Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Double Jaw Surgery Recovery - Days 1-3

Well I've done it!

I've had double jaw surgery and come through the other, swollen, tingly, dribbly, frustrating but wonderful side. Apologies for not updating sooner but those frst 3 days were awful. I seriously underestimated how bad I was going to feel. It was a bit of a shock and I just had no energy to syringe water in my mouth let alone post anything coherent. That has all changed though as I am now on day 6, but I will just do a post about days 1-3 first then move on to where I am now. 

Operation Day - Wednesday 16th

So on the operation morning I got washed and dressed, had a little cry in the shower then pulled myself together. Took some last pictures of my face and some with my man, then my mum and dad came and picked us up. We got to the Hospital about 7.30am and waited for ages, turned out somebody had forgot to tell someone else that I was there. The operating team thought I hadn't turned up!
So because of that my goodbyes were rather rushed and stressed. Then i met with my anaesthetist and some nurses and went through all the pre op stuff like blood pressure getting into your gown and paper pants! I met my Surgeon and he said I was meant to be going to Geddington Ward after my op but they didn't have the right nurses there to give me 24hr care so I was going to be looked after in intensive care instead for the first 24 hours which actually I was quite pleased about.
Then before I knew it I off walking to the theatre room. I was quite scared and nervous when I was in there, and I just kept thinking about happy things and trying not to be scared.
When I came round I was surprised by how thirsty I was, I asked for water straight away, I had a little straw and managed somehow to get a tiny bit up and in my mouth. Then the nurses went and got Lee and it was so lovely to see him. I don't really remember much from being in recovery, then I was being wheeled through the hospital to intensive care.
I had a self administer pain button thing, which was amazing! so that helped me through the first night, I wasn't in pain so much, just discomfort and I think I was scared that if i didn't keep up the pain medication doses then I would feel pain. I really struggled to breathe for the few days and was on oxygen most of the time which helped, but it was still difficult. My IV wasn't placed very well so every time i had fluids, or medication it felt like lava going up my arm which wasn't very nice, but needs must!
My family came to see me that night, my mum cried, my sister almost fainted and threw up (she doesn't do hospitals and ill people) they all said they couldn't believe how different I looked and were really pleased for me. Here is me after my operation! 

Day One Post Op - Thursday 17th

I spent most of the day in ICU, was on oxygen and struggling to breathe freely by myself because my nose was so bunged up and swollen, I was still only given straws to drink with and i really couldn't get anything up them, it was difficult and frustrating that nobody I pointed this out too could offer me a solution. I had a little wash and was able to use the toilet. I was still using my pain button, but the pain I had from my IV was getting worse.

In the afternoon I was transferred to Geddington ward but first i had to go for an xray. There wasn't very much room in there and extras attached to me. the xray lady was miserable and after the first one didn't take very well she came round and grabbed under my chin and lifted my head up and said you need to be higher. I thought i was going to be sick, that hurt a lot and i felt so weak and giddy standing there. I wanted to cry and thought what have i done, why have i had this operation done. 

Eventually I got to the ward and after quite a wait I was settled into bed. My mum came and i just cried and told her what had happened and how rubbish I felt. But on the plus side this ward magically had syringes yaaaaaay! So that meant i could give myself water and food!

I asked for something to eat, it was a really thick meal replacement shake that i just couldnt get down, there was no where big enough for it to go. I slept little, really on an off all night, and was still on oxygen. Half way through the night when the nurses came round to give me more medication I asked for my IV to be removed because the pain from it was worse than the pain I was experiencing from the operation. So I was moved on to liquid medication from that night. The liquid paracetamol was disgusting!

Day Two Post Op - Friday 18th

Friday came and I was told I could go home providing i could breathe, I was so happy! So I whipped off the oxygen and told my stupid nose and body to breathe! To be honest i didn't feel that the level of care I received was very good in either unit. I just felt like neither of them was set up for my type of recovery, for example when I asked for something to eat Friday lunch I was given a small paper cup of milk and a sachet of powder and a desert spoon. Needless to say that didn't mix in very well and I didn't really eat anything or drink very much for 3 days.

But I managed a shower and a hair wash all by myself, got myself dressed and sat and waited for my mum. I got given loads of liquid paracetamol, antibiotics and meal replacement drinks in a variety of flavours called Fortisip, and some chocolate flavour powder stuff called Scandishake. Both are fine, not what you would choose to eat but the flavours are varied and they give me some much needed calories and all teh good stuff you need to get better!

The drive home was fine, I didn't feel sick and it didn't hurt going over bumps. I was so happy to be home! I got into bed with my mountain of pillows and had my paracetamol and antibiotics and some water and thought i would sleep well because I was so tired but I didn't, I slept on and off through the night, I just couldn't get comfy. I sleep on my front, so sleeping in a fairly upright position on my back isn't comfy for me. Here is some day 2 pictures. 

Day Three Post Op - Saturday 19th

Saturday was a really rough day, even though i was at home I just felt so sad, so tired, so fed up. I'd hardly eaten anything for days and felt really weak but I didn't want to eat anything. The liquid paracetamol was making me feel sick, it was so sickly sweet and syrupy, it coated my mouth and made it hard to get anything down after it. My stomach was really bubbly too from just putting antibiotics and paracetamol in it for days rather than food, it made it difficult to sleep and i constantly felt like i needed to use the bathroom when i didn't  I cried a lot and felt like a burden for my family and Lee and just generally felt sorry for myself. I stopped taking the paracetamol and switched to a liquid ibuprofen instead. However I wasn't in any really pain at all, just a mild ache really.


  1. Glad to see you made it through, congrats! :) sorry about the liquid medicine.... i couldn't keep that down. it was much too gross. but im glad you are feeling well enough to just take ibuprofen. you look great! best of luck trying to get enough food down... i know that can't be too fun. But I hope things just get better from here, keep updating on how you are :)

    1. Thanks Katie,

      That medicine is horrid. and you have to have so much of it! Why cant they just make it stronger so you have less to endure lol Yeah the food bit is proving frustrating but i just keep tryign to remind myself that it is only temporary and to keep smiling, well attempting to smile anyway. x

    2. I am so excited for you to get past all of this!!! it really is worth it. even if that is so hard to remember on the hard days... but keep pushing through, and know we have all been in a similar boat. the first full, peaceful night of sleep will come at some point! (and the first time being able to sleep on my stomach again was practically the best night ever) I hope you can laugh and smile without pain as quickly as possible :):):):)

  2. YOU DID IT!!!!!!!!! Am so happy for you - despite being a self confessed wimp, you were (& are) strong enough to get through this. Was hoping you were ok & glad that at day 6 you're starting to feel better. Great photos btw - you look much better than I did straight from surgery & how amazing is your new profile????? Congratulations Natasha :D

    1. Hey lovely, hahaha I did do it, didn't i! :-) it still doesnt feel real at all.

      Thank you so much. I'm only really noticing a difference in my nose, i keep looking at my side profile pictures but I just cant see much of a difference.
      I don't know maybe it's harder for me to see the difference than it is for others? But I know there is a difference and i just have to wait for the swelling to go down a bit to start to see my face a bit better.
      I'm really surprised i haven't bruised much yet, I thought i'd bruise the same as you to be honest, but we will see. I'm sure it will come out soon enough :-) xxx

  3. I cringed at the part about the xray. That must have hurt a lot! I think I would honestly get rather angry if someone did that to me when I was still in pain and groggy. Your hospital experience sounds quite unpleasant... I hope it gets better from here. You look great by the way :) x