Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Surgery Time

I'm going to start my recap from Sunday, the night before surgery, and see how far I can get through it this morning (my energy level isn't the greatest right now).  We'll start with the pre-surgery pictures. 

The lovely no chin, downward pulled nose side profile shots!

Sunday was a pre-surgery day.  I spent the morning with last minute prep then went for my last supper around 4:30 with family. I ate as much as I could!  We went to an Italian restaurant and I made sure to get something for each course and it was all delicious :)  My mom and I went home and did facials (plural!) and by the time we were done had skin soft as a babies.  Then I showered and was in bed by 10.  I didn't feel nervous the night before, but I must have been subconsciously, because I was up for most of the night past midnight.  Luckily, I wasn't too tired when I had to get up, which was at 5am, and we left for the hospital at 5:30.  My dad, step mom and one of brothers met my mom and I at the hospital, which was nice to have all the support.  Admission took about half an hour when we got there, since I was 8th in line.  Then we went to another waiting room at which point I had to change into a lovely hospital gown.  The only thing I got to keep were my socks :S  We all stayed there, with a number of other surgery patients, until they came and collected us and separated us from our families.  Everyone got into the elevator together, but when we got to the right floor the surgery patients went out when side of the doors and the families went out the other.  We all went to basically a hallway where we got placed into our assigned beds and wrapped in the warm hospital blankets.  At about 10 to 8 my nurse came and got me and I was the first patient wheeled away for surgery.  When we got to the surgery room I had to get up from the bed and walk into the room myself.  That scared me initially, but once we got into the room it wasn't so bad.  I didn't get a good look at any of the tools, thankfully, and it was only a few minutes after I was on the bed that I was being put under (prior to which the doctor commented on my crappy veins, his technical term for them)!

Surgery started right on time I believe at 8am and the doctor was out talking to my parents at 12:15, so things went pretty well according to plan as he had said it would be a 4 to 5 hour surgery.  I'm not sure what time I woke up in recovery, I just remember a couple of nurses standing over me and calling my name.  As soon as I was awake they walked away, but didn't tell me I could fall back asleep.  So I laid there for a long while trying to fight to keep myself awake, when after what felt like forever of this, a nurse walked by and must have thought I looked pretty uncomfortable because she said "you know honey, you'd be a lot more comfortable if you tried to get some rest".....  Thanks for telling me that now!  Haha.  The rest of the time in recovery I spent trying to sleep, but recovery is one giant room full of people just come out of surgery (I think that's all who's in there, but I could be wrong), but there are alot of people!  For the most part everyone was pretty quite and trying to rest, but of course, there was one guy in my area who wasn't having any of that!  I never got a look at him, but he sounded older and he kept crying to the nurses that he couldn't breathe and he wanted something removed from his face.  I'm not sure what it was he wanted removed, but the nurse kept telling him there was nothing there and that since he was able to talk then he was able to breathe.  That never satisfied him though.  He also wanted to get up and out of the bed, and he kept pleading with them that he would behave himself if they would just him do that.  They never let him though so this whole thing went on like this for sometime!  Eventually it did stop, I don't know if it was because they got him to go to sleep or if they took him somewhere else.  I was finally taken to my room though at 4pm.  And the ride from recovery to my room was simply awful:(  I became very nauseous and ended up needing a couple of rounds of gravol through the afternoon to get me through, but luckily I didn't throw up!  That was one of my fears for recovery.  I also noticed at that point that I wasn't so messy.  I used the suction thingy when I got there and only a small amount of blood was removed from my mouth and my nose didn't bleed at all.  Yay to no mess!  That was also about the time that I discovered that I had pretty good feeling in my face, except for my chin and the roof of my mouth.  Another thing I wasn't expecting was for this to be a "no shame" surgery, ie, I didn't know that all the nurses would be seeing me in all my glory.  Of course when you're all doped up and trying to get the nauseous feelings to go away, you could really care less, it was just unexpected for me.  It was shortly after this that my family got to come and see me, and when I found out that I ended up getting a chin implant!  That wasn't something we had talked about prior to surgery as even being a possibility, so I was a little surprised by it, but it explained why there is no feeling in my chin.  I trust my doctors judgement though, so if he felt that this is something I needed than I must have needed it!
Around 6 o'clock I found out that I had a catheter in..... No one had mentioned this before, and I hadn't put together that it had been a long time since I went to the washroom!  It kind of freaked me out a little bit, I won't lie.  But it ended up not being that bad. Even when they took it out the next morning, not that bad.  Just another little surprise from surgery I suppose. 
My IV staying in til 5 in the morning,supplying me with my nutrients and medications.  I noticed each time, about every 2 hours, that they administered the drugs, I would get a burning sensation when the drugs reached my veins. By the time 5 in the morning rolled around I couldn't take it anymore and asked to be put on the liquid drugs.  Happily my nurse obliged and quickly removed the needle from arm.  It hurt getting that thing taken out!  I don't think that's normal, so anyone reading this don't get freaked out!  I don't know why that happened to me, I don't think it was an allergic reaction or anything, but I was mighty happy when I didn't have to deal with it anymore!  I was on morphine until  the iv came out of my arm and then they switched me to liquid codeine.  I think I had two rounds of codeine before I asked for something stronger, the codeine hardly did anything for me.  They switched me to a dilaudid suspension which is great!  It works pretty quickly and when taking the right amount lasts as long as its supposed to.  My doctor said I could take 2 to 4mg every 3 to 6 hours so my nurse started me at 2.5mg and unfortunately that dosage lasted only about an hour and a half.  And because of what it is, they weren't allowed to give me my next dosage until the three hour mark. That was a pretty unpleasant time for me.  Biggest piece of advice for future jaw surgery patients, make sure to stay ahead of the pain!  Don't let it catch you!  This might be worse for me because I still have a large amount of feeling in my face, but either way, as long as you stay ahead of the pain, the whole experience will be tolerable!  Oh, I forgot to mention, I'm able to drink from a cup! I take super tiny sips, and, especially at first, it took forever to get a small glass of anything down, but I've gotten the hang of it at this point and I feel pretty functional :)  I think I'm most happy about that, haha. 
Overall outcome? From what I can see, the results are going to be great, once the swelling goes away!  There's been a fairly drastic change in my nose, I no longer have a hook at the end of it, I now have a smallish nose and am happy with it.  I have a chin and jaw line :)  So nice to have that back!  I don't know if I'll have a super defined jaw line once the swelling goes away, but it will definitely be more than I had before.

Not the most flattering pictures,but this is all part of the process.  Swelling has doubled from what it was in these pictures, not sure if I'll be posting those, haha.  These were taken on Tuesday.  Bruising has gotten worse, but again, its what is expected.

I feel like I'm forgetting things that I wanted to say in here.  I spent the last couple of days trying to keep track of everything that happened, but this post has taken me literally all day to write!  So I'm bound to forget something.  So far this whole experience has been tolerable.  I've had good moments and I've had some bad ones too, but that's what you can expect with this type of surgery. I'll keep everyone updated as the healing process continues :)


  1. OMG!! You have a chin!! What a difference!! You have some lovely bruises and swelling, my dear! Keep us updated. I can't wait to see the final result!

  2. Looking good so far Amy - well done. Great effort on the post so soon after surgery. Hope it keeps going well for you.

  3. Yay your surgery is over!!!
    I was hoping you'd update soon.
    I can already see the huge changes even with the swelling. Your nose looks great too!
    It sounds a little weird that the IV hurt coming out because I've never felt any pain having an IV removed.
    Hope your recovery goes perfectly :)

  4. Thanks guys:) I might try to post agin later today, but I think I've been overdoing and am exhausted. Last night and today have been rougher, but I'm hopefully almost through the worst of it!

    Tara- your blog isn't showing up in my newsfeed either, it seems like I'm missing about half the blogs I follow on it. I was having the same problem with my newsfeed when I first started my blog, but I thought the problem had gone away by now. Guess not:(. The Iv problem was weird, but they never said too much more about it at the hospital, do I'm not sure what caused it or just some weird reaction I had to it.