Monday, 16 September 2013

Days 1 to 6

I was up pretty early on day 1, and as I hadn't yet eaten anything and my blood pressure was a bit low, the nurses helped me have a shower..  It was nice to rinse my mouth out with the portable shower head.
I was given some more morphine and anti-nausea drugs, and then it dawned on me that it was the morphine making me nauseous so I requessted no more of that.  Still didn't feel like eating much during the  day, I tried to have some yoghur at breaky, but it just sat on my bottom lip  as I couldn't open my mouth well with the bands in.
Bernie came and visited twice today. 
Dr D came and saw me and showed me profile pictures he had taken of me before he operated; and one directly after - there was a big difference, but it's hard to remember, and I don't have a copy.......yet. 
My bottom lip started to go a little numb (I think from beinng so fat).   I snoozed on and off most of the day, my eyes hurt  a bit, so I didn't feel like watching TV or amusing myself on my tablet.
Dr D came and saw me again, and wondered whether my swelling had peaked  (I hoped so) as I wasn't really any puffier than that morning.  He decided to remove my bands to try and make it easier for me to et and take my pain meds.  I wasn't sure if that was a good idea or not, but he did it anyway.  He also said that I probably wouldn't go home until Saturday (today was Thursday).
Had some soup for dinner, from a little sippy cup - it was SO GOOD.  Brushed my teeth & slept pretty well  that night. 

I was awake super early again (sun-up), and there was a lovely nurse who was at the end of my bed with fresh ice pack (everyone else had waited until I asked for ice).  My face was pretty puffy and achy. 
I took myself for a shower and tried to brush my teeth  - I managed to get all of the outside, but none of the inside.  I was really looking forward to breakfast and a cup of tea.  They serve so much sweet stuff (yoghurt; custard & jelly; pureed fruit;  ice-cream; sweetened fruit juice - yuk) all I wanted was savoury. 
I was feeling pretty good, and hoped that Dr D would change his mind and let me go home today - but no.  Bernie came to visit again & he noticed  that I looked better, and was a lot more mobile. 
Dr D finally came to visit & stayed for a while, he wondered how I was psychologically  (I thought pretty good - I had only questioned my sanity a couple of times since Wednesday!!)  He told me that I was looking better, as i had my colour back.  He also said he had to move the bottom plate on my RHS 3 times - first due to dodgy tap on tthe screw; then new position for a fresh hole; and finally because he couldn't move my chin forward with the plate where it was.  He was really pleased with the level of feeling on my right side for this reason, as the nerve had to be manouvred several times.  He sent me down for an x-ray to check everything out; and  before he left, he requested a copy of my picture of me with my smiley face.  

Hanging out for dinner again, and too much sweet stuff, and not enough soup!!
Bernie & I watched a few  episodes of Hamish and Andy - Gap Year Asia - they are a mad pair.  Didn't  sleep very well.

I woke up super early (like 4am) even puffier this morning, and my eyes felt kind of stuck together, but I couldn't go back to sleep.
Had a nice long shower and brushed my teeth gently  - inside my mouth is just as puffy as out.  Had my bag packed and ready to go by about 6am  - waiting; waiting; waiting! 
Emailed a friend, and watched some more Hamish and Andy to kill a bit of time til breakfast.  Had porridge this morning on a baby spoon- so yummy!!  Was hungry again not long after, but only sickly sweet custard - ugh.
Bernie came and visited  and we waited for the Doc.  His wife (also a Dr) came to discharge me which I didn't mind in the slightest. 
Was hungry again as we left hospital, so we grabbed some KFC for the trip home (I had potato & gravy) and commenced our 2.5 hr trip home.  I fell asleep eventually on the way home, but was pretty sore by the time we got here.
Mum came to visit, and brought our dog Harry home; Bernie cooked us up some soup in our Thermomix (love that machine); then we took the dogs for a short walk on the beach (which was nice) before  heading home for an early  dinner/shower/bed.  

This was probably my worst day so far - again I was up at the crack of dawn, and a bit sore, but today I  could hardly open my eyes!   I had tried to sleep in an elevated kind of position, but for someone who is a half side, half tummy sleeper I was SO completely sick of laying on my back, and my tailbone wasn't too happy about  it either - that I'd managed to lay pretty well flat through the night.  With my genio  work came a nice firm plaster over and under my chin and pulled tight right up to my cheek bones; and when you combine that with laying flat - you get swelling that defies gravity with bags under your eyes pushing them up, and tape almost next to your eyes pulling them down & he presto I almost could not see. 
My face felt so  puffy and fat and tight it felt like it might explode & I hoped that surely I could not get bigger than this!  I was constantly putting lip balm on to prevent my bottom lip from cracking - it literaly felt like someone had grabbed it and turned it inside out.  

I did manage to do a few things around home, a couple of loads of washing & put the dishes away - and they happened slowly, but it gave me something to do!
It was also pretty hard to talk, and after I ate my mush from a spoon at lunch, my jaw was pretty tired, sore and achy.  I took some pain killers and applied ice, but the ice seemed to make it worse  - almost as if it were freezing the metal plates inside my head to effectively give me ice-cream head ache around my jaw. 
I rested, but wasn't tired; and I  was  bored, but with a sore head there wasn't much to do;  I ended up having about four showers today - the hot water running over my face felt good. 
Later that arv, Bernie and I took Harry  for a walk on the  beach (and got further than the day before).  It was nice to be out in the fresh air. 
After the sleeping disaster from the night before, I decided to try and sleep on our fold-out couch  in a bid to stay more upright & it did work, but I had a crap night's sleep & woke about every three hours  for more pain killers. 

I woke up early again (not happy Jan - this is my chance for sleep-ins) & started my day with a nice hot shower.  I wasn't quite as puffy as the day before, but today my bruising really started to show.  My bottom lip went dark purple on either side, and out on to my cheeks, and I'm a greenish/yellow all the way down my neck past my collar bone.  

Bernie had some things to do in town, so I decided to go with him to get out of the house.  I stayed in the car at the hardware store, and stockfeed place, but I went into the supermarket with him.  I knew people would stare, and wonder what on earth had happened to me, so I wrapped a scarf around my head like a burka (not sure if I spelled that right)  & yes I got some stares, but just because they wondered why i had a scarf on my head.  The check  out chicks didn't even  seem to misunderstand what I was saying - winning!
Today was the day that my girls came home, and I was a little worried about how they would react to my swollen bruised face.  I had considered asking my Mum to collect them from school, but decided to bite the bullet and treat it as a normal day; and after my positive experience with my scarf, I adopted that approach with them too.
Of course they noticed and wondered why I had a scarf on, and then why I was talking funny, but it gave me a chance to explain it to them a little better without freaking them out too much, or at school.  When we got  home, I revealed, and my youngest was a bit ''creeped out" (her words) - but she soon realised that i was the same Mummy, and that i was ok & would be much better soon.  My eldest had lots and lots and lots of  question, and was more curious than anything.  By that evening though, my jaw was aching from so much talking!!  
Lunch in a sauce bottle - too bloody easy!

I took some stronger pain killers and ditched the couch in favour of our bed with some cushions under the mattress to elevate the head end.  SO MUCH BETTER!!!!  Had an awesome awesome sleep & i absolutely recommend this method of elevation over every other method I've tried. 

Awesome, awesome day!  I really am starting to feel like me again (just with a slightly bruised fat head).  Huge differences today.  I got the girls ready for school and dropped them off; went back to the supermarket and bakery (with my scarf) by myself; went to visit my Mum for a while; baked my family a Bacon & Egg Pie (yummo - but not blendable me thinks).  Bernie went and put the crab pots in (cross your fingers for fresh mud crab tomorrow). And I also attended my Daughter's netball presentation (with scarf) no problems! 
I can smile today!!!! I mean literally smile - I really can, not a big one, but definately a smile!

Cappuccino in a sauce bottle!!

My swelling has gone down a lot today (my plaster has started to crinkle); I can close my lips; and this afternoon I even managed some kisses which I couldn't do this morning!!  I can feel more with the inside of my lips, and my girls told me this afternoon that I am speaking so much better than this morning too. Happy Day :)
My bruising has gotten worse though, it kinda looks like I have had a big feed of vegemite toast & not washed my face - gotta see the funny side of that - if only I could have vegemite toast!!

My pain was almost non-existant today.


  1. Ellie you are looking fabulous!! (as always) you are going to kick this recovery and look SOOO fantastic. Congrats on finally being on the other side of surgery, so happy for you :)

    1. Thanks for your support Cassie, it means a lot to me. Can't wait to encourage you through your surgery recovery :)

  2. I've been one of those followers who doesn't comment up til now, but I just wanted to say you look great! I'm so excited for you!

  3. Hi Ellie - what a great update :) your swelling is going down nicely which I bet you are so glad about. The bruising looks painful (I don't understand why I didn't get any?). I think your new profile looks fab and can't wait to watch your face transform over the next few weeks.
    I'm glad that you have found a comfy way to sleep - it's what I have found difficult too.


  4. You Lady are amazing! Out walking on the beach day 3, school run, shopping, baking and a netball practice visit on day 6!? How are you doing this?!!!! :-)

    I am honestly in awe. Your bruising does look sore, but i bruise really easily, so I know sometimes it looks worse than it actually is. Your doing so well, I bet your fiancée ;-) and your children are so proud of you and you I hope you are proud of you too!

    Thank you for doing such an informative post too, it all helps to prepare a very worried little mind over here! xxx