Saturday, March 17, 2007

Wednesday - Saturday Updates

Let's start with a few more photos.

Thursday - 2 days post surgery

Friday - 3 days post surgery

I mentioned previously that the recovery wasn't going as well as I had hoped it would. My main two problems have been sleeping in an inclined position (rather than on my side) and breathing issues.

Of the two, I'd have to say the one that had me the most worried was breathing. I had always had an open bite that resulted in my breathing through my mouth when I slept. And I've never had the best of times when breathing through my nose due to various reasons.

After the surgery I was heavily banded which prevented me from opening my mouth at all and, of course, the swelling was having an effect on how well I could breath. This led me Wednesday night to experience a slight panic attack when it felt like I wasn't getting enough air throughout the night. Nothing too much ... I didn't go running around looking for the scissors or anything to cut the bands. But I did spend a rather large percentage of my time just concentrating on getting full deep breaths through my nose for most of the night. And it wasn't an issue where the nasal passages were clogged ... they weren't. I had used Afrin earlier that day and had followed that up with Ocean's Nasal Spray closer to bed time. It just felt like I was laboring way too hard for each breath.

The other breathing issue that just occurred over the last day/night is that I'm creating a whole lot of saliva that requires me to constantly swallow throughout the night. At times this has caused me to startle awake thinking I was drowning. Not a pleasant sensation.

Other than that, though, things have been progressing along nicely. The swelling is starting to subside, I'm putting down more liquids each day (water, Boost, banana shakes) thanks to the Zip-N-Squeeze bags, and my energy levels are starting to slowly increase.

I may have pushed it too far yesterday though. I was getting a little bit stir crazy in the apartment and asked my Sister to drive me to my office so I could show off my swelling to my co-workers (they're Marines ... they like this kind of stuff). It's about a 30 minute drive each way with minimal walking (some stairs) inside the building. I'll tell you I could feel the swelling increase just from walking out and climbing into the car ... much less walking up the stairs at work. After we returned home I was done for the day.

Today (Saturda, 4 days post surgery) the swelling seems to be subsiding a bit. It does, however, increase throughout the day. And I'm turning a nice shade of yellow down my neck, past my collar bones, and onto my chest. I'll see if I can't get a good photo of that for later.


Mrs. Shanton said...

You're looking good, Bill! I had the same concerns as you at Day 4--not being able to breath, and wishing desperately that I could sleep on my side. I used Afrin at bedtime to help with that, and alternated Afrin with a steroid nasal spray (Nasarel; Flonase is another one.) It helped a lot. It also helps to know that this is temporary. You did well by not cutting your bands. You're tough! You'll be sleeping on your side hopefully soon, too, as soon as you feel like it? Ask your surgeon, but I was under the mistaken impression that I wasn't allowed to sleep on my side for 6 weeks. Amy's surgeon had told her otherwise, so I went ahead with that advice. It made a big difference in my comfort. As for the Waterpik, I waited until my stitches were out, about 4 weeks past my date. But then again, I only use it on high, to blast my teeth. The lowest setting is pretty low! You'd probably be fine as long as you don't accidentally turn up the power with your thumb or something. It might feel nice to irrigate your mouth! Good luck. The worst part is over.

Kristen said...

Nice pics! The swelling went down quite a bit from day 3 to day 4. :)

Ah the breathing problems. I know exactly what you mean. It's soooooo difficult. Rationally you know you're getting enough air. But you FEEL otherwise. The whole nosal passage feels like a dead cement block and nothing's getting through. Ggggrrr. I had a panic attack at the hospital, too - tears and fears, the whole nine yards. Daniel had a panic attack, too (another surgery buddy). Collectively we found these remedies that might help: I wish you a speedy recovery!