I woke up at 6:20 AM to Nurse Nancy shaking my leg. She said I was out cold. I got dressed in the clothes I arrived in and was ruffling through my overnight bag when my mom and sister came in. They said I looked much better. I brought two thank you notes and two $15 Starbucks cards to give to the nurses. I wish I had brought three instead of two because I also had a certified nursing assistant named Francisco who was wonderful. My sister’s office is a block away from the Biltmore Surgical Center, so I’ll ask her to drop one off later. Before we left, the fire alarm started going off for some reason, but I guess it was an accident because no one made us evacuate.
Dr. Day came by to check on me before we left. He said he forgot to tell me that he did me another “favor” during the surgery – he fixed my deviated septum! I asked him about the cracking noises my right TMJ was making and he said they were perfectly normal – it’s just bones adjusting into place (whoa). He also said I can have a blenderized diet starting at lunch today. I wasn’t expecting that! I really haven’t been hungry at all though. Maybe the anesthesia is dulling my appetite? After Dr. Day left, Nurse Nancy helped me into a wheelchair and wheeled me out to my sister’s car. The drive home was uneventful, although I wish my sister’s car had better shocks because I swear I could feel every bump in the road.
Once I got home I drank some water and passed out cold again for a couple hours in my bed, leaning upright against my BedLounge chair. I probably only woke up because my room was super hot and my jaw bra had completely melted. I drank 3/4 cup of beef broth, 1/4 cup of V8 juice, and an entire can of chocolate-flavored Boost shake, so 280 calories total. During that time, my fiancé arrived at the Phoenix airport and got home at noon, just as I was finishing my Boost shake. He helped me take my antibiotics (Azithromycin, 10 mL), which we tried to mix with red Gatorade because I hate cherry flavoring. It still tasted awful. What really sucked was the powdered clumps got stuck in the syringe tubing over and over, so it took forever. Then I rinsed with my mouthwash (Chorhexidine Gluconate 0.12%, 15 mL) and finally got to watch a video of my fiancé’s rocket launch. He was responsible for powering and configuring the avionics system. I know this has nothing to do with jaw surgery, but here’s the video he showed me. If you skip ahead to 10:20 you can hear him talking on the countdown (his call sign is OPS-1). If you just want to watch the lift-off, skip ahead to 15:00.
My fiancé fell asleep next to me because he only got two hours of sleep between the post-launch party and his red eye flight. I tried to go back to sleep too, but I just wasn’t tired. I figured that was probably a good thing because if I stayed up all day then I would sleep all through the night. The only problem is I ended up overexerting myself. I took off my ice packs and went out to the couch in our living room and cleaned the blood from my nostrils with Q-Tips dipped in a cup of hot water. Then I tried to get the tri-pod set up in my office to take some pictures. After that, I was super exhausted, so I laid in bed with my cell phone for a while, just reading comments on my Facebook post. I realized I couldn’t breathe at all out of my left nostril, but I could breathe perfectly fine out of my right nostril, so I was pretty happy about that.
I fell asleep from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM and woke up again in VERY intense heat. My ice packs had melted, my room was hot, and the water against my face was starting to heat up. It was absolutely miserable. I finally gave in and took the first dose of my pain medication (10 mL of Tylenol with Codeine), before trying to go back to sleep. I had restless legs syndrome again, so my mom and fiancé took turns rubbing my legs.
My fiancé woke me up at 10:30 PM and 12:30 AM to change my ice packs because we didn’t want a repeat of the heat incident. I woke up by myself at 2:30 AM, thirty minutes before my fiancé’s next alarm was going to go off. I took the second dose of my pain medication, drank a second Boost shake, rinsed with my mouthwash, and used my WaterPik (on the lowest setting). Looking in the mirror, it seemed like the swelling had doubled. That didn’t bother me too much though because I knew the swelling would peak at Day 2 or Day 3. Funny side note: we have two feral kittens that we took in four months ago. We named them Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova (after the first man and woman in space). Val likes to knead and suckle on furry blankets like the one covering my BedLounge chair. I feel bad because she was going at it and my nose started bleeding all over her. She didn’t seem to mind, but my fiancé had to clean off her coat with a wet towel!
My fiancé and mom were awesome – all night long they took turns waking me up every two hours or so to change my ice packs and give me my pain medication, as needed. I felt very well-taken care of. I guess I should mention that I was never in outright pain today, just discomfort. I actually didn’t even want the pain medicine, but it helped me sleep, which was nice. I always sleep on my side, so sleeping on my back (and on an incline) has been difficult.
Below are the Day 1 pictures I took. The swelling hasn’t peaked yet – supposedly that will happen on Day 3. I woke up from the surgery with tiny cuts around my lips. I still have a Band-Aid over one of the external incision sites, but you can see the other one in the lower left picture. I wasn’t expecting them to be so small. Please ignore my oily hair and missing fake eyelashes. I hadn’t showered at this point…