Jaw Surgery: Two Weeks On

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Hello friends! I'm back from another blogging break! I had jaw surgery on the 2nd Febuary and so I thought I'd update you on my current progress. Hopefully it'll be of some help for those of you who may be going through it yourself. TW for blood and bruising below.

In the below (very unflattering) photos, you can see I had a slight underbite. It was something I didn't notice until I was told I needed surgery. That being said I've never been particularly happy with my face when I've seen it at any other angle than the front.
This surgery has been a long time coming. I didn't get my braces on until I was 18 despite seeing an othodontist from 13. And I had to have a lot of work on my teeth before being ready for surgery. As mentioned in my January roundup, my first date got cancelled meaning I had to wait another two weeks. Don't get me wrong though, I realise with all the problems in the NHS right now I was lucky to get it done on the second attempt. 

Anyway onto the surgery. On the day of the surgery I got to the hospital at 7:30. I couldn't eat anything and I could only drink water up to 6:30. I didn't go down for surgery until 12. I changed into my surgical gown, was wheeled through to theatre where I was given a drug which helped relax me. It was a very weird sensation. My brain kind of felt slowed down. I remember the doctors doing stuff around me and then I don't remember anything. The surgery took around 6 hours; it involved moving my lower jaw back, my chin forward in some way and also cheek implants. I have a "complex case" as my surgeon said.
I woke up after surgery at around seven that evening. Coming round was very strange. I distinctly remember wanting to go back to sleep when the nurses were trying to talk to me. Overall waking up wasn't that bad though. I was stressed out by the tube that was up my nose but once that was out I felt much better. I was given a mirror and things didn't really look that bad.

The next day was when the swelling happened. My surgeon saw me in the morning and remarked on how well I was doing and then saw me later on and my face had ballooned. I was huge! That's the first picture in the images below. My cheeks were so big that it was slightly blocking my vision. I felt like I was going to explode. Because of this swelling I had to stay in the third night despite the plan of going home that day. Although the ward that I stayed in was actually surprisingly nice and the three older ladies who were also being treated were so friendly, I really just wanted to be home. I didn't feel like I could do much else but watch TV in the hospital.

I got to go home on the forth day. Since then I've not really done much. I've watched a lot of Dinner Date and Come Dine With Me which I probably shouldn't have because I want real food so much. I have to drink around four Ensure drinks a day which basically have all the important nutrients in them. Since I can't open my mouth at all I have to use a this bottle with a straw attached and squeeze the liquid into my mouth as best as I can. Be warned, you'll dribble everywhere in the first few days. I've kind of got the hang of it now.

There have been a few problems. I woke up the week after surgery finding a lot of blood from my mouth and on the towel I use to at night to dribble on (sorry!) So obviously I panicked because nothing I'd read online about this surgery and nothing that had been said by the surgeon had said anything about bleeding a week after the surgery. So we phoned the hospital who told me to go to A&E wherein I was referred to the maxillofacial department. I was seen by a doctor and told later by my surgeon that although the bleeding is rare, it was nothing to worry about. The amount of swelling that I had/have is also unprecedented but again nothing to be concerned about.

Ultimately though, I feel a lot better than I thought I would. I'm no longer taking painkillers because there just hasn't been that much pain at all. It's just annoying really not to be able to open my mouth. I'm trying to go out and keep my mood up. I went to the shop the other day with my parents and was completely worn out after which reminded me (if the swelling didn't) that I am indeed still recovering. However, I plan to use this time to watch a few new TV shows and films, read, plan my blog and hopefully get involved in some more Twitter chats.

I'll update you again in a couple of weeks!

Thanks for reading!

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