statue for good luck.
Thank you to all who held prayers, lit candles, had thoughts, did despachos, I felt so sweetly supported by all who were present to offer support. I am the luckiest girl in the world to be surrounded by a community spanning the globe. I know that my day was such a success due to the miracle of joining together for healing. Thank you, Aho...

A poem to keep things in perspective

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival
A joy, a meanness, a depression
Some momentary feeling arrives as an
unexpected visitor

Welcome and entertain them all,
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows
That violently sweeps your house empty of its furniture

Still, treat each guest honorably
He may be clearing you out for some delight
The dark thought, the shame, the malice
Greet them at the door laughing and invite them in

Be grateful for who ever comes
Because each has been sent as a guide from beyond ...

~ Rumi

The Final Countdown

With about 11 hours to go... I find emotion all over the place. I've been nesting. House sparkles, pantry is stocked, puree's are ready, clean sheets, laundry caught up....

Today is very significant in my world. It is time for death and re-birth. Time to once again face the dark night of the soul, and then rise from the ash like a phoenix (goddess) and take on life from a different perspective.

 I've "Chewed" my last meal (for a long time.) In honor of my Brother and Sister-in-law, I had "Lauries buffalo gourmet tortilla chips (thick) with hummus and spicy salsa. I then treated myself to a much loved lemon bar. I cried when I realized that it was the last time, that I would struggle to break down food with my teeth. It is my wish to those of you with normal bite's, to honor that gift and on behalf of myself to savor your next meal. Chew slowly and taste all of the flavors. I can't wait to join you soon for a meal!

I've been exposed to my surgery enough now that it feels a bit more familiar. Still shocking but without a kick. I am surrendering again to the unknown.. and once again remind myself "that though this universe I own I possess not a thing for I cannot know the unknown if to the known I cling." It is in that place of surrender that I will rise with a wing span large enough to brag about!

I feel as though Im looking through a pinhole just putting one foot in front of the other, but after all that is how I managed to get myself to this point. One single step at a time....

Her Mix Alot....Me and my Vita Mix Besties forever

Meet my best friend " Her Mix Alot"... She's a real viking goddess.. Spent the day making soups and puree's with extra healthy boost's like Maca, Hemp Protien, Super greens, Probiotics.......

My surgeon told me to buy alot of Ensure.. now now.....do I look like an Ensure girl? "Never!" I took matters into my own hands and created delicious and healthy puree's!! 

My soups and smoothies in the handy nutri-squeeze bags, invented for jaw surgery patients. Brilliant? YES!! A must have item if you are preparing for orthognathic surgery..  

The walls are closing in....

Up close look at the surgical hooks. This miserable metal will be used to assist in surgery This is how the rubber bands will hold the upper and lower jaws together..

3 days to go... I can do this. My all time favorite quote  "Though this universe I own I possess not a thing for I cannot know the unknown if to the known I cling" as the walls close in and I step into the unkown... I trust that my wings will open at just the right time and I will soar!!!

Frankenstein Cable Wires

Today was the pre-surgical appointment with my Orthodontist Charles Jackson. He has to individually wrap each bracket with wire and install surgical hooks that will help the surgeon attach bite plates, rubber bands and whatever else he may need..


My Frankenstein whiskers The Ugly begins...........
(fyi.. he did trim all of the wires) I have major metal mouth. "Wax on wax off little grasshopper"