orthognathic surgery,janell smith,jaw surgery,lower jaw surgery,over bit,overjet,the quest for less character, character blog, braces, adult braces,mandibular advancement, jaw The quest for less character: 10/11/11

Oct 11, 2011

The Big Day!!

I apologize for the delay is posting updates.  I have had a bit of difficulty adjusting to the pain level, and each time I get the pain to a manageable spot, I have been too exhausted to sit and post, or the medication knocks me out!  I am hoping to give it a shot now, so here goes.

The morning of surgery was a normal morning, getting Canyon off to school and getting packed for the hospital.  Nerves did not arrive until about 10am when we pulled into the parking lot. They took me right back into the holding area and did the standard vitals, got me changed into a gown, got a urine sample for a pregnancy test,  (HA! that one really cracked me up), and then it was time to start the I.V.

I have terrible veins so this was the most difficult part of the morning. The first nurse tried twice, called in an "expert", and he tried twice, then he called in the anesthesia team. The first N.A. came in, tried, and failed, and then called in the 2nd one.  She finally got it, but it was in the bend of my arm.  Not the best place but it was in and I was off.

I was given some medicine to relax me and was taken into the O.R.  I scooted myself onto the surgical bed and was hooked up to various wires and monitors.  They sprayed, or dripped Afrin into my nose and then put the gas mask over my face. That was the last thing I remember.

The next thing I remember was waking up and thinking, "why am I not numb, and what the heck did I just do?"

I had it in my mind based on what Dr. T had told me, as well as what I had read on so many other blogs that I probably wouldn't feel much in my lower jaw due to the nerve being stretched out. Well, I guess Dr. T was really good at protecting the nerve because I can feel everything!  Not numb at all.

My pain level upon waking up was immediately at an 8-9 and the nurse started giving me morphine. It was only helping a little and it seemed only to make me violently ill.  I got dry heaves each time it was given and going through the motion of wretching was making the pain worse.

The next thing I can remember noticing was that I wasn't banded tightly shut.  I have a few tiny bands in the back but I can still get my mouth open quite a bit. I was also expecting two tiny incisions on my cheeks from the screws, and I didn't have those either.

It was VERY awesome that I could open my mouth and not numb because I can take pills instead of liquid pain medication and I can already sip from a cup.  I am not having to use a syringe.  I feel like I'm already light years ahead of many patients that go through this.

After they changed my pain meds to Norco instead of the morphine, and added some Zophran for nausea,  my dry heaves started calming down and I started to rest a bit more.

The room I had a Zale was awesome!  It was more like a hotel room with a beautiful view of downtown Dallas, than what you would think a hospital room would look like.  AND to top it off, I arrived in my room just in time to see the tie-breaking Nelly Cruz home run that gave the Rangers the win in Game 2 of the ALCS!  There was a long couch that made a comfortable bed for Sharon and they brought her plenty of blankies and pillows. We were well taken care of.  Check out this view of Downtown Dallas!

The nurses I had were awesome!  So incredibly sweet and helpful. I couldn't have asked for better care. The night in the hospital was mostly just sleeping and taking pain meds. My pain level was pretty high so I was taking it every 4 hours.  Watched a lot of Animal Planet and Food Network. Pictures below are immediate after surgery.

By Tuesday morning the swelling started to kick in, and oddly enough no one had thought to put ice on my face. I wish I had brought my jaw bra to the hospital but I thought there would be something there for my use.  Tuesday morning Sharon said, "Should I ask for an ice bag?"  I thought, "DUH!?"  We asked and once applied, my jaw immediately felt better.  I was afraid that the cold would be painful, but it really helps with the pain.

About 6am, the resident that assisted with my surgery came in and saw me and told me that everything looked great!  He was very proud of what they had accomplished with my jaw. I asked about antibiotics and he said I wouldn't be needing them because everything went so well and was so closed up and locked in perfectly.  He asked if I wanted to go home then or about lunchtime.  We decided to wait until after Canyon would have left for school and then go home.  Sharon wanted to make sure to have some extra time to explain things to him before he saw me.  Even though we had been preparing him for quite some time, he was still anxious, and I think I looked worse than what we both expected.  I went ahead ate breakfast and got ready to head home.

My breakfast was chicken broth, apple juice and some orange jello.  I was so proud that I could actually get the tip of a spoon in my mouth.  I never thought apple juice and orange jello would taste so good. I got tired trying to eat the jello so I gave up on that adventure pretty quickly, but I at least took a few bites!  I felt victorious!

Overall the hospital stay was great! The doctors were really excited with how things turned out and because of Dr. T's skill, things were much better than I had expected.  Great job Dr. T.!!