For now, I'm not uploading any pics to the blogger for surgery. Gives you some freedom to not have to deal with it (I don't think they are that bad, but you know...I don't want anyone to get messed up). So if you want to see them, you should be able to look at them via facebook with an "open album." Even if you do not have a facebook, you should be able to look at them here. If you cannot, lemme know and we'll work something out.
I didn't get to mention the whole surgery/hospital stay aspect of my story. I guess my surgery was a lot longer than they were planning. They told us 5-6hrs I believe. They mentioned (seemingly jokingly) if they did the rib implant the surgery would take much longer. They would evaluate once they got in. The rib implant would be needed because the tumor was bigger than originally thought and had eaten the bone so much they wouldn't have anything to attach the titanium bar to near my ear, so they would use a rib bone to go along the bar. I believe this would also prevent doing the hip bone graft at a later day. Either way, you get some sweet titanium in your jaw. Well, I kind of expected them to do this when I went into it, because when i woke up, I asked if they took my rib. They didn't. He (Col Closmann) just spent 9+ hrs trying to save the other side of my jaw bone. When I asked him about it, he said he "had my face wide open" lol. Ah, gotta love those older army officers.
Needless to say everytime I ask them about a sore part of my body, they remind me "this was an extensive surgery" and I should expect to be sore. They're just glad that my muscles aren't spasming from having my jaw wired shut. That brings up a point about being cut free on Monday, but I'll wait.
I kind of remember waking up that evening, not really like, "Oh I'm waking up from anesthesia" but more "they're putting something in my mouth, geez can I have some water?" Sadly I didn't dream while under. I really wanted to. Actually, I wanted to see heaven. I asked to see heaven. But I was also scared if I saw heaven, he'd give me a thorn like Paul to prevent me from getting arrogant. So perhaps for the better...one less thorn in my side. Throughout the night I remember my angel *ICU nurse, Laura* coming in, giving me beds, trying to give me some water by using a straw as a dropper. Finally asked fora syringe, it worked much better. She was super gentle. Very nice such an angel. And, she said I was her only patient, so she cared about me a lot. :) I started to realize I couldn't really talk very well-between being wired shut, feeling not completely returned in my face so lip control made talking difficult, and it just plain hurt trying to talk. Therefore, I started writing down questions/conversations. I asked her, what happened if I had to go to the bathroom, I was dreading getting up. I asked her if I had a catheter in (I've never had one), she smiled and said I did.
The next morning there was talk of getting me out of ICU becuase "it's more comfortable" without all the wires and stuff. I was excited about being more comfortable. They were taking my blood pressure every 30min and then they changed it to every hour. Dude that things squeezed my arm like no other. Then they were monitoring my oxygen intake, had an O2 mask kind of propped up to my face. She said mostly because I needed to have humid hair to prevent drying out in my airways. But she'd come in and have me cough to clear out lungs, and she'd come in because my O2 levels were low. I guess the pain meds would slow down my breathing so much at one point, I only breathed 8times in a minute. Plus checking my heart beat and all that stuff. Being more comfortable sounded exciting. My new nurse came in, he was a male, and an officer. 1Lt (Laura was a civlian). Anyway, I asked Laura if he was nice, she said he was. She also said it was time for my catheter to come out, I asked if she could take it out before she left for the shift instead of him doing, sligthly awkward. Especially since I knew we were so close in age. She saved me the embarrassment. Then it scared me cause I realized if I peed, I had to get out of bed. What if I couldn't hold it? What if my body forgot I didn't have a little tube taking care of business. Fortunately I didn't wet the bed. But it was a little difficult using the little potty next to the bed. At least the nurse was nice, supportive, and helped me a lot *guess that's his job. He also had to go hunt down for a toilet thingy, cause someone came in and took mine. Guess they thought I didn't need it. The docs (Capt Elyassi and all) wanted to take Xrays. So I had to get wheeled down to dental clinic. Thankfully the Lt knew how to get there...cause I couldn't have made it on my own. Plus this was right about the time my mom came to visit. Not the greatest timing cause it was right in the transition time. I felt like she wanted to talk to me, but I really wasn't ready for anything.
The worse part is coming up. The dental clinic has this old man working in Xrays. You know he's the "good old boy" who's been there for ages. Needless to say, he failed to really care that I wasn't feeling good, fighting off nausea and I just had freakin surgery the day before. He also, failed to really think about the kind of pain I was in. I felt like I was being man handled. In fact, he was trying to position my face for my second xray (he also didn't really seem to care that this was the first time I'd been standing for longer than 2 seconds getting out of bed getting onto the little toilet thingy) so he puts his hands on my cheeks. That's right ladies and gentlemen, the little jerk grabbed my jaw. I screamed. Dr Hsu comes running in and asks what's wrong (of course I can barely talk but I finally get out) HE GRABBED MY JAW. The man had the audacity to tell me AND the docs that "he didn't grab my jaw he grabbed my shoulder." I was in disbelief. I wanted to punch this old man, not only did you hurt me, but you lied about it. You lied. I started crying. Tears were streaming down my face. I felt so violated. It was weird. I was outraged. When the ordeal was over, I finally got back to my wheelchair and my nurse, I started to write "he grabbed my...." and the nurse was like, "I know." He made me feel better. I don't know if he really knows, or what. But I felt better. I still think I need to make a complaint. Obviously I haven't let it go. :/
Finally we get all done there and the Lt takes me to the surgery ward. Gets me into a room and some new nurses come in. They say they'll put a note by the nurses station, since obviously if I push the call button and they try to ask me what's wrong, I won't be able to talk... but it still failed a few times. And some nurses were real jerks about it, like "HELLO..." with a little attitude. I dunno. It made me mad.
Well, I'll have to finish updating this at a later time. I'm mucho tired. I need sleep.
But first, on Monday when my wires come off, I'll be replacing them with some rubber bands. Rubber bands that will be pretty tight. Not as bad as wired shut, but still not the freedom I was expecting. Dr Elyassi says I :should be able to open my mouth slightly." I should have asked for a definition slightly. *sigh* at least they can be taken off, open my mouth enough to drink stuff without little particles getting stuck in my teeth, cause I'll put it right in my mouth. Slightly sad abou this... but at least I asked. So I'm mentally prepared. I was expecting complete freedom....not so much.
ok. night night.