November 13, 2010

That Day I Fainted and Broke My Jaw: Part 2

This is the second post in a three post series. Here are the others:
That Day I Fainted and Broke My Jaw: Part 1

The First Surgery


My sister decided to come to town and pick up Eli and take him home to Illinois with her for a week.. Noah still had school, so he stayed with my parents. I knew Eli would have a blast with Jeanie. The hospital started giving me some serious pain meds, so that helped a lot. But I still just wanted to be done with it!

See, with a broken jaw, you can't eat anything---I had to have clear liquids only for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My meals consisted of:  chicken broth, hot tea, juice, and jello (which I couldn't eat, because it had to be chewed). My mom, aunt, dad, Noah, and my pastor came to visit, which was nice.

A little more testing for surgery. My brother Nathan came to visit, and so did Stacie. Stacie brought me some magazines. By this time, I was super anxious to just get the surgery done with and go home.  My surgery was scheduled for 9:30 AM on Monday. I couldn't sleep at all, because I had a crappy roommate.

They came to get me at 8:00 AM to prep for surgery. Asked me a million questions, explained the surgery, etc.  I was TERRIFIED of general anesthesia. Don't know why it scares me so badly, but it's not something to take lightly! They put another IV in my arm (at this point, I'd had quite a few different ones). I said good-bye to my mom and Jerry, and my pastor's wife who had come to see me.

I was wheeled to the OR where I started panicking. I was crying and a nervous wreck. The OR docs were really nice and made me feel a little more comfortable. However, once they had me all strapped in to the OR table and everything, I REALLY felt like I had to go pee. Which  sucks badly when you have a 3 hour surgery ahead. That was the last thing I remember then.

I woke up feeling REALLY hot and kicking my legs around to get blankets off of me. I was kind of thrashing because I remember just wanting those blankets off. I also had to be so badly that I felt like my bladder was going to explode. The surgery had actually taken over 4 hours! I kept insisting that I had to pee, and they put a bed pan under me. Even then, it was hard for me to go. Once I did though, I felt a lot better.

They brought me to my room where my mom, Jerry, and my pastor's wife were all waiting for me. I was extremely swollen. My lips were so big! Jerry said that there were two teenage boys in the hall at the hospital making fun of me after my surgery (I didn't see this) and he wanted to go punch them out so badly. However, considering that his wife was there with a broken jaw, he thought better of it ;)

I was too afraid to look in the mirror at that point. I knew that I looked like shit. I knew that I was swollen. I knew my face was no longer "pretty". Most of all, my teeth just didn't feel "right" anymore.  When I talked to the doctor about this, he agreed.

He wasn't pleased with how my teeth were lining up. He tried to maneuver my jaw in his office, but it was way too painful to do much, so he said he wanted to take me back to the OR on Wednesday. I was okay with that, because if you're going to fix something, might as well do it correctly, right?

To describe my injuries and surgery is kind of difficult without a diagram, but I'll try. I had broken my jaw at each corner (just under each ear), once on each side of my chin, and once in the center of my chin. There was a bone fragment from my jaw that split off and punctured two holes--once through my lower lip, and once through the bottom of my chin. On top of that stuff, I also had bruising and a type of rug burn or something.

To correct all this, the doctors put metal plates along my jaw bone and screwed them together. Then, they wired my jaw shut (by wrapping wire around my teeth) to stablize my jaw and let the corner breaks heal.The wires would need to be on from 4-6 weeks, in which time I could only be allowed to eat pureed things that could go through a straw.

Now, I just have to say... you all know how I've been bitching about the last 10-15 pounds I have to lose, right?! Well, THIS is SOOOO not how I planned on going about losing it!  I can't believe people actually PAY to have their jaws wired shut in order to lose weight. However, it could just be the intervention I needed to get my ass in gear :)  Not that I had a choice, though, really.

I slept on and off for the rest of the day Monday. By the time I had gotten back to my room from surgery, it was dinner time.


Tuesday was mainly prepping for surgery again on Wednesday. I had some more tests done. I met with the surgeons to discuss what they were planning. They said that the new surgery would be very simple--just adjust my jaws and rewire my teeth so they liked how my teeth looked. They said it would probably take an hour, and the anesthesia was really just so that I wouldn't have to feel the pain. They doubted they'd even have to make an incision.

I was getting really restless in my hospital room. I was still in the trauma center room, which was very small. And I had a roommate, which sucks when you're sleep deprived and staying in a hospital as it is. The nursing staff was mainly really nice. There were only one or two nurses I didn't care for, but the rest were very friendly and helpful. I even had a hot male nurse during the night on Sunday and Monday.

Tuesday night, Renee came to visit me which was fun. She brought me some magazines and we chatted for a couple of hours. She made me feel a lot better about my whole outlook on all that was happening. She is such a positive person, and I think that rubs off on me sometimes.

While she was there, the hospital finally switched me to a private room on the ENT floor, which was AWESOME.  It was a brand new room and just gorgeously decorated and spacious and nice.  And QUIET. I was so ready to sleep that night. I fell asleep while Jerry was still there with me, and he watching TV.

An hour and a half later (Jerry said I was in a SUPER deep sleep) I woke up extremely confused. I didn't know where I was or what I was doing there. I was hyperventilating. I was just so scared that I had no clue what was going on!

I was asking Jerry a million questions a minute, and I finally started breaking it down... So I fell on Friday? I went to the ER? They did surgery already, and I'm getting another tomorrow?  etc etc. Finally, I actually remembered it, but I tried so hard not to sleep that night because I was scared of it happening again. I don't think I've ever been so scared about something like losing memories.

This has since become a huge fear of mine. Dementia or Alzheimer's is my biggest fear after experiencing this.

To be continued in Part 3... That Day I Fainted and Broke My Jaw, Part 3


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