Day 22: Back in the Saddle

Showing off that my cheeks are still chubby.
Showing off that my cheeks are still chubby.

I’ve had a number of subtitles that are song titles. I think I’m accidentally ripping off Susan’s gimmick.

Yesterday marked the 3 week hurdle, meaning I was back to work. Work’s pretty nuts right now on a number of levels, so going in for a few hours a couple of days last week was essential to not be drowning this week. Fortunately I’m caught up and doing okay. It’s hard to go from 8 hours (really 12 hours) of playing video games and not exercising my brain whatsoever to having to be, you know, responsible for stuff. It’s mentally draining. I’m trying to take frequent breaks, but I was never good at that even when healthy.

If nothing else, eating causes built-in breaks. In the old days, I had a pretty strict eating regiment. I’d eat breakfast usually between 8 and 9 each morning. Lunch would usually be between 11:30 and 12. Dinner would be anywhere from 5:30-6:30. Now, with me eating a liquid diet and my stomach growling every couple of hours, I eat more like an infant. So I’m in the kitchen every so often (you know, like most infants are), getting another Boost/Ensure or making a smoothie or blending up a soup. And then eating takes a while, especially when I take off my bands, because that is a process, as is brushing/Waterflossing and putting the bands back on. For the record, I prefer Boosts in general over Ensures, though the strawberry Ensure is probably my favorite overall. This is very important if, for some reason, you are kidnapped and the person only has protein-rich supplement drinks available for you.

My speech is coming along, or as I just typed, my scheep is coming along. Without the bands, I’m pretty easily understandable (though I still am pretty quiet – I hope I haven’t lost my swarthy bass tones!) With bands on, I’m still understandable, but in a more bargle-nawdle-zouss sort of way (most people who are close friends with me should really get that reference). I imagine in 3 weeks when the bands come off and the splint is out, I’ll be back in shape.

Which is sad. Part of why I’m productive right now at work is I don’t have to be on phones. Anyone who knows me knows I hate the phone – I inherited that from my dad. If I could only email/IM for the rest of my life, that’s how I’d communicate. So maybe I’ll have to have some “unforeseen recovery difficulties” with speech. And I’m TOTALLY going to pretend that people from my workplace don’t read this blog regularly. Including my direct supervisor, even though he told me he does. So yeah, probably not gonna be able to speak for a year or more! CRAZY!

Anyway, sleep is happening more regularly, eating is less laborious, breathing is fine. I’m still pretty wiped after the day is done, and I’m only just getting into the regular swing of things (today was the first day I woke up early to drop my son off at school). But other than not being able to talk or chew, things are sorta back to normal. NOTE: THOSE ARE REALLY BIG CAVEATS!

Finally, I can officially brush all of my teeth (at least the parts that aren’t behind the splint). And it is fabulous.

PAIN: 1

INCONVENIENCE: 5

REGRET FACTOR: 1

Day 2: It’s Good to be Home

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I met with my surgeon twice yesterday, and he seemed to be vacillating between having me stay in the hospital another day and having me go home. I was VERY ambulatory, had no vitals issues, was at 95% oxygen WITHOUT being hooked up to the machine, and could feel a surprising amount of my face. The only problem was breathing which, as you know, is a pretty good deal. He had only authorized me to take Flonase and Afrin one squirt every 12 hours.

I’m going to make a private admission here. I have TINY nasal passages. So tiny, in fact, that my anesthesiologist overestimated them and that caused issues that slowed the start of the surgery by 30-45 minutes. So when I’m just sick with a cold, I use Afrin like it’s chapstick in Reno. So I asked since that’s my only deal, and he was letting me now use Afrin and saline spray as needed, could I go home? He signed off.

No sooner was I packing up that my SECOND roommate game in. With his wife and ENORMOUS mutant poodle dog. Apparently, they still had to do Xrays on him or something like that. Also, the crazy lady down the hall had at this point been shrieking out for 30 minutes (which also hadn’t been happening when I requested to go home). Looks like my paranoia paid off.

I expected last night to be very rough. By midnight, I had maybe only slept for an hour and was fearing another night of insomnia. Fortunately I took my pain meds and those things are better than NyQuil. I managed to get a good 3 or 4 hours of sleep after that, and then woke up for a few hours, then napped for a few more hours. So yay!

  • Right now eating is worst part. It’s not “bad” per se, it’s just no longer fun. Putting everything into my body by slurping it through a syringe in the corner of my mouth is more like labor. Eating is a full-time job, and I doubt that I’ve even got 200 calories into me yet (it’s almost 1).
  • I’m very glad we bought this super cozy recliner. Even with that, I expected to have trouble because I’d kind of have to “make myself” fully recline, and I thought that would make me sore. So far, that’s not been an issue.
  • I’m glad we didn’t throw away those baby burp cloths. Comin’ in handy right about now.
  • I do have a fear about breathing. Afrin loses its potency and duration the more I use it. Theoretically, I’m not even at my peak day of swelling (that should be sometime in the next 24 hours). So I’m trying to be sparing with it, but before I go down to nap, it will be necessary.
  • I’m someone surprised by my tendency to want ice on my face and cold foods vs hot food/hot packs (especially with it being winter). I was actually hot a few times and the only time I was cold was after my shower last night.
  • Gonna try my first prune juice… ever. The sound of the drink alone always dissuaded me from trying it, but I gotta get my whole body working if you catch my drift.

 

It was a poop reference. Ash just made me an Ensure with 2 parts drink and 1 part prune juice, along with my Walgreens brand liquid vitamins in it. Surprisingly drinkable. Though the ensure does seem to foam up after blending.

  • This is the text-to-speech I have been using: http://www.naturalreaders.com/index.html. It helps to be able to type fast for this to be feasible, but I can basically have normal conversation now.
  • Ash says I’ve been exceptionally lucid. Not a compliment I have earned much in my life, especially by those who have read my writings.
  • Thank to everyone who has commented on my blogs, sent me texts, left me voicemails (remember those?), commented on Twitter and Facebook. It means a whole lot. Thank you to the mystery person who sent the soup/applesauce kit. I’m a little away from that, but you bet I’m diving in as soon as I can get a baby spoon in there.And Ash thanks everyone for not sending flowers, as she’s allergic to everything.
  • Also MAJOR thanks to Ash. She’s been a trooper, helping me without question, even when we both thought that it meant another sleepless night last night. Fortunately, we both got some Zs. Also thanks to Ash’s folks, who have had the boys since Sunday night and will have them at least one more night. Onward and upward.

PAIN – 3

INCONVENIENCE – 7 (clear nose), 10 (stuffy nose)

REGRET FACTOR – 5