Saturday, May 23, 2009

But Are Your Lips Blue?

The last couple days have been the hardest by far, and likewise the hardest to describe. My brain has been on overdrive playing the flip-sided devil's advocate against itself. How I FEEL; hitting the wall, rock-bottom, discouraged, downhearted, on the skids, sucking the hind tit (thanks for that one, Dad!).... versus the things that I KNOW; "This is normal, hang in there, it'll get better, one day at a time"... and it's all true, both sides, simultaneously.

Perhaps it's a combination of anaesthetic leaving, body reeling, not sleeping, full swelling, experience coughing, dry heaving, sick of sitting, fear of suffocating, gag-on souping-ing.... *breath*... but I'm only guessing. Hubby made a call to the surgeon one evening at the height of my 'discomfort' and guess what his only concern was? "But are her lips blue?" As in, as long as I'm not literally suffocating, suck it up princess and just keep breathing. You volunteered for this, remember? (hard to see in pic but I'm wearing my "frankie goes to Hollywood" t-shirt, haha!) Relax.

(* This pic is from Friday morning and was chosen for T-shirt message irony, to highlight that lips and disgustipating bandage are still at large, blind you with the shiny-glossy skin, & if you look close I've actually got yellow bruising on my neck.*)

I believe it was Thursday evening after my "everything is dandy" post that Karma kicked my big-fat mouth and the throat tickling began. That niggling that builds at times when you know you're supposed to be silent. Your eye's are watering like crazy as you try to bite it back but you know it's futile and the cough eventually comes crashing out. But because you've made 'it' wait, 'it's' going to make you reel over and over again till that tickle is satisfied. Painful enough experiencing this during Church congregational prayer, (I missed the whole first half of my Sister's wedding address to this evil), but knowing it IS going to happen and your heads been recently rearranged and I thought I'd go mental in anticipation.

I should say "It's not as bad you you think" (read: my head did not literally implode ) but it sure made me aware of lots of little things. Like:

  • Wow, I'd forgotten about surgical hooks embedded in swollen flesh in there- Sudden sharp movements that rip them out of hiding feels awesome! Or

  • Cool, That's what a rubber band snapping in your mouth feels like! And

  • Who-da-thunk-it, but you can actually dry heave and cough at the same time and resemble a One-Man-Band guy who plays accordion and harmonica, bending over to thump and whack on a variety of drums while reaching up to give the monkey-on-shoulder a pat...probably sound the same too.

Ah Yes, I'd promised to show the iv debacle, the truth of which I'm sure I'll never know. Picture on the left is where I watched them insert and felt them run meds into me. It is from this same sight that I was still receiving everything post op as well. The mystery? Picture on the right is the flip side of the same hand, obviously beaten up nicely and the pain of a recovery nurse holding pressure on this sight is my first and overwhelming memory of 'Coming To'. I have no idea why.

~Daily JAW~

Junk: This really can be a crappy place to be

Assess: It really will get better

Wow: Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream

And My Lips Aren't Blue!


  1. Oh, Kate, I'm sorry you feel so terrible. Your swelling is going down, though! Hurray! Hopefully (knock on wood) this is the worst it gets and it will be a nice, easy, downhill recovery from here!

    Thinking about you, darlin, and I'm sorry this is so miserable for you. It will get better!!

  2. First let me say, thank you for being so honest about everything you are feeling (physically and emotionally). I like to know exactly what I am getting into and would rather not have it sugar coated. (And as honest as the surgeon has been, I highly doubt he's actually been thru the surgery himself so it's just not the same). That said, I really feel for you right now, but as Stephanie said, hopefully the worst is just about over. You sound like such a positive person and I am sure you will get over this bad patch quickly. Just keep thinking about how great everything will be in just a couple more weeks!!

  3. Ouch, it hurts just READING your post! Glad to hear your trying to focus on the positives despite being right there in the most painful part.

    Will be sending healing thoughts your way, and am reminded of a quote from a very famous leader, who said "when you're going through hell, keep going..."

  4. Oh Kate, I know it is terrible. I hated every minute of this stage in recovery, but it does pass. I thought I would die, but I didn't. Right now my face hurts... maybe it is the feeling coming back, but I don't like it. I hope you feel better soon. Bless ya!

  5. AnonymousMay 24, 2009

    Thank you so much for sharing!! I am having surgery on the 3rd and it helps me so much knowing what to expect. Mine will not be as extensive as yours. I have an overbite & am having my lower jaw extended and my chin set back to offset the extended lower jaw. Your blogs are hilarious--my husband asked me if I was alright because I was laughing so much at your humor-plus tears! I hope each day is a little better for you--hang in there--you are strong & brave!!

  6. AnonymousMay 25, 2009

    The great thing about jaw surgery is we look crap, but nowhere as crap as it feels on the inside.. But I guess as long as your lips ain't blue.. (I hadn't heard that one before..)This bandage sure looks annoying, though.
    Hang in there. I had Horrible Moments for at least 2 or 3 weeks post surgery.
    I'm glad you have a nice man who makes soup!


  7. Hey hey hey! Your pressure bandage comes off today, right?? Hopefully you're feeling fantatic without it. Thinking of you!!

  8. Hi Kate!
    I have been pouring over your recent posts. Your good humor and solid perspective seem to be helping you through this bumpy period. It IS horrible! It IS harder than most of us can imagine...because of just what you described, the thousand plus tiny irritating things that linger even as you cope with the big things (like the itch in the back of your throat, or the bizarre, random pain zings as nerves regenerate). You are doing so well, really, in spite of how you feel.

    When I reflect on my November surgery, posts from fellow jaw people really helped. I am sorry my comments have been infrequent, but please know I am reading frequently...and SO very much appreciate your encouragement to me way back when :)

    The "JAW" format is a clever way to summarize where you are right now, kinda like a twitter feed, no?

    Your husband sounds awesome (not surpised at all!). Having his steady support will hopefully help as you begin to regain your energy. I was surprised at how exhaustion would pop up out of now where, and how much I leaned on my hubby.

    You look good, though, even with swelling very much THERE. Really good. I hope you are beginning to feel as pretty as you look. :)

  9. Jaw surgery is a strange thing. You can't know what it's like until you have been there yourself. It's an exclusive club. :-)

    Thanks for keeping us updated. What you are going through right now sounds really terrible. Your body is struggeling to get back on track, your face is swollen and you have no idea, what your face is going to look like. It must be so scary.

    But trust me it will get better. Nothing worth having is ever free, and when you come to the other side it will all be worth it.

    Some times I feel like a soldier preparing to fight the unknown, but posts like yours give me an insight to what is in store. And though it doesn't sound like "sunshine and rainbows", I like the fact that you don't sugarcoat the experience.

    Keep your spirit up. You will get there, Kate.

  10. Blue eh? Obviously Bottom Feeder has never had his jaw brokern or been an asthmatic. I can't fathom most of what you're going through. The struggling for breath though.... been there. Hang on. Relax. And screw the Bottome Feeder.

  11. Thanks guys, am most certainly feeling much better and actually throw out the "but are they blue?" phrase for giggles, now. Just for the record it wasn't MY personal surgeon who asked this, but whichever one happened to be on call... and I have no idea how coherent Jonathan sounded while asking...maybe the question was geared to Jonathan? hahahahahaha!

    It just is the way it is. It is just part of the recovery process and in a lot of ways that comment made me go, "Right. You do know this is normal. Relax".

    To 'Those who've gone before' you're words of wisdom & experience documenting frustrations have been sound. Putting your faces to mind helped huge, 'knowing' people personally surviving to tell about it made it easier to know I would too. But you're right, you have to go through it to really GET it. To you guys coming up? I'm just passing it on :) It does suck, But it also goes away.

    (Anon, very pleased you found it amusing... My sense of humour is often warped and doesn't always translate well, haha! Best wishes to you on the 3rd! Feel free to communicate more or enable us to be an encouragement to YOU in return :) )

    Katherine, what a treat to hear from you. Still think of you and trust all is going wonderfully with the newest expected arrival :)

    El, dude. Miss chatting and I'm able. I have no idea what your work schedule is but I'm taking calls again. Mom might try to screen it but don't let her push you around, heehee ;)