First I want to say I am feeling great today. I woke up with energy. A part of me thinks it is the cheesecake and chocolate icing I learned I could eat over the weekend- first real naughty pleasure since put on a liquid/pureed diet. My jaws are healing better than can be expected...healing so well I am getting my splint off a week early!!! Yeah- 5 weeks rather than 6 weeks. A week from tomorrow I should be able to chew once again :) NUMBNESS: My bottom lip and chin are still completely numb with an occasional itch or tingle. I am beginning to have some feeling along the sides of my nose, however the "cheek bone" area under my eyes and along side my nose are still completely numb. It feels very weird to put eyeliner on my lower lid. I have about 60% feeling in my upper lip and about 70% feeling in my tongue. Gums are still completely numb but I can feel when my cheek tissue gets caught on the wires from my splint. My teeth tingle quite a bit. Approximately 75% of my swelling is gone. No bruising. If people are looking at me and I speak in short phrase, they seem to understand most of what I say. Drooling has finally decreased a little... I have graduated from needing a cloth diaper to a wash cloth. Made it to church for the first time since the surgery and ate my first public meal out in a restaurant with friends....I asked them before please forgive my table manners (slurping, food running down my chin, pushing food between my teeth, mirror on the table) and they said "no problem as long as you forgive us for taking pictures/video of your eating".... thanks Christopher :)
With that being said, last week I had the 2nd most personal scare of my life on Sunday morning, about 4am (2nd only to my sons accident a couple years ago,)18 days post surgery. Apparently, I suffered a side affect that only affects approx 1 in 800 patients so they don't specifically go over this risk in the 5 sheets of risks you sign off on before surgery. I woke with a ruptured aneurysm of my Maxillary Artery (this runs from the back wall of your sinus cavity to your Maxilla- explains why blood comes from nose and mouth)... I am not telling this to scare those who might be in the process of having this surgery but to let you know if it happens to you, which it most likely will not, it will be o.k. FIRST: call 911 - apply pressure to the front of your mouth with a towel and your nose (pinch the very top of your nose.) I woke with blood gushing out my nose and 2 seconds later it was gushing out of my mouth as well.... not really knowing where the bleeding was coming from was frightening. Husband called 911- and my surgeon, ambulance got here in about 10-15 minutes. My wonderful surgical team (Dr. Turvey and his Residence) were waiting for us at the hospital. About 90 percent of bleeding was stopped in route to hospital, EMTs began pumping me full of fluids to replace the approx 3 liters of blood I had lost. My surgeon requested a VIR (vascular interventional radiology- Arteriogram) to look at all my cranial blood vessels to see if there were any other weaknesses in the vessels- they found another that had not ruptured and repaired it requiring 48 hours bed rest following surgery. I got to come home after 4 days - with strict instructions to stay stress/anxiety free with the help of Valium....in other words keep the blood pressure down. I was very tired for the first 2 days and now 5 days later am beginning to feel a little more like myself again. I have a Dr. appointment tomorrow so I am hoping to be put off "24 hour watch" for chances of another bleed. Apparently the stress of the surgery can weaken blood vessels... there is no way to predict who this will affect.... less than 1%. Again, if your reading this post it most likely will not happen to you :)
With all that I am still so happy I went through with it. If you are thinking of having this surgery and you can get to NC, I highly recommend Dr. Turvey and UNC hospital... the expertise, compassion and care I received was more than I could ask for....even the pureed/mechanically soft menu was good.