Thursday, May 1, 2008

Another update..tired of me yet? :)

I forgot to mention what happened to me when I was going into surgery. Chris had to come in as usual because they were having trouble starting my IV. I guess my veins curve funny so it starts to go in and then stops because they cannot feed it all the way into the vein to keep it in there.

So after the first try I was crying and shaking a lot (I'm a wuss about IV's) so they went and got Chris for me. Of course as soon as he comes in he starts chatting it up with the nice nurse (the one who I see every time I go into surgery and always remembers me, she calls me her 'baby') who was starting my IV and then the anesthesiologist who walked in while they were doing it. We got on the topic of our children and then the anesthesiologist mentioned STAR testing was starting this week and I said I know, our 8 year old is getting ready for it as well. He asked us where we live and we said Castro Valley. Turns out he has a 9 year old at the same school and also lives in Castro Valley! Isn't that crazy? It really is a small world. It's the weirdest thing but the last thing I remembr is him telling me he was going to have his wife 'call us up for a playdate because Chris and I seem like fun' and that he 'wouldnt let anything happen to me because now we knew where he lived and we could hunt him down if anything did'- ha ha ha! Then I went to sleep.

Anyway...I am not doing so well today at all. Pain wise anyway. The swelling is going down further and my doctor said that is why the wires are pushing into my cheek like that. They dont want to try bending it or shaving it or anything because it is wired to the floor of my mouth and if it snapped that would be it. The wax is also a no no because of all the skin grafting they did in there, if a piece got loose and worked its way in there it would start scraping off needed skin graft that we just cant have. So he said I have to try to deal with it as long as I can. Of course he said if it gets unbearable they can remove it...but after all I have been through to get to this point I'll be damned if I tell them to take it out early. I am just going to have to suffer though it. Its hard to sleep at night, the only way now is to lay on my right side with my head propped up on a pillow and my mouth and jaw kind of 'hanging' down so it releases my cheek on that side and lets it hang down. It kinda takes the pressure off, enough to fall asleep anyway. If I lay on my left no WAY it hurts so bad because it pulls my cheek tight on that side. But the good thing is they changed my leg bandage so it looks better and walking is now fairly easy, my leg is healing quickly. They did put the Tagaderm back on because it is not quite ready to be exposed yet, but they put a bandage dipped in this smelly orange stuff on it first and then covered it, it is supposed to help with infection and speed up healing. Also everything looks good inside despite the pain. So that is good news at least.

I am taking my vicodin regularly still which is worrisome to me, as the last thing I need is to come out of this as a pain pill junkie. But I tried extra strength Tylenol and it didnt do squat. Really the vicodin only 'helps' and doesnt get rid of that stupid pain either, just takes the sharp edge of it off enough to function. My poor inside of my cheek is covered in bumps like when you bite in the same spot over and over again. As the swelling goes down I can only assume it will get worse, I keep hoping my cheek will build up some kind of callous against it but so far that hasnt happened. The doctors said to try not to talk so I am trying as much as I can, and eating is almost non existent though I do try to drink broth and Ensures to get some calories and nutrition in me but the pain makes me not hungry these days and those Ensures are darn expensive.

I am trying to remain positive, as I like the shape of my new 'face' now and am starting to feel confident again. Underneath is weird and still swollen in 2 places so it looks funny but all we can do is hope it goes down over time. I know it could always be fixed later and it wouldnt be too noticeable with my hair down so I am still really happy. Now if this pain would just go away I would feel so much better.


Rachel said...

Tina! You look stunning and I'm so proud of you!
Piece of mind for you. After I had Erin I got an infection and they had to re-open my incision (TMI, I know) anyways, I was on pain pills for probably 8 weeks and didn't become an addict. So, take those babies like clockwork and stay ahead of the pain.
Hang in there and know that we pray for you at least every day!

Amy said...

Wow! What a difference the most recent surgery has made, what a journey though. You look wonderful...I hope it feels like it's worth it!
I'm terrible with IV's veins are tricky because they appear to be copius in volume and number but then they collapse. A close friend is struggling with pain management as you are and has the same concerns you do...I wish there was a short answer, but I see her struggle with just making it through the day sometimes and it seems as though right now, quality of life takes precedence. Not taking pain meds will only slow your healing down and being concerned is a huge part of not being an addict later.
Good luck to you...
ps, I think that you should go into the business of making really tasty liquid food...what a need to fill!!!