Orthodontics - Orthognathic surgery

Orthodontics - Orthognathic surgery > My story > MARCH 21, 2008 - News from the surgical patient!

My story

MARCH 21, 2008 - News from the surgical patient!

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Hi all,

I am finally able to write to you from home. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my husband for keeping you posted on my condition; it was a real pleasure to get to read all your emails and I felt better knowing that you were all thinking about me during all the suffering. Thanks to everyone that has helped me the best way they could. I must say that today is the first day where I feel "good". I think that the worst happened the night between Wednesday and Thursday; I thought I was dying. I was nauseous, I was no longer under the care of all these nurses during the night and it seemed like I was constantly choking on my saliva. Yesterday, I only drank the equivalent of one can of Boost and since this morning, I have not stopped drinking that stuff, so it's a good sign that I'm starting to get hungry. I'm still in pain, but with strong painkillers every 5 hours, I manage to get through the day.

I have to mention that my cat disappointed me a little bit when I got home. Some people had told me that he would be very affectionate and that he would like to keep me company. When I set foot in the house after returning from the hospital, he came to the door to see me, but when he actually saw me, he looked afraid! :S He ran away and I haven't seen him much since then. I must smell something from the hospital or another smell that scares him. Anyway, I cannot count on his feline compassion, that's for sure!

I didn't see the time go by on Monday, and I wasn't that nervous after all. When the hospital attendant came to tell me they were ready for me in the operating room, she took my blood pressure: 117/87. For those of you who are not familiar with these numbers, it's almost the perfect blood pressure and I was very surprised to see that I wasn't more nervous than that. There was also an error in my file, I was scheduled to go home after the surgery! I then asked to talk to my surgeon before the surgery!

When I entered the operating block, I was put on standby because the operating room wasn't quite ready. I started thinking about Jon Bon Jovi (my great idol) and reassuring me by telling myself that he was once operated on (for his knee) a few years ago and that if he had survived, so could I. Anything to reassure myself... I had teary eyes just thinking about it though, so I started my extreme concentration routine: fix something right ahead of me and avoid thinking of anything at all. I was then looking straight at the ceiling! Hahaha When my surgeon came to see me for the error in my file and to introduce me to his assistant, he found it strange that the ceiling was so interesting! HA HA My surgeon confirmed that I would get a room close to the nurses' station; the best place to receive good care.

In the operating room, I must admit that I was very nervous, but the people that prepped me were very kind. When the anesthesiologist was about to plug me to the IV, I panicked a little bit (I have a fear of blood tests and some needles...), so the respiratory therapist assisting the anesthesiologist grabbed my head and she never stopped talking to me. She wanted me to think of a place somewhere down south, but I kept on telling her that I didn't want to think about places down south! Hahaha In my head, I was at the Bell Centre with Bon Jovi, but this thought brought tears to my eyes. Maybe it's because I was daydreaming about Jon Bon Jovi singing Bed Of Roses to me personally. One of my friends had advised me to think that I would fall asleep listening to this song. It was a great idea, but the thought of Jon actually singing it to me personally made me extremely emotional. The respiratory therapist wanted to comfort me, she gave me a little piece of gauze and she told me that her "tissues" were a little stiff for the skin, but they were better than nothing.

After the IV was inserted in my left hand, my surgeon came close to me to tell me that I had just done the hardest part of the surgery and that he would do the rest. He really encouraged me by saying that. I remember telling the respiratory therapist that the hardest part for me would be to not being able to laugh for a week. I made her smile with my comment... A few moments later, the respiratory therapist told me to think about something nice and pleasant and that I would probably wake up with the same thought. A few minutes later, the anesthesiologist told me that my head would start spinning soon and when my sight became blurry, the respiratory therapist told me to close my eyes so I wouldn't get too dizzy... and I fell asleep right away.

I remember thinking about Jon when I woke up for a short moment to hear the surgeon say: "It's Dr D, the surgery went very well." However, I went back to sleep right after, I knew it was finished. I had a hard time waking up enough to focus, but when I saw my husband telling me that he had been so worried, I knew that I was in the holding section of the hospital for those who wait for a hospital room. My surgeon came to talk to me and meet my husband at the same time a little bit later (it was the first time they saw each other). My surgeon told my husband that the tears that I had in the corner of my eyes were normal and that I would swell a lot more! I was still in another world when I was brought to my semi-private room, close to the nurses' station. The first night went by pretty smoothly under the circumstances, I was in pain, they kept me plugged to an urinary catheter so I wouldn't have to get up to go the bathroom. I also had a mask in which I could breathe what seemed like 100% pure oxygen; I could breathe so easily with that!

I was very surprised the next morning when an attendant wanted me to sit on the chair beside my bed and brought me breakfast! When I sat on the bed, my nose started to bleed, so they knew I wasn't quite ready to go sit on the chair! I got discouraged pretty fast when I saw that I couldn't suck anything with the straw that they had brought me to eat! They then brought me a syringe (the kind of syringe that we use to grease a turkey with vegetal oil) and as of today, I'm still eating with that! My mouth is too swollen to close and the sucking movement is impossible.

Tuesday, I spent most of my time sleeping. At lunch time, I was in so much pain that I started crying because they had just brought me food (again!) and my throat was killing me! Then, a few nurses/attendants/students in nursing came to me back to back to ask me what I wanted; thank God I had paper and a pen to write! They had to give me morphine throughout my stay in the hospital because I was in so much pain sometimes (and my arms now look like those of a junkie!). I was eating so little; it took me an hour and a half to eat the equivalent of 30-40 mL of food with the syringe!

My husband came to see me Tuesday at lunch time and he came back to have dinner at the hospital cafeteria after his day at work. I was so happy to see him each time, I was missing him and I didn't have the strength to do anything! My surgeon also came to see me Tuesday evening to assess my condition and prepare the release papers so I could go home if I wanted to Wednesday afternoon. I "talked" to him about my concerns on paper and he reassured me (and my husband too!). My swelling period was not quite finished yet. I saw myself in the mirror for the first time Tuesday morning, and I almost felt nauseous. It seemed like I had gained 200 pounds in the face! That is when I asked myself why in the world I had gone through the surgery! Even today, I don't know what to expect; my mouth and the bottom of my face are so swollen that I look deformed.

Wednesday morning, I was still asking myself if I were strong enough to leave. Early in the afternoon, the nurse came to see me and she told me that my vital signs were strong enough for me to go home. So, I decided to go back home. I think that I drank the equivalent of a can and a half of Boost from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday evening though!

I started being hungry only this morning (I have drunk 3 cans of Boost since this morning!) and I don't sleep 20 out of 24 hours per day anymore as I have been doing in the last few days. I think that I'm getting better, and I have already lost 5 pounds since last week!! My face is still very deformed, I hope to look like a normal human being in the next few days. My neck is yellow all over and there is a blueish spot below it, it's crazy how I discover new colors that the skin can have on a human being! Hahaha And I'm still cramming myself with the syringe like a little chicken! And I cannot use my tongue for anything except swallowing, it's very special to have my mouth stuck like that! I started seeing my teeth yesterday, they are no longer where they used to be, it's weird... And I'm incapable of showing emotions, I've been looking like a robot since Monday evening! hahaha

I have an appointment with my surgeon next Tuesday so he can remove these elastics in my mouth and deliver me from my misery, I hope that everything will be fine!

I hope to see you all soon and it was very good to feel that my family and friends were behind me during this ordeal! I will never see life the same way again after being in the hospital. My room neighbour was a 32-year-old guy in a coma after falling asleep behind the wheel; he hit a tree with his car and he's been in a coma for 1 month now. His mother was there everyday all day and we "talked" a little her and me; he's her only child, he has a 14-year-old daughter and the doctors aren't convinced that he could regain consciousness. His parents decided Wednesday afternoon to continue the treatments so he doesn't feel much pain, but I don't think that they'll pursue all their exercises to maybe see him regain consciousness one day. His mother is so nice (her last name is "Cyr" just like me, it's a funny coincidence!), she took the time to comfort me when I was crying because of the pain. I discovered in the hospital how life is fragile, but despite the pain others may have, some people are still willing to help others. This woman will forever stay in my heart and her and her family will remain in my thoughts. Also, there were some devoted professionals in the hospital, it was good to see that!


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