Brandy's Braces, SARPE, Jaw Surgery Journal

This is my daily journal to my eventual perfect smile and Apnea free life. It logs my surgeries, and daily progress.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Almost 2 weeks.....things I have learned.

Well I feel so proud of myself that I have almost made it through the first two weeks. It has definitely had it's moments (and still does) but it has not been as bad as I ancticipated, thanks in large part to all the vitamin/supplement prep I did ahead of time.

I will hit some of the more difficult areas. Eating is quite challenging, and honestly I think I have had it better then most, since my mouth was not banded shut, and because I had most of the feeling in my lips. I have been able to eat from spoon since day 2, and while I'm still mostly on liquids or purreed foods, I am able to eat some very soft things like pudding, potatoes, etc without too much trouble. I haven't had a huge issues with dribbling food down my face, but it does happen. Mostly I only have one spot that is numb so as long as I avoid that spot, dribbing is kept to a minimum. I mean I have even eat in public with relatively no issues. I have feeling on the outside of my lip and chin so if stuff does start to run down my face, I can definitely feel it!

Sleeping has become much easier in the last day or so. I no longer have the aching in my jaw muscles and an relax and fall asleep. How I sleep affects where my swelling will be the next day. Sometimes I awake and it is mostly in my left sinus area, then the next day it will shift and be on the right side, or in my lower lip. It totally moves around, and while I have't been able to feel any plates or screws yet, I can tell you that I definitely know that my Maxilla is not completely attached. I don't know how to really explain it, but it just FEELS disconnected. I also have a low grade headache most of the time. I had this also with my SARPE, but I just assumed it was from the expansion process (which partly it may have been) but I'm thinking it is mostly coming from the swelling and pressure in my sinuses.

Talking was rough for the first few days, due to muscle exhaustion, tongue numbness, and the fact that the breathing tube I think disrupted my vocal cords a bit. I was very horse sounding, and sounded sorta like a kid with "downs syndrome" as my tongue was swollen, and not very manueverable. That has gotten much better but I still have numbness in the tip of my tongue and intermitantly on the left hand side. When I close my mouth I have to be very careful so I do not bite my numb lip, tongue, or cheek. It is not just a natural process yet.

Brushing your teeth is difficult, especially the first few days when you are trying to avoid stitches and your mouth feels like it doesn't even belong to you. I tried a baby toothbrush but found it to be too soft and pretty much worthless. What I used that worked best was my sonicare toothbrush. Mind you I did not turn it on, but it has a very small head on it, and the handle is long and skinny. It made it easy to get to my rear teeth, and I could just lift my lip up and see where I was brushing. Plus the brush is a bit firmer then a baby toothbrush and got things much cleaner.
A tongues scraper is a must for sure. Even if you get your teeth clean, your tongue will feel gross, and brushing it is next to impossible when you can't open your mouth enough to get the toothbrush in, or you can't stick your tongue out due to swelling etc. I found a tongue brush at Walmart that has worked amazingly well. Trust me you will definitely want one of these babys.

Flossing is a bit more challenging but certainly do-able with a mirror. Just be gentle on your numb gums so you don't slice them up.

Exercise! Some people are probably not going to want to hear this but I think exercise is hugely important in healing. For one thing, exercise releases endorphins, which are the bodies feel good chemicals. They help get rid of pain naturally, and I think you will find that nothing touches your pain like endorphins do. I can take a 15 minute walk and be pain free for over an hour, with no side effects. Through this whole journey I honestly felt better anytime I was moving. Even rocking back and forth in my chair felt better then just sitting still. Within a few days, try and get some movement, and get outside a bit. The fresh air will do you wonders also.

Loose fitting clothing for bumming around the house are good for the first few days. I also took a lot of hot baths. They helped relax me and the water splashed on my face, or a warm washclothe held on it, did wonders to relax tight muscles and reduce facial tension. If you are weak or dizzy then be sure and have someone present with you so that you don't get hurt. Hot baths can make you rather weak and faint when your body is working so hard to heal.

AS for foods to eat, I'm going to do a separate page for those as they have been many and quite varied.


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