First Surgery Recovery Day 15: A lot to say

Thursday, January 23, 2014

These days when I'm not at work and can just stay home... they remind me of college. I don't have that many responsibilities, and I can do what I want. I can get things done. It's kind of nice. I had a three week period in May/June 2012 at my previous job when I took some time off for medical reasons. So I made a list during that time off of things I wanted to accomplish. Here's the list:

  • Learn how to make banana pudding
  • Re-learn basketball
  • Clean out closet
  • Upload old videos before old tapes wear out
  • Get braces
  • Visit the Bronx Zoo
  • Visit the Prospect Park Zoo
  • Get back into biking
  • Visit Brooklyn Museum
  • Visit Prospect Park more often
  • Open a TD Bank account since they have lots of perks
  • Send out family greeting cards (this was during a time when there were three birthdays and Mother's Day)
  • Jaw surgery

I did re-learn basketball. In fact, I was shooting so poorly on an empty public court that an old man came over and had to show me how to do it. I can make banana pudding. I cleaned out my closet. I uploaded old videos to YouTube. I got braces behind my teeth. I visited the zoos, museum and park. I have been biking in Brooklyn a lot over the last two years, and I now know my way around. I opened a TD Bank account. I sent out those greeting cards. As for the jaw surgery, that last piece of the puzzle is done. Finishing recovery, the toughest task, will complete my list.

I slept on one pillow and on my side last night, sleeping very well compared to previous nights. I'm going back to two pillows later tonight, on my back, mainly because I want to continue getting rid of the swelling. It's not super comfortable, but I think it's worth it if it means my recovery ending sooner.

Today wasn't so bad. If my life was a movie, I'd be near the beginning of an inspiring montage with cheesy music, with a clip from each day of me getting back into the swing of things. The days seem to be passing a bit faster now. I like it.

After having a lot of free time to do a lot of looking around the web, I've definitely come to the conclusion that if you only need lower jaw surgery, the recovery appears to be much easier than having both jaws done. If you fall into this category, you should really consider yourself very fortunate. I found a YouTube video with a girl 7 days post-op and she had almost no swelling and could talk well. I'm glad she didn't need both jaws done (and I'm envious).

I'm balancing a few things to keep me busy these last few days and have been getting out once a day for about 15 minutes. The wind chill has been in the negatives, so I'm not going for long walks. Here's what my routine is shaking out to every day:

  • Wake between 9 and 10 in the morning
  • Drink a Boost Plus immediately as well as 1-2 full glasses of water, plus a Claritin
  • Shower
  • Sit down at my desk to see what I need to do remotely for my job
  • Start a movie on Netflix or a podcast on my iPhone
  • Do all the dishes
  • Get up every few minutes to stretch my legs and tidy up
  • Take photos for eBay items and list them on the website
  • Have blended Campbell's Chicken Noodle for lunch, or an Ensure
  • Edit some of my mini-documentary, coming soon
  • Write on this blog
  • Do more work for my job
  • Take a walk outside
  • Have another Ensure
  • Watch some tv or browse the web
  • Have some soup for dinner, made by my wonderful girlfriend
  • Watch tv or Netflix
  • Shower
  • Bedtime

I've sold several items on eBay since my surgery, which makes me happy. Yes, money can make you happy, despite what some may say. It's nice to free your home of stuff you don't need anymore. I also sold a few items in one listing back in December, so I'm kind of addicted to eBay at the moment. And with all the free time I've had, I have five listings up right now that I hope will sell. I don't think I have anything else in the apartment to sell, but maybe I'll dig around tomorrow to see if there's something I've forgotten about.

I informed my surgeon this morning via email that taking off my rubber bands on Monday night made the left side of my jaw hurt. I also told him I had trouble opening my jaw to brush my teeth. He advised that I unleash the bands from the bottom jaw during the daytime and put them back on at night. I'm going for a 12 hour balance for both. Today when I unleashed them, my jaw muscles didn't hurt. I was able to brush behind my teeth. Perhaps everything is moving into place, and that was temporary soreness on Monday.

I have one of those new Windows 8.1 tablets that you see on tv commercials, bus stops and internet ads. The one I have is actually pretty light, inexpensive and powerful. I like it a lot more than the iPads I've used in the past, but then again not everyone needs a desktop version of Windows. I use it as a laptop/tablet combo. I can totally understand that some people find the App Store on the iPad to be far superior, and it seems to be that way. It's all about personal preference and what you need your tablet to do.

I have three more full days until I go back to work. The only reason I'll postpone is if I still feel like blacking out every now and then. When I get up to walk around the apartment, I find myself grabbing the counter or doorframe for a moment, and that's because of my weight loss and abnormal food intake. I've become much more careful about this, as I don't want to fall. If my mom and girlfriend are reading, don't worry. Perhaps I'll work short days next week instead of trying to work 9:30-6 Monday through Friday. We'll see. One day at a time.

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