Friday, March 16, 2007

On the Other Side!

Well, the surgery's over and it's time to post a little update. While I didn't have an adverse reaction from the anethesia, it's not been as easy a recovery as I had hoped. Of course, it's only three days post-op so things can only get better from here on out.

My sister, Alice, flew out this past Saturday to stay with me for a bit. As it turns out, she had a gastrointestinal bug Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. She ended up sleeping much of that time and I tried not to catch what she had ... didn't want to get sick and have to cancel the operation. She ended up calling her Doctor and getting a prescription - seems to be all better now.

We stayed at a Marriott hotel about 13 miles from the hospital. I don't live too far from the hospital (about 35 to 40 miles) but I do live in the Northern Virginia / Washington, DC area and if you've ever been here then you know how the traffic can get. Doesn't matter what time of the day it is ... traffic is BAD. This worked out well as my show time was 5:30 am Tuesday morning for a 7:30 am surgery time.

Turns out there are 14 operating rooms in the hospital so the pre-surgery drill was in a "group" environment. All of us patients were there for different reasons and each of us had our own operating room staff (surgeons, anethesiologist, et cetera.) ... we were just kept in a central area until it was our turn to head into the operating room.

I completed all of the pre-surgery stuff with the anethesiologist and, before you know it, they had hooked up my IV drip with the stuff that calms you down -- that's some GOOD stuff! About 15 minutes later I was in the surgery room and the anethesiologist had the breathing mask over my face telling me to breathe deeply ... about four breaths later I was out. The last thing I remember was them pulling down my pajama bottoms for what I'm hoping was a catheter and then waking up in my hospital room. I don't remember the recovery room at all.

I guess I "woke up" for good right around 2:00 pm. From what I was told I was in surgery for about four hours (lower jaw surgery (BSSO) and chin augmentation (genioplasty)) and in the recovery room for about one and one half hours. They ended up "de-rotating" my lower jaw four to five millimeters to the right and back just a smidgen (my term) and augmenting my chin by bringing it out about eight millimeters. It's amazing, really, when you consider that all of this was done INSIDE my mouth with the exception of two tiny incisions (one on each side of my jaw) so they could place the titanium screws in the proper places.

The afternoon of the surgery I felt amazingly well ... really, really good. I found out later that I still had quite a bit of the anethesia in me as well as pain meds (morphine anyone) and steroids (for the swelling). I was drinking water like a fish and was able to go to the restroom on my own well before dark. I was able to speak relatively easily as my surgeons had not placed very strong bands on me after the surgery. Wednesday morning I had x-rays taken and tighter bands placed which have caused me a bit of discomfort (muscles really do have a "memory" and my lower jaw muscles want to try and get back into their previously "normal" position).

My sister showed up around 11:00 am on Wednesday, we picked up my medication, and I got home I think around 2:00 pm Wednesday afternoon. I'll go into "home time" in a later post. For now, below are some pictures from after the surgery while still at the hospital:

First Picture After Waking Up

The Swelling is Still Down

Using the Hospital Syringe for Drinking Water
That's it for now ... I'll post more tomorrow on what it's been like at home / away from the hospital.


Brandyleigh35 said...

Hey Bill,
Glad to see you made it through your surgery and that things appear to be going pretty well.

I just got my surgery date today. May 24th I will be going in for upper, lower, and genio! Soooo...not excited! LOL...

Anyway..I look forward to following your progress. Nice pics!


Hala said...

Aloha! I am so glad to read you are doing well. Wishing you a speedy recovery.~Hala

Kristen said...

Hey Bill! Congrats! Now you're done! :)

Yep the swelling does peak at 48 to 72 hours. The worst is over! :)