It feels like years ago since I was writing the last blog post and waiting to have the frame taken off and the jaw joints put in!
So much has changed over the last few months but I feel like the blog needs a final post (final for now…not forever!) to wrap everything up. I promise I will try to keep this as brief as possible as most of it is for my own memory!
I went down to London for the operation early on November 29th, to be in for 7am (our usual pre-op Nando’s trip was forgotten due to the fact I wasn’t really able to eat food!)
The operation was a total of 12 hours long and safe to say I was the only person on the list that day! The first few days passed as a bit of a blur and I woke up with a catheter in, 4 drains in my face to remove the blood, a morphine pump in my cannula and an accidentally perforated ear drum!
I do remember those days being pretty torturous and I didn’t eat anything for quite a few days, until I began starting to try supplement drinks and slowly more solid foods. Although I did have a constant supply of photos from mum, dad and Luke to see what delights they were eating from the hospital restaurant – they were a good distraction and a key memory I have from that period!
The progress was then gradual from there on, but getting the drains and catheter out over the next few days made the world of difference!
Despite me being drowsy or crying a lot, in time I was actually awake, the nurses were lovely and as I built my strength back up, really encouraged me to try and eat in order to get home. The other thing stopping me from recovering at home was the morphine pump, but after several discussions with doctors and pain teams I was allowed to take morphine tablets home and use them instead.
On a more positive note, I will insert some pictures of me making snow flakes on the last day in hospital and I even got a free advent calendar! The pain was tough, but having gone through the pain with the frame, it was nowhere near as bad as I had expected, so that was very positive! I also had a Hilotherm cooling device when I was back home, which is an amazing device that brought down the swelling and also provided a good distraction (see photo!).
All was going well and we had been back for the post op appointment one week later, where they had no massive worries. So despite my rather grumpy mood, we were happy with progress!
Then a swelling appeared on my chin, the day before I was planning to go back to college for a lesson – typical! After a visit to the GP, we were sent to Addenbrookes A&E, who after very long wait, decided to admit me for 2 nights as they feared it was infection. They didn’t want to drain the swelling for risk of causing an open wound and possible further infection, so after 2 nights of seeing various max fax consultants and being stuck in a side room not allowed to leave (don’t even get me started, apparently all London hospitals had a superbug, so I had to be barrier nursed and tested for this bug – I was not a happy bunny!) we went back to GOSH to see my consultant.
She drained it there (another needle! – but I managed not to cry) and found it was only blood not infection – we were very relived!
We then made slow but steady progress, I started back at sixth form, work and have caught up on most of the missed work. I am in virtually no pain (whoppee!) and eating much more normally (just need to stretch the jaw to fit food in)!
For those wondering, I managed Christmas dinner (with mash instead of roast potatoes but still) and even had a cooked breakfast before my GOSH checkup last week!
We are still back there every 6-8 weeks for now but hopefully that should be more like 3-6 months very soon.
I think that’s pretty much it….with Christmas, birthdays, college work and general life I haven’t found time to update this until now, so apologies for that!
I hope everyone reading had a lovely Christmas and is enjoying 2019!