One week on…

9 days after the operation

“Ode to Codeine”

Codeine tastes awful,
But makes me feel all fuzzy.
That’s all right by me.

Yeah, I don’t do poems. Here I have written 3 lines and fitted them to a haiku. Some day this will appear in those poor GCSE kids’ books, analysing it for imagery and rhythmic structures. Do let me know if I used any, because I have no idea.

But anyway, they told me that day #3 (Wednesday) was going to be the worst. I had been taken off the steroids the previous day, the swelling had reached its peak and I was in quite a lot of pain. Luckily they were telling the truth because I felt better on Thursday, especially after I managed to get a good night’s sleep!

They also told me that I would be feeling pretty depressed this week. I didn’t feel very much, but depression definitely wasn’t one of them. So if ever I do say I’m depressed, that means there’s something seriously wrong with me.

Image02164 nights in, I was getting pretty sick of these milkshakes. I had 5 different flavours to choose from, but they were all so sweet! I just needed something savoury. I remember thinking “For the love of God, please can someone invent a way to eat pizza through a straw!” That’s when mum made this lovely soup and ice cream – it made me feel much better 🙂

On leaving the hospital, they gave me a sealed envelope containing a scalpel and some tweezers. This was to remove the stitch on the top of my nose. Of course this couldn’t be removed by my family, I had to go to a more local hospital with the tweezers. The doctor there told me it would feel a little weird getting the stitch out. I disagreed, the aftermath of jaw surgery is a weird feeling. In fact, I didn’t feel a thing while the stitch was taken off – the paracetamol did its job perfectly.

I think I neglected to mention in my last post that I had almost no feeling in my face (By the way this was to be expected). Since then the entire left side of my face has regained sensation; my nose feels achey and weird; my chin and right cheek feel something but they’re not right; and I can’t feel a thing in my upper-right (for want of a better name) moustache area. My lips themselves were completely numb as well (more on that later), meaning I can’t tell if I have a bit of soup dripping off my lip.

Before now, it hurt to smile. If I watched anything funny on the TV, I would smile and my face would be in pain. Now, it doesn’t hurt as such, but something in my mouth bleeds. I’ve been using the LoveFilm trial to rent serious films. I thought Cowboys and Aliens was going to be unfunny, but the odd scene (like Daniel Craig kneeing that other guy in the crotch) resulted in face pains. I’m about to watch The Da Vinci Code since I haven’t seen it before, hopefully this one is serious enough to prevent my stitches rupturing.

Yesterday, the most annoying thing happened. I had an itch just next to my nose. Normally, this would be fine – I’d just scratch it. So I tried scratching it, but I couldn’t feel a thing, and the itch was still there! Stupid nerves (or lack of).

Image0218For Easter, I was planning on melting chocolate and eating it with a medicine spoon. For one reason or another I never got round to it. I did, however, manage to eat a creme egg. Well, a mini creme egg. Well, a mini creme egg cut in half and inserted on my tongue while I let it melt. It was amazing.

When your jaws are swollen, sore and joined together with elastics, you find it very difficult to open your mouth wide enough to put a toothbrush in. Handily the hospital had equipped me with some powerful mouthwash to keep everything clean. It replaced brushing completely for the first week, but now I’m not in so much pain I can just about reach in with a toothbrush.

Happily, I’m back to sleeping on my side again! The pain’s gone down so much now I’ve stopped taking painkillers during the day, only for the night. Unfortunately, my sheets now get covered in blood. It looks like there might be a bit of a problem with one of the stitches in my mouth – that’s a thing I need to get checked out during my next appointment.

Image0215Easter Monday happened. On top of mum’s soup, ice cream and a milkshake, mum also liquidised some profiteroles. As I ate it, I felt a strange tingling in my lip. At first I thought this might be an allergic reaction to something, but after a couple of minutes I decided I wasn’t swelling up any further so I carried on with the profiteroles. They were a bit lumpy, but delicious! After the profiterole paste, I realised the importance of the tingling: I was starting to regain sensation in my lip!

A 330kcal milkshake next to liquid profiterole.

The changes in my mouth feel weird. I can bite my teeth together at a push, and they now meet up like a normal person. However, pushing my teeth together like that takes effort. Normally my jaws rest open, perhaps at the angle they used to be at. When I shut my mouth, the left side of my lip feels swollen, but that’s because I only have sensation in the left side of my lip.

Honestly, before the time of blenders and television I don’t know how people could have coped after jaw surgery.

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