Thursday, October 27, 2011

the good, the bad, and the ugly

I am two weeks and four days post-op.  I will start by saying that lower jaw surgery is not fun.  Recovery is tough.  Recovery with two young children is really tough.  But two weeks really does make a huge difference!

the good
My family and friends have been amazing.  Beyond my expectations supportive.  Humbling.  Amazing.  So very appreciated.

My mom flew out from IL and took care of us for an entire week.  She was with the girls the day of my surgery.  She cooked and cleaned and shopped and made sure that I didn't have to worry about anything.  She also kept me company in the evenings and took me for my first outing - for a smoothie at Starbucks.  The girls had a great week and loved all the attention they got from Grammy.  I was able to focus on getting better and resting as much as possible.  It was wonderful!  I don't know what we would've done without her.

Chad has been incredible!  No surprise here.  He is amazing!  He took time off work to be with me at the hospital and get me back to the surgeon for a post-op appointment.  He dosed me with pain meds around the clock those first few days. He has done more dishes than I can count and made sure the house is not falling apart.  He has played with the girls tirelessly and patiently.  He has read every one of Natalie's bedtime stories.  He has gently reminded me not to over do it and makes sure I rest.

We've had meals delivered every other day.  When you can't eat, pretty much the last thing you want to do is cook a meal for other people.  But I have two growing girls and a husband who deserve to eat three meals a day plus snacks.  Finding the energy to shop and prep meals ... well, that simply wasn't going to happen.  Having meals provided has been such a tremendous help; I cannot even tell you!  While my main concern was feeding my family, I've also enjoyed some yummy meals, too.  My friends have been so creative and gracious, they've even managed to find recipes for things I can eat!  I've had smoothies and soups and pudding ... all of it wonderful and important for keeping me strong and healthy while my body heals.

Friends have taken the girls so I can rest.  When my mom left, I was still very swollen, taking pain meds around the clock, and barely able to talk.  Taking care of my girls all day really wasn't an option, and thankfully, I didn't have to because, once again, my friends offered to help.  Leanne took Charlotte to music class.  Deann had Natalie over to play all day, and entertained her with crafting and cooking. And then took her to run errands another day.  Jenny took both girls for me between nap and when Chad got home - she even fed them dinner.  I got the rest I desperately needed and the girls were able to have fun and be well taken care of ... by people who love them.

I also received very sweet care packages from my faraway friends.  Those boxes brightened my days ... and gave me useful things like trashy magazines, more baby food, and a new laptop case!

the bad
  • For the first 24 hours I had to suction blood (lots and lots of blood) out of my mouth, which I could barely open.  The taste of blood is just about my least favorite taste in the world.
  • For the first three days, I "ate" through a syringe.
  • My face was wrapped in ice for five days.  And refilling that stupid ice pack around the clock was a pain in the a$$.
  • The inside of my mouth is a mine field of sutures.  Hygiene is critical but darn near impossible.
  • I've been in quite a bit of pain.  To the point that I told Chad I would rather deliver a baby - 12 times - than go through this again.
  • I had to sleep upright for the first 10 days.  Do you know how uncomfortable it is to sleep in a sitting position?  Needless to say, I am tired.
  • I am still hungry ... all the time ... no matter how much baby food, smoothies, and soup I eat, I am still hungry.  I just want to chew something!
  • My face hurts.  My mouth hurts.  My chin hurts.  My head hurts.  My body aches.
the ugly
I cannot believe I am going to post this photo online.  It's awful.  It's ugly.  This is me one week after surgery.  Yes, that delightful shade of yellow is bruising.  There is still some swelling but nothing compared to the first five days.  At this point, I was still in constant pain.  Not really functioning.  Spending a lot of time in bed.

Let me reiterate that this {ugly} photo was taken ten days ago. Now I have very minimal swelling and no visible bruising. Stay tuned for a "more good" post with an updated photo :)


BJ_Mama said...

Yellow is your color!!!! How do you still look so beautiful?!?!?! No, seriously.

I wish I lived closer and I would come over and puree all your food and make you some homemade applesauce...and watch GLEE reruns with you all day long.

HUGS my BEAUTIFULLY, healing, friend!

Do unto others....I believe all the love you are feeling from the world is just their way of repaying back the love & generosity you give out!

chitownmomma said...

you wear that yellow well, my friend!
Hugs to you! Keep healing!!!

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