I woke up at 8:00 AM because one of my ice packs had started leaking in my sleep, so my shirt and sports bra were soaking wet. I felt super gross so I decided it was finally time for me to take a shower. My mom and I got in swimsuits and I sat on an outdoor furniture foot rest that we had brought inside our walk-in master bathroom shower. She used the handheld detachable shower head to shampoo and condition my hair for me. I probably could have done it myself, but I was so weak from my low-calorie diet that I could barely stand. I also have really long, thin blonde hair that gets super tangly and is a pain to detangle.
After showering, I ate maple and brown sugar oatmeal for breakfast (my mom had to thin it down and blend it). Then I rinsed with my prescription mouthwash (Chorhexidine Gluconate 0.12%, 15 mL). My mom started to blow dry my hair for me, but I wanted to lie down because I was too weak to sit up anymore. I ended up falling back asleep from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM, leaning one side of my face on an ice pack. My mom woke me up at 11:30 AM so I could take my pain medication (Tylenol with Codeine, 10 mL) and French-braided my hair for me, so I would look acceptable in public.
My first post-op appointment with Dr. Day, my jaw surgeon, was at 1:00 PM today. I had one of my hot flashes before leaving the house, and it got even worse in the car. On top of that, I probably walked too fast into the building because I got a little dizzy and had to lean on my mom while waiting for the elevator. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait in Dr. Day’s waiting room too long. They took an x-ray before leading me into the exam room – I probably did a terrible job of keeping still, because I wasn’t feeling well. At least the exam chair felt cold against my skin.
Dr. Day came in right away and asked how I felt. He said I was a little more swollen than most of his patients, but that’s probably because after he was done with my surgery he didn’t like how my molars were lining up on the right side, so he opened me back up and went at it for another 15 minutes. I told him I didn’t mind – whatever he needed to do to get things perfect. He showed me the x-ray once it printed. I was really surprised how little hardware he used on my lower jaw. You can see the extra screw holes on the bottom left from him repositioning it twice.
He said I can stop icing because it’s not doing much of anything at this point, but I can ice for comfort if I want. He recommended that I start taking 600 mg of Children’s Motrin every 8 hours and to only use the 10 mL of Tylenol with Codeine to treat breakthrough pain. I told him I didn’t mind the pain or swelling. What’s really bothering me are the random hot flashes and how weak I feel all the time. I told him I hadn’t eaten much since the surgery and that I had already lost 6 pounds. He chastised my mom and fiancé and told them to force me to eat more.
After he left, his assistants let me stay in the exam room and put an ice pack on my forehead. One of them even fanned my face for me, which was really nice. I was feeling awful – super hot and a little dizzy. They told me “don’t worry, you aren’t the first” and tried to distract me by talking about how worse other jaw surgery patients had it. They used a wheelchair to get me downstairs and back out to the car. My mom felt like we should have asked more questions, but I told her there really isn’t much else to know. From here on out, it’s just about calorie intake and waiting for the swelling to go down.
When we got home, I had a flower delivery waiting for me. They were from my fiancé’s parents, who live in Pittsburgh. I really couldn’t ask for better future in-laws. They are such sweet people. I spent the next hour trying to eat leftovers – I downed the rest of yesterday’s avocado mixture and mashed potatoes, another whey protein, peanut butter, banana, chocolate milk smoothie, etc. At 3:00 PM I took 600 mg of Children’s Motrin. I also discovered that yawning REALLY hurts… and nothing makes me yawn more than listening to my fiancé watch hockey.
The afternoon was pretty uneventful. I just hung around the house with my mom and fiancé, talking about wedding plans (our Save The Dates arrived in the mail today). They made me laugh a lot, which is painful, but also feels good – like I’m breaking up scar tissue. The funniest moment was when my fiancé made me dinner. He microwaved a jar of baby food with the top off (and no metal on it) and somehow it exploded with enough force to blow open the microwave door! I also got an itch on my chin that I couldn’t scratch because it was under the numbness. It went away pretty quickly, but if that happens a lot I’m probably going to go insane. Occasionally I’ll get “twinges” in my chin, which I hope is the nerves regenerating. Sometimes my ears will feel plugged too, but I think that’s just from my sinuses being swollen.
At 10:00 PM we put on Star Trek: Beyond and played a drinking game. I haven’t been very good at finishing my meals, so I was supposed to take a drink out of my ketchup bottle every time something specific happened in the movie (e.g., anytime someone says “Captain”, anytime the Enterprise goes into warp, anytime a red shirt dies, etc.). About halfway through the movie my face started feeling heavy. Not painful, but uncomfortable. I mentioned it and my mom pointed out that it was 11:00 PM, so it was time to take my Children’s Motrin again. I ended up missing the last 20 minutes of the movie because all of the action scenes were making my head hurt. It’s funny, I thought I was going to be able to knock out a ton of TV during my recovery – finally watch Veronica Mars or something, but I haven’t been able to watch anything because it’s too hard to concentrate. Action scenes are especially difficult to follow.
Below are the Day 3 pictures I took. The general consensus on the internet is the swelling is supposed to peak today, but I think it peaked yesterday. I have a theory that my recovery is going to be much quicker than most because my surgery only lasted 4 hours (compared to the typical 8 hours). Dr. Day truly is the best in his field!