Friday, January 10, 2014
After receiving news the previous day that I should definitely stay a second night in the hospital, I was relieved at hearing that I could have my own room. The other people in room 88 weren’t bothering me on the first night, but it’s nice to have your own quiet space. My room on Thursday night/Friday morning had a sliding door that kept things quiet, which was nice. I believe I finally was able to get to sleep at around 5:30, only to be awoken at 6:30 by the two doctors from my surgery and, two minutes later, my surgeon. They all gave me some tips and helped clean my face up. Then my surgeon put his hand on my shoulder for a few seconds, perhaps knowing from so many patients before me just how difficult this part of the recovery process really can be. He assured me that the swelling in my face could go down with some light walks around the hospital, and the other doctors said they could tell that swelling was reduced from day one. I thought the swelling was still awful, but it had only been maybe 38 hours and 30 minutes since surgery ended, so who was I to question anything?
This day was better than day one. Looking back now I can confirm this. I didn’t vomit blood, didn’t have a second catheter pulled out of my you know what, I was able to get some sleep even though it wasn’t good and I had my own room. Concentrate on the positives, right? What were the negatives on day two? Well, I was still very swollen, I was drooling everywhere, my right nostril was dripping blood without end, I wasn’t able to eat well, I felt intense pressure and discomfort in my jaw, I experienced some nausea, my button that calls a nurse didn’t seem to bring anyone to me and probably some other stuff I am forgetting. It’s ok though. I was on day two. Day one was now in the past. Day three is around the corner, right?
I was ready to leave the hospital Friday morning. My girlfriend and I walked slowly through the corridors and to the exit at around noon. A cab was right outside, so we got in and made our way home. There were some bumps in the road, and it wasn’t fun, but I got through it. I was so happy to just walk in the door at home. My girlfriend had cleaned the apartment, and she had setup many things to make my recovery go as smoothly as possible. She’s perfect.
I was determined to take several walks a day, but we only ended up making it out once on Friday. Trying to eat through syringes, realizing I now had to find a way to swallow a pill, still being incredibly swollen, knowing I needed to feed myself now since I couldn’t depend on IV fluids, continual drooling, I couldn’t blow my nose for the first several weeks, blood still dripping from my right nostril, etc. All worries. But I somehow did it. I had an Ensure drink. My girlfriend made me some vegetable broth with puree vegetables, though its orange look didn’t really help me get excited. I think she felt bad. (She later told me "I didn't feel bad. I just realized you didn't want something that healthy.") Her meals are always great, just like her. When you work with a limited amount of ingredients with a limited amount of ways to make it, it’s not easy. Several days later she made several of the best soup recipes I've ever had.
That night I slept in the living room recliner and didn’t move until eight hours later. I woke up several times and probably only got 2-4 hours total, but it was better sleep than I had in the hospital, by far.