For the first day I was given fluids and pain relief through my drips. The first time I needed for go toilet was the night after surgery around 10 o’clock. I was not allowed to stand up or walk about, so they bought me a bed pan. For anyone who has not had one, it is like a cardboard large dish that you put under yourself to go to the toilet. I am really funny with toilets at the best of times. I would rather burst and be in pain, then to use a public toilet generally. With the help of the nurse and my mum I was lifted over this bed pan but I could not go sitting up like that. It felt unnatural. The nurse left me for a little while and came back and I still had not been able to go. I started to get a bit upset and really needed to go wee. We tried a couple more times but with little success. The nurse then suggested I could try a commode. A commode is a portable toilet. It looks like a toilet with a seat etc and you use it like a toilet but it has a bed pan underneath it. Reluctantly, the nurses unplugged all my drips and unwrapped my legs from the machine and my arm from the blood pressure monitor. I was assisted to sit up. I was still feeling completely dazed and swaying from side to side. My upper body was in so much pain I could not even move my shoulders or neck. My mum held the back of my head while the nurse pulled me up from underneath my arms. I was lifted on to the commode and was final able to go to wee.
After that I was exhausted. Since waking up at 4:30pm I had not managed to get back to sleep. I was in too much pain and needed suctioning off constantly. The nurses had given me ice in pillowcases which was nice but the pain was horrible. Mum had pulled out Jewy for me to cuddle. But my arms, neck and shoulders were too painful and rigid to do anything. I felt like I had been run over or beaten up. I could not even hold my iPhone to text anyone because it was too heavy for me. My mum was an angel and was making sure I had syringes of water and suctioned off every 20 minutes. Even though we were supposed to have one on one care, the hospital were under staffed so we had one nurse to look after me and a boy next door who had the same operation. She was lovely, unlike the one from earlier and was thankful that my mum was there to keep an eye on me. At around 11:30 the ward sister tried to tell her to go home. After everything that happened with my brother dying and the insufficient staff to look after me now, I refused for her to leave. I told the woman I would discharge myself if mum had to go home and she was not doing any harm by staying with me. She refused a few times and I started getting panicky and crying. My pulse started to race a lot and the monitor started to beep and make strange noises. The sister told me to calm down and to stop crying as the tears and the mucus would get into my cheek pockets. I did not care. I was not staying in this place by myself in this state. Eventually, the evil witch of a nurse allowed my mum to stay and told her that she would not be able to stay the following night. I calmed down and we sat up all night watching a TV screen. I had a TV in my room but the sound did not work on it. So it was not of great comfort to me. I was in too much pain to pay any real attention to anything.
The next day when the change of staff came, they said today the surgeon will assess me again and they will try to get me off of the drip medication and onto syringes in preparation to go home. They said they would start to get me sitting up and getting out of bed a little more, in hope that I may be able to go home the following day. I would be so much happier at home and feel a lot safer than I did at the hospital. One of the maxillofacial surgeons came around to see me and picked up Jewy in disgust. It was actually quite amusing hearing me say the name through all the metal work and huge bite plate. I asked for the bite plate to be removed as it was causing excessive saliva build up and restricting me from breathing or swallowing properly. My original registrar said he would be up later in the day to remove it. I asked if the pain and rigidity was normal and the surgeon stated that everyone is different and has different pain levels. He was impressed at my ability to talk quite clearly and said it was good to keep as mobile as I could. Before he left he instructed for an x-ray to be taken when I was ready.
Mum was concerned about the puncture wound scars I had on the side of my face. They did look quite large. But the surgeon assured us that once the 6 stitches were out, you would not notice the scars as they are very small. This was not something that we were expecting after surgery. So do not be alarmed if you wake up with a couple of external scars. The boy next door also had a couple of external scars. But the boy next door also had very minimal pain and was up dressed and drinking by day two. It really does depend on the individual to what type of recovery you will have after this operation.
The evening after surgery: after the oxygen mask was taken off –
(Above) my ice packs
(Below) my puncture wounds